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


Emulating the Great Music Composers

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With permission, I have extracted this picture-quote from the Twitter wall of Tim Fargo. All rights reserved worldwide.

When we were growing up in the '90s, my siblings and I used to visit a priest called Fr. Charles Nyamiti at his magnificent residence in Nairobi. During those visits, Fr. Nyamiti had us listen to classical music by such great composers as Bach, Handel and Beethoven. Thanks to Fr. Nyamiti, I developed an appreciation of classical music at a young age.

Then in 2002 when I proceeded to Starehe Boys' Centre for my high school education, I had an opportunity to pursue music as a subject. During music classes at Starehe, I learnt about the lives of great classical composers and the periods in which they lived. I also had opportunities to listen to live performances of the Nairobi Orchestra.

Of all the great classical music composers whose music I listened to during my days at Starehe, the one I came to like most was Handel. I found his music very tuneful and pleasing to the ear. In November 2005 as my high school years were coming to an end, I'd coax a music teacher named Matthew Brooks to let me listen to Handel. And wow! I'd become so animated after listening to Handel.

Later on in the 2000s after I had acquired a working knowledge of classical music, I recall Fr. Nyamiti telling us that Bach was the greatest classical music composer that ever lived. That surprised me because I had thought Beethoven was the greatest among the greats.

I still love classical music. And Handel remains my favorite. Over the past few years, I have downloaded into my laptop a collection of classical music which I listen to when I come from my one-hour walks in the evening.

Sometimes when I reflect on my fledgling career as a music composer, I wonder how the likes of Bach, Handel and Beethoven managed to compose hundreds of music pieces long before electronic sound-recording devices were invented. Imagine there have been times I have come up with a tuneful melody in my mind, only to forget it later - and there were Bach, Handel and Beethoven coming up with hundreds of music pieces that still inspire people to this day. Weren't they brilliant?

I once mentioned to Imbugi Luvai, an organist at All Saints' Cathedral in Nairobi, about how brilliant the likes of Bach, Handel and Beethoven were. Imbugi agreed they were brilliant and then he opined that if they were alive today, they would be working for NASA, the American space agency. Like me, Imbugi seemed to think that composing classical music is as difficult as rocket science.

Recently, I have been reflecting on the lives of great classical music composers. And from my reflections, I have been able to distil the following traits that contributed to their rise to greatness:
  1. Faith in God: Bach was an intensely religious man. He used to finish his compositions by signing them with the initials S.D.G., representing the Latin sola Deo Gloria ("to God alone be glory"). I am sure his abiding faith in God worked miracles in his music career.
  2. Passion for music: All the great classical music composers were passionate about music. Beethoven continued composing symphonies even after he turned completely deaf at the age of 44.
  3. Practice: Someone once told me that the great classical music composers could practise a music instrument for seven hours at a stretch. Little wonder that they became budding composers.
  4. A thorough knowledge of the Bible: The likes of Handel not only understood the rudiments of music theory, they also had an in-depth knowledge of the Scriptures.
As an aspiring hymn composer, I will strive to emulate the traits of those great classical music composers. I will practise my craft diligently and study the Bible ardently. And I will believe in God as firmly as Bach did. By so doing, I believe that I will also join the list of world's greatest musicians. Ciao!

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RECOMMENDATION: If you've enjoyed this story on emulating great music composers, you might also enjoy another one I wrote a few years ago on "An Inspiring Correspondence ". Just click on that link in blue to dive straight into the story.

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A Mother to be Honored

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This is my beloved mother when she had the strength to walk on her two feet. She is now a pale shadow of her former self. More about her in the story below.

"Don't despise your mother when she is old." That verse from the book of Proverbs often comes ringing in my mind when my mother gets on my nerves. And it helps me tolerate her constant nagging that I help her out in something she is unable to do. You see, Mum suffered a stroke more than eight years ago. Since then, she has never fully regained some of her abilities.

It is that inability to do things for herself that forces Mum to call me to do for her such tasks as serving food and operating her smartphone. With all my siblings having left the nest, I have assumed the role of being her caretaker, a job I sometimes loathe having, especially when I am busy doing something in my room.

I will never forget the evening in 2018 when Mum asked me to escort her as she went on a tour to our farm. Everything went smoothly as she inspected the farm that evening. But then while we were going back to the house, she lost her balance as she attempted to cross a wooden bar on the fence. And wa! I was taken aback to see how easily her ankle bones crumpled as she fell on the ground. She had such brittle bones.

After that fall, Mum was unable to walk again that evening. I had to call our farmhand to assist me carry her back to the house. And once she was in the house, lying flat on a sofa, she complained of feeling too much pain on her broken ankle. I phoned Dad, requesting him to buy pain-killers for her. Needless to say, we took her to hospital the following day.

Although Mum's ankle did eventually heal, her health didn't improve. She would at times have severe mood swings and then complain of feeling hot. As a result of that rise in her body temperature, she would ask me to open the door and windows for her so as to let in a gust of fresh air.

Mum's hot flushes didn't concern me. It is her mood swings that bothered me. Believe me, she would at times erupt in anger like a volcano. In her anger, she would throw things around the house. She broke a few china cups during some of those violent episodes of hers, a behavior that made me dislike her. And being the prayerful Christian that I am, I would ask God in prayer to take away Mum's anger and calm her troubled breast.

Sometime last year, I began to view Mum in a positive light when I learnt from an article in a newspaper that the brittle bones, hot flushes and mood swings I had observed in Mum are characteristic of women when they reach menopause. The article made me realize that Mum's mood swings were as a result of the chemical changes taking place in her body.

Interestingly, after I began to understand the cause of Mum's behavior, her mood swings lessened. For the past six months or so, she has grown more calm, peaceful and supportive. And one trait I have come to admire in her is generosity. She can be overly generous with her money. Whenever she hears one of her friends has lost a loved one, she asks me to send them the money in her M-Pesa account.

But Mum can also be selfish, as all of us sometimes are. Recently, she instructed me to tell our farmhand that there is no soap in the house when he asks me for one. Mum thinks the farmhand should be buying his own bar of soap with the salary he receives, as all other farmhands before him had been doing.

As a Christian, I have come to abhor lying. So when Mum instructed me to tell our farmhand there is no soap in the house, I was torn between telling the farmhand the truth, thus disappointing Mum or obeying Mum's instructions, thus disappointing the farmhand. In the end, I chose to disappoint the farmhand because I value my mother so much.

Yes, I value my mother so much that I carry a picture of her in my wallet. Sometimes when I peer through the window and see her luxuriating in the sun, I feel an immense sense of gratitude that she is still with us. And then I remember the following poem by Frank McCourt:
Love her as in childhood,
Through feeble, old and gray.
For you'll never miss a mother's love,
Till she's buried beneath the clay.
My dear reader, I beseech you to also honor your mother if she's still alive. Show her the respect she deserves. And perhaps most important, make her proud of you by leading a life of integrity and excellence. That's all I am saying.

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RECOMMENDATION: If you've enjoyed the above story on a mother to be honored, you might also enjoy another one on "Appreciating Mothers" which I wrote some time back. Just click on that link in blue to dive straight into the story.

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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)