Positive Quote For Today

"We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty."— Maya Angelou


Bliss. Strength. Love. Peace.

Picture related to the title of the story
This is me playing on my Yamaha piano keyboard "Lord of all Hopefulness, Lord of all Joy", one of my favourite hymns which I learnt from my high school hymnal. More on that hymn in the story below.

For the last five years or so when I have been asked by my friends how I am doing, I have said that I have been hivi hivi. By hivi hivi, I have meant that my life has been a roller-coaster: active and creative on some days while inactive and dull in others. I have borrowed those two Swahili words (hivi hivi) from the late Mr. Joseph Gikubu, one of the founders of Starehe Boys' Centre where I had my high school education. Mr. Gikubu often used those two Swahili words in his speeches though I am not quite sure what he meant in his case.

And for sure, my life has been hivi hivi for the past five years. Actually, for the past ten years. I am saying so because when I was at the university in JKUAT in 2008, I would set a resolution to rise early, get myself psyched up for it with a positive mental attitude and tell myself I could do it. But after a few days of early-rising, I would fizzle out and lapse back to indolence-mode by sleeping for as long as my body wished or as circumstances demanded of me. And, believe it or not, I had gotten stuck in that cycle for close to ten years.

Last October, I resolved I had to change, nipende nisipende[1]. Surely, there was no way I was going to continue wasting this precious life of mine living in defeat. So I decided to claim victory over myself one step at a time. Don't they say a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step?

First, I told myself no matter what time I woke up, I had to make my bed, say the Lord's Prayer, clean my room, take a shower and jog to Kiserian Town which is about two kilometres from my home. It didn't matter whether I woke up at 6.20am or 2.15pm; what mattered was doing all those tasks in that order.

I kept that resolution for several weeks including on one Sunday when I didn't note what time I woke up. It just caught me by surprise that I was about to jog to Kiserian Town at around 5.00pm.

After successfully keeping up with that resolution for more than a month, I decided to up my game. This time round, I told myself I had to get up at 5.30am with the help of my phone alarm, make my bed, say the Lord's Prayer, clean my room, take a shower and read. And do you know which tune I set for the alarm sound? The Kenya national anthem whose second verse begins like this, "Let one and all arise..."

But I told myself I was free to either jog to Kiserian Town or go back to bed depending on how I felt emotionally. The important task was just to rise at 5.30am and stay awake till after 7.00am.

You know what? I again successfully kept that resolution for more than a month probably because I wasn't hard on myself. What was encouraging to note was that the days I jogged to Kiserian Town were more than the days I chose to go back to bed after 7.00am. As a result, I lost the excess weight that used to make me sick with shame.

Then as 2018 began about two months ago, I set an even higher goal of waking up a bit earlier at 5.00am. And in the last three weeks, I have told myself I have to jog to Kiserian Town after breakfast no matter how I feel emotionally. For as a fantastic book titled Glencoe Health: A Guide to Wellness put its, physical exercises reduce fatigue and increase energy as well as improve mood and outlook. I have successfully kept those two resolutions so far. That's why I was gratefully glad to let you know I am now taking control of my life.

My new challenge, or rather goal, is to make each day count. I desire to be spending my days productively and enjoyably as I sang in one of the songs in the videos' section of this blog. (You can listen to it if you wish by clicking on the "video" link in the menu at the top of this blog.) So far, I have identified reading, writing and playing the piano as my preferred ways of spending my days.

Like I desire to be regularly posting an enlightening, entertaining and inspiring story on this lovely blog of mine. And do you know why I have mentioned reading as one of my other preferred way of spending my days? Because, as all great authors can testify, to be a skilful writer you have to be an avid reader as well.

I am asking God to connect me to at least one destiny-builder who will believe in what I will be writing so much that he will hook me up to the executives of a global firm who will want to advertise their products or services on this blog. And once I start earning, I will include travelling, public-speaking, movie-watching and song-production as my other preferred ways of spending my days.

