Tag Archive: Gifts


…By Mwandi

“You are the person who has to decide,

Whether you’ll do it or toss it aside.

You are the person who makes up your mind

Whether you’ll lead or linger behind.

Whether you’ll try for the goal that’s afar…

Or just be content to stay where you are”

(Author: anonymous and time: unknown)

 Ecclesiastes 9:11

I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happen to them all.

 There is a time for everything under the sun. Time comes with opportunities and decisions you need to make on which direction you will take.

Time comes with opportunities and decisions you need to make on which direction you will take.

 There is the time to change; the time to stop complaining.  The time has come for that old attitude, mentality and habits to change. You’ve complained all your life and has that made a difference?  You’ve looked in the mirror and despised the person you see there. Has that helped to make you a better person?

 The time has come for you to say and believe with your heart that God can do all things.  John left his home and went out preaching and baptizing people that the Messiah was coming.  He believed with all his heart and carried out his role in life with a vengeance like no other.  It is also time for you to have faith.   Sometimes things are so rough, you ask yourself “Where is God in this?”.  Remember, Jesus went through the same thing, when he was dragged, and beaten, and mistreated and insulted and a whole load of other things.  God was there.  Jesus needed to go through those things for us.  And now He is exalted and in Heaven, for suffering. 

(Read Ezekiel 37:1-14, the story of the dry bones).

 And then there’ll be a time for you to deliver;

 (Mark 1:14).  When John was put in prison, Jesus set out to pick his first disciples and begin preaching the new message.  He knew the stage had been set and went about performing what he needed to without hesitation. Fast forward a few years (or chapters), when Jesus was arrested, he was calm because he knew it was his time.  And before he was arrested, he went up on the hill and prayed.  It is important to remember the prayer as that is where he drew his strength from. 

 The time to be strong; by having a strong foundation and being a true woman (or man) of God.  Look for the Rock, look only to the Rock and build your house upon that rock.  When the elements come (the rain, the snow, the sleet, the storm, the sea), and after the storm, if you are on the rock, then you remain.  The elements, of course, refer to the challenges you are experiencing in your life.  (1 Corinthians 10:1-13)

 The time has come to choose to live for something, or you will die for nothing.  And you will not be content with your life if it was only focused on you and what you can take out of it.  There are souls you need to touch, people you need to speak to, and an impact you need to make in the name of Jesus. 

 Be blessed.  Feel loved.

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…By Lee

I thought I would share a story about an amazing experience I had with God.

About 11 years ago, on a regular Sunday morning, my family and I attended a church service in The Hague (Netherlands). Keeping up with the normal routine, we rushed into the church hall a few minutes early, so as to reserve our usual seats.  At the time it seemed that the seating policy was not too close to the front and not too far behind.

After seating ourselves, half way through the praise and worship, I saw a woman stumbling into the church hall trying to avoid attracting any attention while seeking an empty seat. She was somehow able to navigate through the packed church hall and over peoples’ feet to a seat behind me. She sat down and immediately kept her face down, fixedly staring at the floor.

It was clear she did not want to be noticed. It took me a few moments to realize that it was her first time in that church. She seemed lost, confused, and unable to keep up with the worship songs. Her hands could not cease fiddling with the church flyer. Out of my willingness to help, I turned in my seat to face her, kindly greeted her and guided her to the lyrics of hymns we were singing. She took a short pensive glance at me and without sharing a smile, she whispered “thank you”.

Out of the blue, tears filled her eyes...

As the sermon progressed, I kept on looking back and inquiring if she needed any assistance. After a while I noticed her cracking a smile at me, so naturally, I smiled back. Then, out of the blue, tears filled her eyes. She quickly stood up and rushed out the church hall, leaving all her belongings behind. I was 12 at the time and all seemed nothing short of strange to my young mind. I was not able to pin point what her problem was. So I faced forward and I continued to listen to the sermon.

