A True Story
on Feb 28, 2019
Earlier on in this decade while mulling over life, it dawned on me that to live successfully as humans, we need to advertise ourselves well to others. It's only after presenting ourselves favourably that others will become willing to sacrifice their time and resources to hire or help us. I shared that insight with some of my fellow choristers at All Saints' Cathedral in Nairobi one Saturday evening.
Well, I was travelling from the cathedral with the choristers in a car that my good friend John Okoth was driving. As the car got stuck in traffic, I told them, "By the way, I have discovered that life is all about advertising ourselves well. If, for example, I want a friend to sacrifice his time and resources to teach me how to drive, I must have presented myself to him over time as a good and reliable person."
After sharing that insight with the fellow choristers, John Okoth replied, "That's very true."
Today as I recalled that insight, I found myself thinking about three inspiring adverts I have come across in my reading so far. They are full of wisdom that can help us to be better people. Okay, let me tell you about them.
The first is an advert promoting Rolex (the classy watch made in Switzerland) that I came across in an international news magazine back in 2007 while I was preparing to report back to Starehe Institute for my final months in the diploma course I was pursuing. I became so inspired by the advert that I penned what it said in a note book I still have today. It went as follows:
There are people who believe that the world moves forward on the back of inspiration and ideas. For them, a day is more than 24 hours. A day is an opportunity to make something happen - to make a positive difference. They are the people who believe that making a contribution matters. And they find it impossible to go about their lives any other way. Those are the same people you'll often find wearing rolex. Not because they have to. Because it's who they are.So inspired was me by the advert that later on, I tried to use its words to interview some Starehe Institute students who wanted to become part of Gskool.com - an educational website I had co-founded with my classmates Stephen Mutevu and Kennedy Munene. I still love that advert.
A rolex will never change the world. We leave that to the people who wear them.
The second inspiring advert is one I saw in a local daily sometime in 2015 promoting a product whose name I beg not to mention because this is a family-safe blog suitable for reading by high school students. The advert read as follows:
A pretty inspiring advert, isn't it? I have come to find it as a source of encouragement in my blogging hobby.
There are those who push into the unknown,
Those that push past haters and doubters,
Those that push no matter what.
Like them, there is a [product] that sets them apart,
Breaking convention and conformity,
Making others play copycat and catch-up.
It's the [product] for those who shine a light for others to follow.
The last inspiring advert I will tell you about is one that promoted the Hummer, a classy and trendy car that once captured the imagination of some people here in Kenya and became the talk of the town. The advert went like this:
It's time to cut loose from the rest. Unmistakable looks, unrivaled performance, unbelievable value and a unique personality. It speaks volumes about you and your attitude.I have just committed that advert to memory. And I have resolved to be reciting it often with the faith that it will help me build the kind of good self-esteem I am desiring to have. Adieu!
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What I Am Now Praying For
A True Story
on Feb 26, 2019
During one of the classes in the evangelism course I took in 2008, a gentleman named Jared Ogutu advised us to keep a list of prayer requests to track how God fulfils our needs. I liked that advice so much that I implemented it thrice. That was in the years 2012, 2015 and 2017.
I still have the lists of prayer requests I wrote in those three years stashed somewhere in my laptop. While going through the list I wrote in 2012, I discovered that God only answered two prayers: acquiring a piano keyboard and landing a part-time piano teaching job.
While going through the list I wrote in 2015, I found out that I had changed some of the goals I wanted God to help me achieve. Like I no longer desire to be a newspaper columnist; I just want to be posting entertaining stories as well as songs in this blog of mine.
And while going through the list I wrote in 2017, I realized that God only answered my prayer on losing weight because I became lean towards the end of that year and well into 2018. Unfortunately, for lack of regular exercise and for eating a lot, I have gained weight again in the past six months.
Today, I have come up with a new list of prayer requests. Okay, let me tell you what it entails.
First in my new list of prayer requests is that I lose the excess weight I have gained in the past six months. In addition to praying about it, I have resolved to be eating moderately and exercising daily. I believe with such kind of praying and hard-work, I will have lost weight and regained my youthful looks by April 1st. Watch this space!
Second is that I develop a good self-esteem most of the time. I have included self-esteem in my list of prayer requests because I sometimes suffer from moments of excessive guilt - nameless, unreasoning, unjustified guilt which paralyses needed efforts to convert retreat into advance. With a sound self-esteem, I believe I will find it easier to achieve my goals.
Third in my list of prayer requests is to be posting entertaining stories and inspiring songs in this blog. And I believe when I achieve that goal consistently, I will attract the tens of thousands of blog visitors per day required to make a liveable income from blogging.
Fourth is for God to bless my parents and siblings with long life and good health. I am praying that He may protect them in danger, prosper them in all things good and that they may live to see me walk down the aisle with my princess charming.
Fifth is that I may meet my soul-mate/future wife in the course of this year. I am praying she turns out to be a young woman of charm and brains who loves God and people as I do.
Sixth in my new list of prayer requests is that I will have built my own home and gotten married by June 2022 when the next FIFA World Cup will be held. And as I have said, I am praying that my parents and siblings may live long enough to see me accomplish that dream.
Last but not least is that I may grow in knowledge and skill everyday. When praying for knowledge, I usually utter the following inspiring prayer I came across in the autobiography of Benjamin Franklin some years back:
Enough about me. How about you, my beloved reader? Have you ever thought of keeping a list of prayer requests to track how God fulfils your needs? If not, why not give it a try? Over to you!
Father of light and life, thou good supreme!
O teach me what is good, teach me Thyself!
Save me from folly, vanity and vice,
From every low pursuit and fill my soul,
With knowledge, conscious peace and virtue pure;
Sacred, substantial, never-fading bliss! 
 I have extracted this inspiring prayer from page 81 in the autobiography of Benjamin Franklin, published in 1998 by Penn State University.