But as of movie-watching, I will limit myself to one fascinating movie per week, preferably on a Sunday afternoon. I am looking forward to watching westerns, cartoons, comedies, musicals, travelogues, documentaries, war films and Biblical epics like Samson & Delilah. Given the handsome and confident young man I am growing up to be as I take control of my life, I especially think I need to watch Samson & Delilah just as a reminder of how women can ruin a man.

Yes, I desire to make each day of my life count by spending it productively and enjoyably. After all, the full use of today is the best preparation for tomorrow. And being the prayerful young man that I am, I have again asked God for help in achieving that endeavour, this time by playing for Him on the piano that wonderful old hymn Lord of all Hopefulness, Lord of all Joy (see photo above).

That hymn is made up of four verses. The first verse is of asking God for bliss in my heart as I get out of bed in the morning; the second, of strength in my heart to carry out my activities during the day; the third, of love in my heart in the evening as I meditate; and the last, of peace in my heart as I retire to bed at the end of the day.

Having known how it feels to wake up in the morning filled with bitterness over what has been done to me in past, of how demoralizing it is to be bored silly during the day and why it is important to have a good night's sleep as a preparation for a better tomorrow, I have felt every word of that hymn in my heart as I played it to God on my piano keyboard here in my parents' home. I beseech you to also pray for those four virtues - bliss, strength, love and peace - as you go about your daily life.

By the way, as I resolve to be posting new stories regularly, let me apprise you, my dear reader, that I am currently sorting out issues in my life. So I am uncertain when I will post my next story. Please be patient with me if you happen not to see any new story here in the next several days. And if the friends you have introduced to this blog ask you why I am not posting new stories, tell them I am on a sabbatical in Mongolia!

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[1] nipende nisipende is a popular Swahili phrase here in Kenya which means "whether I like it or not".

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Thriving

Picture related to the title of the story
With permission, I have extracted this photo with permission from a website called Mashable. All rights reserved worldwide.

Just as I was praying for guidance on how to begin this story of mine, a new perspective popped into my mind which forced me to interrupt my prayers and note that perspective down on my exercise book. The perspective was a revelation that I have repeatedly prayed for financial breakthroughs so that I can afford a decent car yet I haven't thought of what I will give in return for getting that blessing. That was an insightful new way of thinking. So let me think about it some more.

Let me first say I am not interested in those get-rich-quick schemes that I have come across in my Facebook and LinkedIn social media accounts. Neither am I excited about participating in those popular local promotions like "Shinda MaMilli na Safaricom". For as the book of Proverbs counsels, whoever is eager to get rich quickly will not go unpunished. So I want to get rich from the labour of my mind, heart and hands because, like Abe Lincoln, I now believe a dollar earned is better than a dollar found.

Because I want to prosper from the work of my hands, I have resolved to work harder in posting interesting stories and videos on this lovely blog of mine. I will strive to be writing a story on a regular basis, unlike before when I would pen great stories in a series of several few days after which I would lapse into like nine-days indolence-mode during which I would write nothing. Yes, nothing at all. My prayer is that once I start writing regularly, as I have promised to be doing, my labour will win the respect of the executives of such global firms as Microsoft and Colgate-Palmolive who will request to advertise their companies' products on this blog.

Now that I have promised to be writing regularly, God willing, I have decided to up my game by playing with four rules I have set. Let me mention them to you.

First, I will refrain from talking ill of anyone. Believe you me, there have been times I have been tempted to vent my spleen in the stories I post here by criticizing some people who have mocked or mistreated me in the past. Not any more. To borrow the words of Benjamin Franklin, I will from now speak ill of no one and talk all the good I know of everybody. So if you've been at loggerheads with me in the past, don't worry - I won't say it here.

Secondly, I will strive to make my stories reasonably long. My younger brother Symo, a fan of this blog, once complained to me that my stories are too short - something a reviewer of this blog mentioned when I applied for Google ads some time in 2016. That's why I have resolved to write longer stories while keeping them fresh and engaging.

Thirdly, I will now be more original. Back in 2016 when I became interested in copyright laws, I happened to read the fourth page of my NIV Bible where the publisher's name and other nitty-gritty details are listed. From that page, I learnt that anyone is free to quote any verse from the NIV Bible without permission from the publisher provided the quoted verses don't constitute more than 25% of the written work.