At the end of the church service, the same woman came urgently looking for my mum. From a distance, I observed them talking, the woman was still in tears and my mum was doing her best to console her whilst listening to all she had to say. Upon noticing me, my mum called me over and as I hesitantly approached them, the woman started repeatedly thanking me. I was at a loss for words, I could not fathom what I had done, or rather what she thought I had done. However, curiosity compelled me to ask why she chose to express her heartfelt gratitude towards me. She immediately narrated her story leaving me, a 12 year old, shocked to depths of my heart.

She painfully narrated that for the past couple of years she has been trampled on by her husband and kids. They had launched insults at her on a daily basis, she felt unappreciated, no one had shown her any compassion in a long time and no one cared about her. She had been left isolated, enduring unbearable pain. She knew only one way out of it all.

So on that day she came to church to ask for forgiveness for what she was about to do. She had pondered on that thought for a while and had made her final decision. This haunted woman was entirely convinced she had to commit suicide. But God had something to say to her on that day. What she experienced in the church touched her so deep, that she couldn’t stop the floods of tears rolling down her cheeks.

She could not recall the last time someone displayed concern for her, yet a young child, took time to check if she was doing fine.

She stood there saying that she could not recall the last time someone displayed concern for her, yet a young child, took time to check if she was doing fine. The seemingly  little concern I showed meant so much to her, she could not help but cry. She felt so relieved and for the first time in a long time, she felt love. She then knew that that her life was worth something and she was glad that God chose a 12 year old to express how important her life was to Him. The now renewed woman felt the need to take her life no longer, and made the decision to let her family know the truth about what they have been doing to her all along.

I was particularly proud when I grasped that God had used me to speak to that woman. It made me feel so special, realising that God knows me personally. It was amazing to me that in a congregation of 300 people, God singled me out and passed on his message to that woman through… me!!!Me!!! Wow!!

We serve an amazing God. At times one would think that God only uses pastors and the holiest of people to do his work, but the beauty of God is that he can use any seemingly ordinary person to do great works. Think about it, the disciples were merely fishermen and they were responsible for spreading the gospel to many countries. I also learned that, anytime and anywhere, God can use you to reach out to someone without you even noticing it. We should also keep in mind that the little things we do can go a long way in helping others.

The bible tells us to treat others as we would want to be treated; take time to help those in need. We should always remember that wherever we are we might be the only connection the people around us have to the healing power of Jesus. Be aware that where you are right now… you may be the only Jesus people around you see…

…By Wambui

There’s this guy I know who fascinates me.  I can best describe his life as “interesting”.  He’s short, thin and walks with a wobble that suggests that his feet frequently hosted jiggers in his childhood.  His face, marked with fresh and not-so-fresh bruises, has the defined lines that betray years of hardship and violence.  His eyes, though warm, hide a hardness that occasionally peeks out when he gets into an argument.  However, the thing you would most probably remember about him is the cloud of fermented barley that hangs around him like a halo above a saint.  The cloud never lifts, it just changes.  Sometimes it’s just a slight whiff, but more often you would be afraid to light a match anywhere near him.

This guy neither talks about the day he accepted Jesus nor the depth of  Sunday’s sermon.  The songs on his phone would make anyone blush.  He doesn’t articulate his mission statement, and his mantra is not a Bible verse.  He floats from one day to another and seems to be perfectly happy that way.

However, he’s the guy who will notice that you look tired and offer you a cup of tea.  He’ll borrow 500 bob from you on 25 April to keep him going up to the end of the month, then buy you lunch on 27 April because he saw that your purse had only coins.  This is the guy who will take the time to find out how you really are, and not ask, “How are you?” in passing, without waiting for a reply.  If you have an emergency, he’ll be the first to show up because everyone else you asked for help had other things to do.

 That guy shows me God’s love in a very real way.

…By Mandii

Walking, stumbling on these shadowfeet
toward home, a land that I’ve never seen
I am changing: less and less asleep…
made of different stuff than when I began…

Shadowfeet – Brooke Fraser

There was a time that I trusted in my own strength; I was confident that I needed no one to guide or protect me; I was certain that I had overcome so many trials because of my OWN power.

