The Word of God
A True Story
on Apr 10, 2021
Do you enjoy eating as much as I do? Yes, I enjoy eating. Just thinking about what I will have for the next meal fills me with the same delight a soccer player feels when he scores an equalizer. I consider the desire to eat to be one of the best emotions that God bestowed on us. And no blessing is greater than having an appetite for food.
My favorite meal for breakfast is tea or porridge together with slices of bread lined with honey. For lunch and supper, my favorites are ugali taken together with cooked spinach or chapatis with lentils stew. I also take pleasure in feasting on omelettes and fruits such as avocados, bananas, mangoes and pineapples. And I find pineapples so sweet that I have come to view them as cakes prepared and baked by nature.
As I partake my meals, I strive to savor every morsel of food that I take into my mouth. And because I fear putting on weight these days, I always eat in moderation and follow up my eating with physical exercises so as to burn any excess fat that might be accumulating in my fearfully and wonderfully made body.
I have come to realize that my mother, who I am currently staying with here at home, also enjoys eating like I do. But unlike me, she eats like a horse - something that worries me because she hardly ever exercises due to a stroke that paralyzed the left side of her body. So much does Mum enjoy eating that she often asks me what we are having for the next meal.
Like the other day when she woke up in the morning, she inquired from me what we would have for lunch. On answering her, she proceeded to ask me what we would eat for supper. After replying to her second inquiry, I immediately remembered what Jesus told the Devil as He was being tempted in the desert: that man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.
I have taken to heart those words of Jesus to an extent of developing a passion for reading and meditating on the Word of God as it is presented to us in the Holy Bible. Believe you me, I take as much delight in studying God's Word as I do in eating chapatis with lentils stew. Sometimes when I am traveling, I carry a Bible with me for reading during any idle moments that might arise.
There was a time in 2018 when I entered into a bookshop in Nairobi to buy a book. I went through all the shelves in the bookshop trying to assess which book I should purchase. In the end, I settled on buying a Bible which turned out to be of the same version as the one I had at home. That I chose to purchase a Bible, and not a novel or a self-help book, shows how passionate I am about reading God's Word.
Of all the books in the Bible, my favorites are the books of Psalms, Proverbs, Sirach and Matthew. (The book of Sirach is found only in the Catholic Bible; it's really inspiring.) I also have a strong affinity for the epistles of St. Paul.
From the Bible, I have learnt to have faith in God; to pray without ceasing; to practise kindness and gratitude; to cast my cares to God for He cares about me; to avoid worrying; to always speak the truth because God hates lies; to honor my parents so that all may go well with me; to refrain from anger; to say 'no' without feeling mean or selfish; to encourage other people instead of putting them down; to value knowledge, wisdom and understanding; and to not steal other people's property.
Perhaps most importantly, I have learnt from the Bible to be a man of good courage. Because the Bible talks of courage 365 times, it has a message of courage for each day of the year. And I find that message helpful since courage is one of the most important virtues. Without courage, it is impossible to practise other virtues with consistency. We can't, for instance, tell the truth without courage; I have discovered most people tell lies because they lack the courage to speak the truth.
There is a lot more to be gleaned from the Bible, especially if we read from a variety of versions. After much of what I have learnt from the Bible which I find pertinent to what we go through in life, I now agree with Norman Vincent Peale that the Bible is not something piously stuffy and boring, but a scientific procedure for successful living. So I have resolved to keep on delighting in studying God's Word as I do in eating.
RECOMMENDATION: If you've enjoyed this story on the Word of God, you might also enjoy another one I wrote a few years ago on "Part 2: Lessons From The Bible". Just click on that link in blue to dive straight into the story.
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Demolition in my Neighborhood
A True Story
on Apr 5, 2021
My family relocated to my home area of Kiserian in 1986, about a year or two before I was born. They built a wooden house on a piece of land in the area, a wooden house which resembled the log cabin that Abraham Lincoln grew up in. And that wooden house was my home for many years before my senior brothers built a new brick mansion in 2015.
I have vivid memories of how our home area looked like in the early '90s when I was growing up. The land to the east of our home was covered with wild Savannah grasslands. Sometimes when going to Kiserian Town, I would criss-cross those grasslands instead of following the main road so that I could reach my destination in less time.
One evening in 1994, the wild Savannah grasslands caught fire. I never got to know what started the fire since I was just a small boy back then. All I remember was my neighbors being called to assist in putting out the fire. They succeeded in extinguishing it before the fire escalated into a damaging conflagration.
Then the road leading to our home (which was later christened Church Road) had sisal bushes growing along its sides back in the early '90s. Gangsters would sometimes hide in those sisal bushes, waiting to pounce on anyone passing by. Like one early night in 1993, some gangsters emerged from those sisal bushes and attacked my father while he was heading home. The gangsters broke my father's left arm as he tried to defend himself from them.
As the '90s rolled on, the owner of the land to the east of our home sold it. And the people who bought the land have built stately houses which they have fenced with neat kei-apple plants. Among those who built stately homes in my neighborhood is Mr. Titus Naikuni, the former CEO of Kenya Airways. Thanks to those developments, our home area now resembles one of those leafy suburbs for the rich.
Perhaps not wanting to be left behind by the developments in my home area, an Anglican church in my neighborhood called Good Samaritan Church has built a big church (see photo above). One-storey and spacious, the church must be the biggest of its kind in my county. I once overheard my younger brother Symo tell Dad that the construction of the church has raised the value of land in our home area.
As for me, I came to think that the construction of the Good Samaritan Church was a bad idea because the road leading to it (Church Road) is only wide enough for one car to pass through. Motorists driving on the road have to stop and park on the side when they spot another car approaching in the opposite direction. The situation gets worse on Sundays when Good Samaritan Church attenders are leaving a morning service while others are arriving for the next service.
About three months ago, I came across a notice glued on one of my neighbor's gates. The notice said that surveyors would survey our home area to find out which home-owners had encroached on Church Road. That got me worried as I feared our home would be affected and we would thus be forced to pull down our fence that my Dad struggled to make secure with kei-apple plants in the '90s.
A week or two later when I heard from Dad that our home wasn't among those that had encroached on Church Road, I breathed a sigh of relief and thanked God for sparing us the agony of tearing down our fence. I truly was thankful.
It has turned out that the home-owners who encroached on Church Road are the folks who bought the land to the east of our home, the land that had wild Savannah grasslands in the early '90s. The home-owners are now pulling down the fences and felling down the trees they had planted along Church Road. They are also demolishing houses next to the road and erecting new fences. And goodness knows how long it will take for kei-apple plants and trees to grow along their new fences if they decide to plant them.
The worst affected homeowner is Mr. Titus Naikuni who has done a lot of demolition and felling down of trees. There is also another affluent neighbor who is being forced to demolish a 3-storey structure that he built next to Church Road. The structure, which doubles as a servants' quarters and water tanks holder, began to be demolished yesterday.
Stressful though the demolitions must be for the home-owners, the Good Samaritan Church attenders will be the biggest beneficiaries once Church Road is expanded as there will be no more traffic gridlock on Sundays. And if it is the Good Samaritan Church that complained to authorities about Church Road being too narrow to accommodate two cars, then our good and loving God heard its prayers. Adieu!
RECOMMENDATION: If you've enjoyed this story on demolition in my neighborhood, you might also enjoy another one I wrote more than two years ago on "Bidding a Friend Farewell". Just click on that link in blue to dive straight into the story.