And from that notice in my Bible, I have decided that at least 75% of the contents in the stories I will write must be my own words. That means if I will have to quote any book (in which case I will always link my audience to the Amazon page from where they can purchase the book), I will not let the quoted text account for more than 25% of my story.

Lastly, as pertains to my new set of writing rules, I will strive to add humour to my stories. I have always been interested in developing a sense of humour ever since I first applied to top American colleges in 2006. The colleges, I noted, were not only interested in academic excellence and extra-curricular involvement but also in such qualities as maturity, integrity, creativity, self-confidence, sense of humour, warmth of personality, concern for others and reaction to setbacks. I will therefore be employing humor in my stories.

In a nutshell, I will thrive as a blogger by regularly posting on this blog original stories full of humor. And hopefully by doing so, I hope to earn money from the adverts on this blog and thus afford a car as I have been repeatedly praying about. So help me God.

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Bible Quote

"Always be full of joy in the Lord; I say it again, rejoice! Let everyone see that you are unselfish and considerate in all you do... Don't worry about anything; instead pray about everything; tell God your needs and don't forget to thank Him for His answers. If you do this, you will experience God's peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand."

~Phillipians 4:4-7 (TLB)

About the Author

Name: Thuita J. Maina
Nationality: Kenyan
Lives in: Kiserian, Rift Valley, Kenya
Mission: To inspire the world to godly living, one person at a time.

Just For Laughs

There was this drunkard named Azoge who loved drinking at Josiah's Bar. On being told a certain Hon. Nanga was flying to America to be conferred a law degree so that he could be admitted to the bar, Azoge replied, "Why fly all the way to America to be admitted to the bar while you can get into Josiah's Bar any time?"



The 7 Deadly Sins

  1. Pride
  2. Envy
  3. Gluttony
  4. Lust
  5. Anger
  6. Greed
  7. Sloth

Author's Note

I am learning to treat life as a journey, not a destination. So I am trying to enjoy each day as I anticipate to fulfill my dreams especially meeting my soulmate and traveling abroad. Tomorrow may never be mine.

Fun Facts

  1. The fear of having no cell-phone service, running out of battery, or losing sight of your phone is called Nomophobia, reportedly affecting 66% of people.
  2. A single Google search needs more computing power than it took to send Apollo 11 to the moon. The Apollo computer was less equipped than a modern toaster.
  3. Besides being some of the biggest names in the tech industry, HP, Apple, Google and Microsoft share another commonality. They all started in garages.
~Extracted from Codingforums.com

Health Tip

So many of us take for granted the wonderful construction of the human body and the workings of its various parts. Some of us even expect it to function efficiently with less than the minimum care and attention. Learn the much you can about your body and how the care of it can help to give you that greatest blessing of all - good health.


Wonders of the Modern World

  1. The Simplon Tunnel
  2. The Sky-scrapers of New York
  3. The Boulder Dam of Colorado
  4. The Panama Canal
  5. The Golden Gate Bridge
  6. The Taj Mahal at Agra in India
  7. The North Sea Oil Drilling Rigs

Great Example for Politicians

"My life in politics was a joy. I loved campaigns and I loved governing. I always tried to keep things moving in the right direction, to give more people a chance to live their dreams, to lift people's spirits, and to bring them together. That's the way I kept score."

~Bill Clinton

Scientific Marvels

  1. Space travel
  2. Heart surgery
  3. Fibre-optics communication
  4. Concorde
  5. Computers & Radios
  6. Anesthetics
  7. The atom bomb

My Supreme Desire

Although I'd like to be rich and famous, my supreme desire is to be radiant: to radiate health, cheerfulness, calm courage and goodwill. I wish to live without hate, guilt, worry, jealousy, cynicism and envy. I wish to be honest, natural, confident, clean in mind and body - ready to say "I do not know" if it be so and to treat all men with kindness - to meet any loss, failure, criticism and rejection unabashed and unafraid.



