Tag Archive: Spirituality


…By Mandii 

On the path to my spiritual awakening, when I still had my doubts about the existence of God as I know him today, I was often perplexed by the notion that God knows all. I followed the logic that if He did know all, then He knew what we were going to choose in the future, meaning we really had no real free will. 

An omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient God...

I put these thoughts aside for awhile and established a relationship with God. Upon returning to my previous musings, I realised that this divine foreknowledge of our choices was not a problem for me. Keeping the concept of an all knowing God in mind when looking at the Christian definition of free will: the ability to make equal choices between options, regardless of a person’s sinful nature- how does God’s omniscience conflict with our free will? 

Let me use a simple analogy to elaborate on my point. The sun will rise and set tomorrow. I’m not causing it or preventing it from doing so by knowing that it shall happen. Similarly, if I ask my little sister to choose between a chocolate and a carrot, I know she will choose the chocolate. My knowledge of this does not restrict her from making her choice. Even if she was inclined to choose the carrot to please me, as it’s healthier, I have not forced her to make that choice. My sister is free to make the choice and my knowledge of her preference and in turn, her choice, has no effect upon her when she makes her choice. 

The red pill or the blue pill?

In short: God knowing what we are going to do does not mean that we can’t do something else. It means that God simply knows what we have chosen to do ahead of time. Our freedom is not restricted by God’s foreknowledge; our freedom is simply realized ahead of time by God. 

While God is omnipotent and knows the choices that individuals will make, He still gives individuals the power to ultimately choose (or reject) everything, regardless of any internal or external conditions relating to the choice. In a biblical illustration of free will, when Jesus was nailed on the cross, the two criminals, one on each side, were about to die. Only one asked Jesus for forgiveness while the other, even at the end of his life with nothing else to lose, disparaged Jesus. From a Christian perspective, this was a free and personal choice between everlasting death and everlasting life. 

An important issue to consider here is the concept of time. God’s concept of time differs greatly from ours. If the future exists for God even as the present does, then God is consistently in all places at all times and is not restricted by time. This would mean that God is not subject to our perception of the natural laws of time, subject, and that God is not a linear entity- to be precise, it would mean that God is not restricted to operating in our time realm and is not restricted to the present only. 

If the future exists for God even as the present does, then God is consistently in all places at all times and is not restricted by time.

Following this logic, if God is not restricted to existence in our version of the present, then the future is known by God because God dwells in the future, as well as the present (and the past). This would mean that our future choices, as free as they are, are simply known by God. Again, our ability to choose is not altered or lessened by God existing in the future and knowing what we freely choose. It just means that God can see what we will freely choose, because that is what we freely choose – and knows what it is. 

This concept is demonstrated in the scriptures, as spiritually God inhabits eternity. Psalm 90.2 says “Before the mountains were born, or Thou didst give birth to the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, Thou art God.” These verses and others do not actually say that God exists inside or outside time, rather that He is eternal. A number of verses also state that God has no beginning or end. This is not definitive, but we may be able to conclude that since time is that non-spatial, continuous succession of events from the past, through the present, and into the future, and that since the word “beginning” denotes a relationship to and in time, and since God has no beginning, that time is not applicable to God’s nature. In other words, God has no beginning and since “beginning” deals with an event in time, God is outside of time. 

So, in relation to our free will and God’s predictive ability, there is no biblical reason to assert that God’s foreknowledge negates our freedom. There is no logical reason to claim that if God knows what choices we are going to make that it means we are not free. It still means that the free choices we will make are free — they are just known ahead of time by God. If we choose something different, then that choice will have been eternally known by God. What’s more, this knowledge by God does not alter our nature in that it does not change what we are — free to make choices. 

In light of this, He has eternally known what all our free choices will be, He has ordained history to come to the conclusion that He wishes including and incorporating our choices into His divine plan: 

For truly in this city there were gathered together against Thy holy servant Jesus, whom Thou didst anoint, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, 28to do whatever Thy hand and Thy purpose predestined to occur,” (Acts 4:27-28). Why?  Because God always knows all things: “…God is greater than our heart, and knows all things,” (1 John 3:20).

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…By Neemo

I wanted to share this beautiful traditional prayer to Ngai, The Kikuyu God of the Mountain. It has been translated to English from Kikuyu. The first time I read this I pondered the question: Did salvation come with the missionaries who brought us the Word of God, or were we, in our own way, already saved? I will leave it to the readers to decide after reading the prayer:

O my Father, Great Elder

I have no words to thank you

And with deep wisdom

I am sure that you can see how I value your glorious gifts

O my father, when I look upon your greatness

I am confounded with awe

O great elder

                                                                        Ruler of all things earthly  and  heavenly

                                                                                            I am your warrior

                                                                                  Ready to act according to your will.