The story of my life so far does include some amazing triumphs, but I had to wake up to the fact that divine providence had quite a role to play in this. Until the point of my spiritual epiphany, I realized that the journey I was taking, which seemed to have some direction, was actually a deviation from the path that was really meant for me.

I had always known that something was very wrong with the world, a rot that radiated from the core of humanity. In the darkness, there seemed to be very little light. Almost everything was blatantly sacrilegious, shady and sinful, and I had no way of putting things right – that gave me a sense of complete powerlessness. In despair something inside me decided that I would brace the storm alone. After all, indications of the absence of a benevolent God were all around me. So I thought.

My spiritual enlightenment came in phases. The truth first manifested as a whisper, adamant to be heard. As cliché as it sounds, a voice inside was telling me that there had to be something beyond this life. I did hear it, all attempts to ignore it failed. I decided to seek the voice out, and naturally I turned to the church.

Sitting comfortably on my self-righteous pedestal, I observed and silently judged all who I met on my numerous church visits. I collected empirical evidence of hypocrisy and sanctimonious back talk. I figured that they had no right to tell me how to live, when their own lives were not consistently echoing what they ardently preached from the pulpit.

Despite these thoughts, I stayed, and I heard all that was said. The whisper in my heart became louder. I HEARD the declarations and testimonies, but in retrospect, I was not LISTENING. There is an enormous difference.

I first started listening through song. I have always had an affinity for music, and particularly enjoy singing. Joining the choir was a logical choice. The gruelling practices forced me to begin to listen to the words I was singing, and I began to reflect on them. I began to refer to the Bible, to track down the foundation of the lyrics. The voice inside me became louder still.

The pastor at my church who regularly held bonding sessions for choir members encouraged me to start journaling, and to truly immerse myself in a spiritual environment; to use the spiritual appliances that most captivated me to trigger my awakening and coax the ‘real me’ out.

I researched my stance on hypocrisy, which I felt held me back from embracing Christianity. I acknowledged not realizing that genuine Christians have such a low view of their own morality, I attacked them. What drove me to despise Christians was not unkindness so much as a desperate attempt to drown the shrieks of my own conscience. A favourite, rarely conscious, technique to silence a suppressed but nagging conscience is to muddy the name of anyone who might give the appearance of being morally better than me.

Slowly, I came to recognize that my thoughts on Christian hypocrisy were merely the rejection of aspects of ‘Churchianity’ that Jesus himself would reject. Jesus denounced religious hypocrites- I realized that we had that in common. If I wanted to really be more Christ-like, I would have to adapt more of His outlooks, in this case, Jesus’ attitude towards hypocrites: He forgave them.

We have free will. A human being has to choose. This is where our strength lies: in the power of our decisions. Forgiveness is not always easy. At times, it feels more painful than the wound we suffered, to forgive the one that inflicted it. And yet, there is no peace without forgiveness.

The day I chose to forgive, my soul opened to the lights of heaven...

The day I chose to forgive was the day my soul opened and heaven’s light came in. I cried for hours- tears of sadness for all the years I had wasted inside my hardened shell, tears of relief for the peace I now enjoyed and tears of joy for my heart that was no longer stone.

I came to realize that I am responsible for my own salvation, I am accountable for the lifestyle I live, and I am a representative of God here on earth. For these reasons I must make a genuine effort to reflect the best image in my choices, so that through me others may see the greatness of God and how his love and grace can transform any seemingly ordinary human being. A relationship with God unlocked the greatness within me, and I found that I wanted to share this joy I had found with others.

I WAS AWAKE!!!

…By Mwandi

2 Timothy 1:7
For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.

John 14:27
“Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful”.

Romans 8:15
“For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!”

Most people’s stories of giving their life to Christ are a bit more dramatic than mine.  Some people heard a sermon that spoke to their hearts and resonated deep within their souls.  Crying barefaced they lumbered to the front of the church in front of everyone where the pastor vehemently prayed for them.  From that point, that epiphany their life was changed and it was fairy tale beautiful there after.