Greatest American Presidents

  1. Abraham Lincoln
  2. George Washington
  3. Thomas Jefferson
  4. Franklin Roosevelt
  5. Theodore Roosevelt
  6. Woodrow Wilson
  7. Andrew Jackson

Making Peace With the Past

"Dwell not on your past. Use it to illustrate a point, then leave it behind. Nothing really matters except what you do now in this instant of time. From this moment onwards you can be an entirely different person, filled with love and understanding, ready with an outstretched hand, uplifted and positive in every thought and deed."

~Eileen Caddy

Toughest Colleges to Get Into

  1. MIT
  2. Princeton
  3. Harvard
  4. Yale
  5. Stanford
  6. Brown
  7. Columbia

Why You Should Trust God

"Men and women who turn their lives over to God will find out that He can make a lot more out of their lives than they can. He will deepen their joys, expand their vision, quicken their minds, strengthen their muscles, lift their spirits, multiply their blessings, increase their opportunities and pour out peace."

~Ezra Taft Benson

The 7 Greatest Scientists

  1. Albert Einstein
  2. Isaac Newton
  3. Galileo Galilei
  4. Nikola Tesla
  5. Aristotle
  6. Archimedes
  7. Charles Darwin

You Matter

"Always be yourself. Never try to hide who you are. The only shame is to have shame. Always stand up for what you believe in. Always question what other people tell you. Never regret the past; it's a waste of time. There's a reason for everything. Every mistake, every moment of weakness, every terrible thing that has happened to you, grow from it. The only way you can ever get the respect of others is when you show them that you respect yourself and most importantly, do your thing and never apologize for being you."

~Unknown

The Most Industrialized Nations

  1. The United States
  2. Japan
  3. Germany
  4. France
  5. United Kingdom
  6. Italy
  7. Canada

Keys to Success

"...in his effort to withstand temptation, to economize, to exercise thrift, to disregard the superficial for the real - the shadow for the substance; to be great yet small, in his effort to be patient in the laying of a firm foundation; to so grow in skill and knowledge that he shall place his services in demand by reason of his intrinsic and superior worth. This is the key that unlocks every door of opportunity, and all others fail."

~Booker T. Washington

The 7 Social Sins

  1. Politics without principle
  2. Wealth without work
  3. Pleasure without conscience
  4. Knowledge without character
  5. Commerce without morality
  6. Worship without sacrifice
  7. Science without humanity

Cherish What You Love

"Cherish your visions, cherish your ideals, cherish the music that stirs in your heart, the beauty that forms in your mind, the loveliness that drapes your purest thoughts - for out of them will grow all heavenly environment, of these if you but remain true to them, your world will at last be built."~James Allen

The World's Largest Cities

  1. London in England
  2. New York in the United States
  3. Tokyo in Japan
  4. Berlin in Germany
  5. Chicago in the United States
  6. Shanghai in China
  7. Paris in France

Benefits of Optimism

"In terms of success, optimistic people out perform their pessimistic colleagues. Research shows that they are consistently promoted higher and make more money while working fewer hours than those who think pessimistically. Optimists also contribute more significantly to social progress. It is the optimists who start and run successful companies, who win elections and carry out reforms, and who make breakthroughs in the realms of science and technology."

~Pepe Minambo

The World's Greatest Lakes

  1. Caspian Sea in the Commonwealth of Independent States, C.I.S. (formerly U.S.S.R)
  2. Lake Superior in North America
  3. Victoria Nyanza in Central Africa
  4. Aral Sea in C.I.S.
  5. Lake Huron in North America
  6. Lake Michigan in North America

Demonstrating His Love

"Take your communication for instance - the way you address others. It ought to be with loving, gracious and edifying words. Never talk people down. Never use words that hurt and demean people. Communicate excellently with others without destroying their self-image or making them feel sorry for themselves. Talk to people in a way that they never forget the excellence of your words, the love and grace of Christ that you communicated. It's how God wants us to love."

~Dr. Chris Oyakhilome

World's Longest Rivers

  1. Missouri-Mississipi (U.S.)
  2. Amazon (Brazil)
  3. Nile (Egypt)
  4. Yangtse (China)
  5. Lena (Russia)
  6. Zaire (Central Africa)
  7. Niger (West Africa)