Tag Archive: Kindness


…By Mwandi

1 Samuel 1:10-13a “In bitterness of soul Hannah wept much and prayed to the LORD……Eli observed her mouth. Hannah was praying in her heart, and her lips were moving but her voice was not heard.”

Today a person I care very deeply for wrote to me and said God does answer prayers.  Only that morning had she prayed earnestly for help…not knowing how, or where or whom; only knowing and believing that God would be able to deliver her out of her strife. 

I read her email and saw her pain, her anguish and her joy at salvation.  In her email I read all the emotions I had experienced when I was in desperate need for an answered prayer.  I knew how it felt to be praying for something so earnestly and deeply it brings you to your knees; you sob endlessly being unable to form the words in your mouth but your heart screaming out to be heard.  Not knowing how long you would have to endure turmoil until you were alleviated from your situation.  

And in those prayers I always remember wishing that God would send someone…anyone to help me.  That He would release an angel who would cradle me in their arms and let me know that everything would be ok.  And not only say it, but mean it and help me.  And then I wished I could be that person who was called upon to help another.  That without my knowing God would use me to answer another’s prayer.  And I prayed for the same.  Believing that God would deliver me, I believed in turn that I should be used to help another…even if I were in pain, I should help.     

Today a person I care very deeply for wrote to me and said God does answer prayers.  And I believe her.  God answered my prayers in a way I’ve not been able to stop thanking him for His intervention.  And simultaneously used me to answer somebody else’s prayer.  He knew that on Monday morning she would be praying to Him for help…so on Saturday delivered me from my pain, and on Sunday evening he placed it in my heart to be of that help and write to her what she needed the most.    

Isaiah 65:24 “Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear”.

 

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…By Mwandi 

Before I got baptized, I had always been a critic of the frequent church-goer; who on Sunday, in their Sunday best would praise the Lord with all their heart, and all their soul and all their might…then on Monday don the ski mask and rob you blind.  And it was unfortunate for me that I knew so many of them.  There were few people I met who I could say were truly spiritually in-tune and showed that both in and out of the office. 

I remember countless sermons in church that taught one thing and I ended up doing the other the very next day; a sermon on taming the tongue…and the next day insulted my manager in all the international languages I had acquired.

 Then I made the glorious change in my life and was baptized.  I was a new person.  I had a new outlook for life, I had new joy and peace within me and for the first time I had an overwhelming amount of hope.  But I was still working in the same office that drove me up the wall.  It didn’t take long, and it wasn’t too hard for me to quickly become a Sunday angel and the next day be a Monday Devil. 

 I remember countless sermons in church that taught one thing and I ended up doing the other the very next day; a sermon on taming the tongue…and the next day insulted my manager in all the international languages I had acquired.  A sermon on patience, and the next day wanting to chop off the head of a matatu tout for short changing me.  One on being a Samaritan to those around me; helping them up…yet the next day tearing them down.  There was a problem.  There was a missing link. 

 Not only was I not applying everything I’d learned the day before where it mattered the most; I was breaking one of my most sacred vows…putting God first and having Him guide me wherever I go.  I could be wrong (though I highly doubt it) but I don’t think God intended me to be a razor-sharp clawed, fire breathing vixen in the office.

 But many people claim and say that God does not belong in the office (unless your office is some form of ministry).  That religion and politics do not and should not mix; and that “me” as the politician is totally different from “me” as the religious person.   But where else can one practice the principals learned on that religious Sunday?   

 Finally, I did what every struggling Christian thinks last to do…I prayed.  I asked how do I bring God into the office?  How can I show, that something within me has changed…that God is fully with me and that I am a changed person?”

 The answer did not come easily and the application of the same is harder still.  It required of me to hold back when I wanted to go forward.  Or stand firm when I wanted to flee.  It meant me persevering when I wanted to quit; and letting go when I wanted to hold on.  It took more of me than I thought it would but I gained all the more back.  The peace that resonated within me from my decision was now spilling into the one place people said it should not go. 

And that is when I knew…it’s not the preaching in the office; neither the countless bible verses exhibited your work space; nor the continuous exclamation that “I am a Christian woman” that makes the difference.  It is God, living within you, guiding, transforming and emancipating you, that makes the difference wherever you go.