…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 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 Mwandi

My spiritual journey is battlefield; a castle under siege, a journey in un-chartered lands, a voyage in unknown waters.  I feel there is a war raging in the pit of my soul and every aspect of my being is fighting.  It is time consuming, emotionally weakening and mentally exhausting.  It’s a battle I want to win but I feel like am losing. In the process I get confused and cannot recall what was winning and what losing.  Suddenly losing looks like winning and winning like losing. My heart, mind, body and soul are in perpetual disagreement.  One says go that way, the other refutes it.  I am no longer able to tell what is right and what is wrong; for what was once right and what was once wrong have switched roles.  Nothing is as it seems.

 In my fear I build walls, fortresses, towers and strongholds to protect myself.  I say to myself that I must figure myself out before anyone else can figure me out.  But from within me I find my defences are insufficient and they begin to shatter.  This frightens me more…for I am left vulnerable to the world…like an iceberg in summer my inner self is melting, crumbling and disintegrating before your very eyes.  

 In the madness of my own storm, He waits for me.  After my frantic, futile attempts of setting up yet another barricade, I lay exhausted on the ground.  My tears do not reach the ground before they are evaporated into the heat of the atmosphere.  I sit in silence and wait…and He calls to me.  He calls and the layers begin falling to the ground leaving in its wake a wide gaping hole where my heart is exposed. 

 Though, instead of being left bare and exposed for attack…the heart within is shining…it dawns on me…

I always feel that I need to prove that I am worth something, forgetting that I am worth everything to God.

All the walls need to come down.  The walls I thought were protecting me from the assaults of the world were inhibiting me from joys of life.  I am not the queen of the stronghold protecting that which is around me, but the princess in the highest tower held against her will; sedated into believing that the confinements are freedom.  And God is my prince charming – my Saviour, my refuge, my father, my protector – fighting the evil minions who guard the walls. 

 God is destroying me within to save me from myself.

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…

A warrior of light knows that he has much to be grateful for.

He was helped in his struggle by the angels; celestial forces placed each thing in its place, thus allowing him to give of his best.

His companions say: ‘He’s so lucky!’ And the warrior does sometimes achieve things far beyond his capabilities.

That is why, at sunset, he kneels and gives thanks for the Protective Cloak surrounding him.

His gratitude, however, is not limited to the spiritual world; he never forgets his friends, for their blood mingled with his on the battlefield.

Finding that place of rest

…By Wambui

It was all about targets, efficiency, effectiveness, deadlines and progress, until I heard that in God there is rest. It was in a sermon in church, and I must admit I didn’t quite understand how that could work. Didn’t Paul say that we shouldn’t work if we don’t eat? Hadn’t I been taught that laziness is a sin? How then could I expect to just sit back, trust that everything would work out, and get good results? How would I meet my targets if I did not push, pull, lift, drop and drive myself to utter exhaustion?

Then one day I understood. “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added unto you.”
“Which things?” I asked.
“All good things that only God can give,” came the answer.
Joy, peace, patience, gentleness … and rest. Not inactivity, not laziness, not boredom, but a deep confidence that it is well.

When a loved one passes, away it is well.
When wordly possessions are destroyed in a house fire, it is well.
When a friend’s betrayal leaves a deep, bleeding wound, it is well.
When a searching soul finds that place of rest, it is well.

…By Neemo

I watched this stand up comedy show the other day. This short black guy. Don’t know his name. For those of you who have watched the Denzel movie John Q he is in it as the guy with a broken arm.

 In the show he said he doesn’t understand what all the conflict about religion is. Christ said this, Mohammed said that. I’m right, you’re wrong. To him: “You are arguing about the messengers, but did you get the message?” For a guy who uses the F word like in every other sentence he made a solid point. Do we really get the message? It has always been the same message. From Abraham to whoever is the latest messenger from God. Love. Unity and Love. Simple. We are all one ethnic group. One tribe. The human tribe. In order to move civilization to the next stage, we all need to realize this.

"The earth is but one country, and mankind its citizens”… Bahaullah.

…By Mwandi

Romans 7:14 – 20 (NIV); 14We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. 15I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.

I struggle with sin.  I’m happy to read in the bible that I’m not the only person.  And I’m even happier knowing that the Lord is gracious and provides His strength and His love to help us become more spiritual and more like Him.  And even more heartening to realize that even with the problems in our life that are caused by our own sin, God can still use us to do great things. 

We sometimes stray down the wrong path....

 I’m guilty of many offences towards mankind and towards myself.  Each time my tongue lashes out at one, I berate myself…for what I just did was not Godly.  And then I suffer from endless guilt, which is a sin in itself as it inhibits you from moving forward. 

By this I am reminded that being a Christian does not make me “holier than thou.”  It’s not something I should be proud of, in the sense that I am human being above reproach.  It’s an admission to be thoroughly humbled by.  I am incapable of living a pure life without the constant guidance and assistance of the Lord.  I need Him to be a decent human being and because of Him in my life, I am a better person.   

..but the Lord guides us toward the road to redemption...

Romans 7:21 – 25 (NIV); 21So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. 24What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? 25Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!
      So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in the sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.

…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!!!