Book Review: Love Bila Regrets

I have been in a dating relationship for almost six months now, and Lord willing, I will be getting married some time later in the year. I thank God for my relationship, largely because I have experienced His grace, mercy and loving care in ways that I could not have imagined. Being in a relationship has taught me to die to myself, and that God placed me on this planet for so much more than my selfish pleasures.

FullSizeRender (1)So when I came across this book, Love Bila Regrets, I read it with mixed feelings. You see, I have made all the mistakes described in this book (that is, in my previous relationships). I have asked a girl out without thinking about marriage, I have shunned accountability in my dating relationships, I have dated an unbeliever, I have committed sexual sin… you name it. I’ve been through it all.

I am not proud of it. Every sin and mistake is highly regretted. I would not want to live through any of it, given another shot. Yet, for some strange reason, I look back at that past with gratitude, because God has used it to define and refine me into the image of His Son Jesus Christ.

Reading through the nine chapters of the book by John Musyimi and Mark Ambundo was like a stroll through my own dark past. Continue reading Book Review: Love Bila Regrets

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When Being Honest and Sincere is a Bad Thing

“What matters is that you are sincere” sounds like good advise, and it is, as we shall see in a moment. But it can also be the worst advise to give anyone. God does, indeed, want us to be sincere about what we do. A common dictionary definition of sincere is “free from pretense or deceit; proceeding from genuine feelings”. It is wrong to be pretentious and deceitful. We must always strive to be genuine, honest, in other words, sincere. Integrity.

Photo credit: genius.com
Photo credit: genius.com

But what if being true to who we are involves doing something that is hurtful and unkind and unloving? What if I genuinely don’t care about the homeless and the sick? Should I be sincere even then? Would it be pretentious to “do” caring things to such people because that is “the right thing to do”? Such questions lead us to something that often goes un-examined when we talk about “being sincere”: It matters what we are being sincere about. In other words, our personal feelings are not the ultimate standard of what is right or wrong. We are not automatically doing right just because we are doing what we feel like doing. There seems to be a standard of right or wrong, outside of our feelings.

Does this, then, mean that our feelings don’t matter? No. It only means that our feelings are Continue reading When Being Honest and Sincere is a Bad Thing

Home …

It hit me when I was already at my doorstep. I had left my house keys at the office.

This has never happened before, perhaps it was because I was having a bad day. I couldn’t imagine going all the way back to the city center. It was 6 pm — the traffic will be unbearable. But what choice did I have?

I remembered it when I was at the main gate, on my way out. I had a spare key in the house! I hoped against hope that I could get to it — if only I could remember where I had last seen it. Desperate times call for desperate measures. After wracking my brain trying to retrace my steps in the last couple of days, I recalled that I had put the key in one of my jeans trouser pockets.

Perhaps you’re wondering how a key inside the pocket of a dirty trouser in a basin somewhere inside a locked house was going to help me. Reaching it would be out of the question. But you see, it wasn’t.

This was my house. My space. My home.

The thing about my place is that it is not very organized (ducks). That was my first clue. I ran back up the stairs hoping against hope that I had done what came naturally — left my dirty trousers on the seat in the living room. After much improvisation, I was able to open the window and push aside the curtain. I have never been more happy to see dirty jeans on the couch.

I reached in using a wire, pulled the trousers towards me and retrieved my spare key. I didn’t have to make another trip all the way back to the office.

Some things only happen at home. I like to think that I am only disorganized at home, though perhaps my colleagues may argue the point. But I am not that tidy. Clean, yes. Tidy, debatable.

But that’s the beauty of home. You don’t have to impress anyone or live up to other people’s standards at home. At home, you can be yourself. You can walk around in your baggy, holy (not the Biblical holy) pajamas without a care in the world. Your family has seen worse and they can identify you by the smell of your sweat. It is only taboo to air your dirty linen in public; nobody said anything about airing it in your house.

I am still a bachelor, and I live alone. At my house, I am the cook, the cleaner, the electrician, the decorator, the political analyst, the bread winner and the bread eater. I am all things to all chores.

Home is also where I am an expert at everything, or rather, I don’t have to be an expert at anything.

Outside the home, there is pressure to excel in at least one thing. Sometimes it’s because our survival depends on it. Only good engineers get hired, and color-blind people don’t get to be professional camera-men.

But at home, I am content to simply be me. There’s no pressure to impress. My family knows me, and loves me anyway.

Of course there are those occasions where parents are perfectionists and children feel the need, or rather the pressure, to live up to their expectations. Yes, the home can be dysfunctional. In fact, it often is. Even so, no matter how common this exception is, it is still not the rule. East or west, home is best.

Charity begins at home because that’s where selfishness ends. At home, you don’t mind having less so that your brother may have some. When you’re at home, you don’t feel the pressure to measure up or keep up with the Joneses – you’re already a Jones.