What does God think?

…By Wambui

We often wonder why others don’t see things the way we do.  We’re often able to analyse and solve a problem faced by someone else in a jiffy.  Does God wonder why we don’t see things the way he does?

God has given us all we need for the stage at which we are in life.  He has given us his Spirit to be our guide and teacher in the use of these things.  Does he get tired of our complaints and dissatisfaction with our lives?

God created us to love and serve him in this life, so we can be happy with him in the next.  He loves us so much that he allowed us to brutally murder his only son, so that we would live.  Does he ever wonder why he bothered?

He gave us trees, oceans, birds, animals and people, so that we can see him in the things he created.  He made them one by one and took care of even the details we shall never see.  Will he, one day,  get tired of our abusing his creation and take it all back?

Let’s imagine that God is the rich widow next door, and we are the poor neighbours.  She’s always been quiet, polite and kind.  Since she has so much, and she’s so generous anyway, we tap her electricity, water, satellite TV and wi-fi without asking her permission, thanking her or  even offering to split the bill.  For how long do we think she will let this go on?

Yes, God is not a rich widow.  We do not need to make any illegal connections to tap into his goodness.  So what’s stopping us from experiencing that goodness?  That’s a question that only you can answer for yourself.

…By Mandii

God is love. There is a God-shaped hole in every heart. When we do not fill this hole with God, we seek other ways to seal the vacuum. We seek out the ‘love’ of others. There is a huge problem with this as until we know God’s love, we shall be unable to truly love ourselves, and  truly love others.

When one seeks out the love of another without first establishing a relationship with God- many a time, an addict is born. The relationship addict feels (sometimes on a subconscious level) a sense of incompleteness, emptiness, despair, and sadness that he or she seeks to remedy by connecting with another. The relationship is viewed as a means of meeting one’s needs for love, attention, and security rather than as a shared experience.

The addictive relationship becomes an arena for trying to resolve unfinished business with one’s soul, to fill the void that remains without God. Addictive relationships are characterized by a simultaneous excess and lack of love; an over abundance of love to obsessive attention is bestowed upon someone else while an inadequate amount is given to self.

Here, I give you seven signs of an addictive relationship:

1) Dishonesty: Neither John nor Mary talks about who they are or what’s really bothering them. They lie about what they want; they use manipulation and half truths to elicit emotional responses in the other. This kind of communication fuels an addictive relationship.  

Hebrews 6:18 – “So God has given both his promise and his oath. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie.” (NLT)

Psalm 119:160 – “The very essence of your words is truth; all your just regulations will stand forever.” (NLT)

2) Unrealistic expectations: Both John and Mary think the other will solve their self-esteem, body image, family, and existential problems. They believe the “right relationship” will make everything better. Yet, they’re in a disastrous addictive relationship.

But He said, “The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.” (Luke 18:27)

(Psalms 147:3 NKJV) “He heals the broken hearted and binds up their wounds.”

 Ephesians 3:20 “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us.”

3) Instant gratification: Mary expects John to be there for her whenever she needs him; she needs him to make her happy immediately. She is using him to make her feel good, and isn’t relating to him as a partner or even a human being. He is like  a drug. An addictive relationship drug.

2 Timothy 3:2 “For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy.”

4) Compulsive control. Mary has to change or act a certain way, or John will threaten to leave her and/or vice versa. This establishes a strict conditional love policy within the relationship, lacking any kind of compromise, tolerance or acceptance.  Both feel pressure to stay in this addictive relationship; neither feel like they’re together voluntarily, but instead are limited in exercising their free will.

Malachi 3:6 “For I am the Lord, I do not change …”

 Psalm 80:13 “So I [God] let them go according to the desires of their heart: they shall walk in their own inventions.

5) Lack of trust. Neither partner trusts the other to be there when the chips are down. They don’t believe the other really loves them, and they don’t believe genuine caring or liking exists. At some level they know they’re not in a healthy but rather in an addictive relationship.