Not for me.  The day I gave my life to Christ it was a Saturday morning in sunny April of 2009. I was on my way to the city center.  I was riding in a matatu along Mombasa road and as Mombasa road would have it, there was truck loads of traffic.  The joys of Nairobi.  I digress.

I wasn’t thinking of anything world changing.  Nor was I having a spiritual battle within me, so to speak.  I was listening to my music off my phone as I usually do when I’m stuck in traffic. The matatu tout started making his rounds in the vehicle to collect the relevant fare.  I didn’t know how much it cost but I began scrimmaging in my bag for some coins.  My mind told me it should be 20 bob but it could have been 30 bob at that time of day.  And if he was a crazy tout, if I gave him 50 bob he’d completely refuse to give me back my change.  But if I gave him less then I was afraid he’d cause a scene.  I went into a near panic attack trying to figure out what I was going to do about whether to give 30 bob, 40 bob or 50 bob to a tout.

And as the tout approached the more panicky I became.  I could hear warning bells in my head because I felt that danger was approaching me and I didn’t know what I would do about it.  Then I became afraid that my petrified expression would be evident on my face and they would be able to hear my thoughts and begin laughing at me.  And that I’d be completely mortified if the tout began to start arguing with me about less money (if I opted for one 20 shilling coin) and the madness ensued.

And in that madness, I thought, hang on, what on earth is going on here?  Why, am I so petrified of someone I don’t know, and someone I’m unlikely to meet ever again?  Why am I so petrified of everything? And in my head I began to list all the small things in life that turned me from a young confident woman into a cowering, shivering wreck.  And I thought, “How could this be”?  Why am I so afraid of everything?

Why was I so afraid of everything?  Because I didn’t feel I had any support in life or any control.  And that the world was cruel and would overpower me.  And that I had to spend the rest of my life on a tight rope rather than make a ripple.  And it was maddening.  Because I knew I was destined for something greater than “not making a ripple” and I knew that there were forces in this world that were in control, and if on my side, life would be worth living.

I surrendered my life; plans, fears, hopes and aspirations...

So right there, as the tout asked for my fare, I prayed to God to take control.   I surrendered my life; plans, fears, hopes and aspirations.  I said that I am aware that I am not in control and never will be.  But I do not want to live my life in fear because of this that I know.  So you take control.  You tell me where to go.  Tell me what to do.  And because I know you’re on my side, I’ll do it.

I got off the matatu a different woman.  The sun was a little bit brighter and the world was a lot less frightening.  And so began my relationship with God…

…By Mandii

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We are born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us, it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

–Marianne Williamson

A.U.R.A. has an interlinked dual meaning, firstly, as the acronym of ‘Are U Really Awake?’ which challenges us to ask ourselves whether we are in truth, conscious beings, sentient of our identity and potential; or living our lives in a state of oblivion, unwittingly, almost mechanically, going through the motions. Are we aware of the brilliance that lies within each of us? Do we slumber as our astounding promise lies dormant?

With time I have learned the most significant lesson in my life- there is greatness inside of every one of us. In the words of Juan Arias: the extraordinary is not the birthright of a chosen and privileged few, but of all people, even the humblest. That is my one certainty: we are all the manifestation of the divinity of God.

This ties in with the second meaning of A.U.R.A. – an aura being the subtly pervasive quality emanating from a person; in this context, emanating from their core, their spirit, their true aura of greatness. People make a lot of effort not to acknowledge this, not to accept their colossal magical potential. The world may have told us in one way or another that we are weak, ugly and incapable. Many have been led to believe this is true. We need to forget what we think we are, so that we can really become what we are. This journey of actualizing one’s potential, of awakening one’s magnificence and unearthing one’s true aura is one that requires strength, bravery and faith. Along this journey we sometimes experience disappointment, defeat, and despair. But we must realise that God uses these trials to show us the way and to encourage us to have the courage to make mistakes, to risk failure and disillusion, prompting us to keep searching, keep looking for our aura.

This journey of unearthing one’s true aura is one that requires strength, bravery and faith.

Through this blog we hope to gently shake some awake and help others who are already on their voyage of discovery, by sharing our experiences and insights.