The home gives us a glimpse of how life in the church ought to look like. It is an imperfect peek into the kind of realness, fragility and openness that the Body of Christ ought to depict within itself. No need to be an expert here, no pressure to impress, no compulsion to compete. You can sing to the LORD with your shower voice and won’t feel embarrassed. You are simply being you.

I am not saying that the church is the place we let our sins slide because the Body “will understand”. I am saying that the church, like home, is the place we let our sins out in the open because we know they are covered by the blood of Christ and the Body “will prop us”.

But even as I write that previous sentence, I feel the need to edit it and punctuate it with several “oughts”. The church ought to be like home.

Charity begins at home because charity begins in the family — which was God’s original design. Could charity also begin in the church? Is your church your home? Is the church your family?

Are you a member of your church because yo signed up and a committee approved or are you a member because you owned up your sin and God approved you through Christ?

If home is where the heart is, where is your heart?

Or could it be because the church is where your hurt is?

Cornell.

The Truth About The Truth

I’ve been thinking about stories, and why they are such effective, timeless modes of communication. Children learn best through stories. So do adults. The best writers are storytellers. Stories just have a way of gripping our attention because they invade our imagination. Stories enter the minds of their hearers unannounced and take a seat on their soul, uninvited. They take us on adventurous journeys without our permission. It’s why we love movies. And stories never get old. It doesn’t matter what age we are living in, from the age of oral tradition to the blogging generation, stories continue to win the hearts of men. It doesn’t matter whether one is shipping a lie or mailing the truth, stories continue to be the best courier services.

It is therefore no coincidence that the Bible is a story. Of course, there are proverbs, laws, psalms and abstract apostolic teachings in the Bible, but all of these find their validity in the greater context of the biblical narrative. To isolate any law, or proverb from the story is to destroy that law or proverb. No wonder expository preaching is considered better and more faithful to the scripture compared to topical preaching. No wonder great Bible commentators and expositors emphasize context. The story matters. The overall account counts. Continue reading The Truth About The Truth

Blog Break (15 Feb 13)

Here are three links to spruce up your weekend reading:

  1. In THE COMING ELECTIONS, Pastor Murungi of Trinity Baptist Church, Nairobi, appeals to Kenyan Christians (and Kenyans in general) to acknowledge the sovereignty of God in government, to assume responsibility for that government and to vote wisely. “Our great hope must not be in a new Government, as important as it is. The hope of Kenyans must be in the gospel of Jesus Christ, which can alone change the wicked heart.”
  2. WHEN MY LOVE GROWS COLD by Tim Challies, “I love Aileen and for that reason I love to spend time with her. What’s amazing is that the more time I spend with her, the more I love her. And the more I love her, the more time I want to spend with her. And the more time I spend with her, the more my love grows. And the more my love grows, well, you get the idea.”
  3. Finally, WHEN CHRISTIANS GET US DOWN AND LET US DOWN, David Murray exhorts us to find our solace in Jesus Christ, who was also let down, disappointed and abandoned by hypocrites. “The key to rebuilding our faith and our feelings is to think less about Christians and more about Christ.”

Have a blessed reading time.

Cornell

A Valentine’s Day Cypher – The Conclusion

This is the last installment in a four-part poetry cypher. If you haven’t already, check out Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 before continuing…

THE CONCLUSION

GIRL ::

A moment of hesitation,
A heart full of affection,
Crossed thoughts… Confusion,
A need for a conclusion,
I need to say something, yet no words come to mind…
He just spoke his heart, I just stand there blank…
It’s simple really, he puts me… on a pedestal… I don’t deserve to be up so tall.
With him I wear a halo, from the moment he says ‘hallo’
I want to be his imperfect,
Perfectly perfecting our perfect…
So, let’s do this together… Don’t make it about how to ‘get-her’
What do you say?
Or even better, let’s face the ONE who’s perfect,
What does HE have to say?

Continue reading A Valentine’s Day Cypher – The Conclusion

A Valentine’s Day Cypher – Part 3

Continued from Part 2…

EDNA ::

Silence…
He stands there, staring
He has that look in his eye…
The one that melts the words in my mouth
Yes that one… That has my heart beating to his rhythm,
The kind that strengthens my will, yet weakens my knees…
The type that strings a cold sweat down my back…
The look that starts thought journeys in my head…
I watch as he spaces-out, as his mind takes him away…
I wonder what goes on in there… Wonder if he’s wondering the wonder that is us…
I feel strangely at ease, comfort in my soul…
His speaks to mine… His taking mine.
He has my mind… and now my heart.
This he knows not.
Because I don’t say a word…
I just stand there.. exemplifying the word speechless.

Continue reading A Valentine’s Day Cypher – Part 3