Luke 16:10 – “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.” (NIV)

6) Social isolation. Nobody else is invited into their relationship – not friends, family, or work acquaintances. People in addictive relationships want to be left alone. They do not want to hear the advice of those who care for them, as the truth of the unhealthy nature of their relationship is something they would rather not  hear.

Ecclesiastes 4:13 “Better is a poor and wise youth than an old and foolish king who no longer knows how to receive counsel (friendly reproof and warning)” (AMP)

Proverbs 19:20 “Hear counsel, receive instruction, and accept correction, that you may be wise in the time to come.” (AMP)

1 Corinthians 4:14I do not write this to shame you, but to warn and counsel you as my beloved children.” (AMP)

7) Cycle of pain. John and Mary are trapped in a cycle of pleasure, pain, disillusionment, blaming, and reconnection. The cycle repeats itself until one partner breaks free of the addictive relationship.

Psalm 34:19 “Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all. He guards all his bones; not one of them is broken.”

Jeremiah 30:17 “For I will restore health to you and heal you of your wounds,” says the Lord.

John (or Mary) can get out of this unhealthy, addictive relationship…but how does he overcome this self sabotage nightmare?

John must let go of the fear of being alone.

Tim 1:7 (AMP) “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear), but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control.”

John must have an awakening, emotionally, cognitively and spiritually. The first step to recovery is acknowledgment of a problem and the will to change. Thus once John realises that things aren’t quite what they seem; what he thought or how he wishes they would be,  his initial awakening shall continue as he recovers.

1 Peter 5:7 (AMP) “Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully.”

John must glimpse his (addictive) relationship as it exists in reality. John’s spirituality and subsequent relationship with God can provide the essential coping skills and personal courage required to do this. John’s emerging awareness leads him to seek out and find appropriate help. Awakening awareness begins to help him to see and understand his self sabotage of chances for genuine intimacy. John shall learn about learn about identifying poor boundaries between adults; addiction and problems of intimacy; unhealthy attachment, ending relationships and self sabotage.

 God can slowly heal John’s issues with control, being over-responsible, neglecting his own needs, and his fear of abandonment. When he begins to allow God’s love in, he will understand that during his relationship he put up with abuse and ill treatment, which should have been unacceptable.

John learns to let go and let God. Most importantly, he learns what REAL love, what God’s love is.

Psalm 46:1-3,7 “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change and though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea; though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains quake at its swelling pride. Selah. The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our stronghold. “

…By Neemo

I once told a saved friend of mine that Professor Gale would go to heaven before she did. She thought not.

 Now, Professor Gale was our political science lecturer and a self confessed atheist. He thought we were all deluded to believe in God and we once had a one-hour argument about it in class. But Dr. Gale is the most selfless person I have ever met. If anyone lives by Christ’s example it is he. He cares nothing for himself (you should see the way he dresses) and everything for others. Especially disadvantaged women and children. He even once tried to get our University to donate some land towards building a shelter for abused women. He cares nothing for material possessions. The guy lives at YMCA and used to lecture at University only to get enough money to live by. He teaches for free in the slums and in fact he encouraged use to spare the time to do so. (Though he told us one day that one of his former students waved to him from a prison van so I don’t know how much success he is having with that!)

 My question is. Why do we get stuck over membership and not the membership values we should espouse? Gale is not a Christian. Neither is he a Muslim or a Hindu or any other religion. He is like Mahatma Gandhi. He espouses the values of all these religions. Which is what we should all try to do.

The Manual of the Warrior of Light, presents a collection of philosophical thoughts and stories that will inspire spiritual seekers everywhere…here we share some excerpts with you…

Every Warrior of the Light has felt afraid of going into battle.

Every Warrior of the Light has, at some time in the past, lied or betrayed someone.

Every Warrior of the Light has trodden a path that was not his.

Every Warrior of the Light has suffered for the most trivial of reasons. Every Warrior of the Light has, at least once, believed he was not a Warrior of the Light.

Every Warrior of the Light has failed in his spiritual duties.

Every Warrior of the Light has said ‘yes’ when he wanted to say ‘no.’

Every Warrior of the Light has hurt someone he loved.

That is why he is a Warrior of the Light, because he has been through all this and yet has never lost hope of being better than he is.

…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.