Kenya Switched On 2


16883718-flag-of-kenya-with-energy-saving-lamp-on-white-backgroundKenya is back.  The electioneering and campaigning are now behind us.  Kenya at 50 years, finally comes of age, as a new generation of leaders takes the reigns and steers us into the 21st century.  We prayed, cried, cheered on and all the while, God planned our path.  Our country crawls out of the failed state status, that some would love to put us in.

Kenya is back!  Our prayer is that we stay in God’s plan, under His care and holding His hand.  Kenya is back!  Father God, we thank you for your awesome goodness!  Watch out world – the Kenyans are coming! 14655985-silhouette-of-a-woman-praying-at-sunset

Passing On the Batton


5312114-a-young-woman-praying-with-her-hands-togetherComing to Christ and making a decision to commit to receiving and following Christ is a quick and often simple process.  The real journey in Christ begins soon after.  New believers find    themselves alone after a joyous celebration with other followers of Christ.  They are left to their own devices, alone and without guidance in many cases.  Children and teens are particularly vulnerable.  After months of expectancy, they find themselves facing unusual  challenge of running into the very things they know God would keep you from.  Ideally, we should  cover them in prayer, just as Paul did in 1 Thessalonians.

ID-100120412This is the toughest time to raise a child or a teen.  Have we given thought to how tough it is to be that child or teen, before Christ.  How much more after they accept Jesus into their hearts or become baptized?  I spent much of today watching and listening to various Christian messages and the challenge we face is real.  Sad but true.  We have no reason to panic, unless we do not believe in Jesus.

As a parent, God requires me to help raise our child according to Biblical principles.  We need our children to read the Word of God with us, within the family and with their friends. Knowing God’s Word allows them to understand and appreciate God’s plan  for their lives and will build their relationship with God.  We can support this by sending our children to Sunday School or Youth Services and small group Bible Studies in safe environments.

We need our children and teens to fellowship with others their own age, outside their Bible Studies with fun youth events, like an Alpha Class, which serves as an outreach to other non-believing youth.  Fun days, various new Christian classes, coupled with meals, swimming, races and games are a great way to set up fellowship. I have seen this work wonders in the lives of many young  people.  They need to make new friends and share their various experiences and gain new perspectives, in a  safe environment.14655985-silhouette-of-a-woman-praying-at-sunset

As parents, family members and Church workers, we should encourage their faith at every opportunity, sharing our own testimonies and allowing their significance to shine through.  We should encourage them to share with others, with friends and family.  We can train them by giving them a chance to watch us share our testimonies.  It is absolutely precious watching children pray, share their testimonies and encourage one another.  It is wonderful to see them do the same with adults!

Young people also need to know that they walk in the power and watchful protection of the Holy Spirit. Understanding that God has imbued us with His power, protection and authority as told to us in Acts 1:8 “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” (ESV Bible).  Our young people and all new believers need to learn that they cannot walk alone; that they can stay in Christ with the help of the Holy Spirit.  The presence of the Holy Spirit in their lives brings God’s transformation to prepare, restore and launch them into His perfect Will.  So help me mind new believers and walk with them to the finish line, as God leads!

Favourite Friday


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Who am I that you, my Lord and King would die for me?  Thank you Lord for loving me, completely and with endless, unwavering joy.  Thank you Jesus!  This is my favourite Friday of the year – time to revisit Christ’s awesome free gift of salvation, relationship and a fresh start in Him. It is also a chance to celebrate Him as best I can.  A time to share with those I love and an opportunity to share about His offer of salvation to all.

Will you make the choice to taste and see?

Happy Easter!

Psalm 100

His Steadfast Love Endures Forever

A Psalm for giving thanks.

1 Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth!

serve the Lord with gladness!

come into his presence with singing!

Know that the Lord, he is God!

 

It is he who made us, and we are his;

 

we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

 

4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving,

and his courts with praise!

Give thanks to him; bless his name!

5 For the Lord is good;

his steadfast love endures forever,

and his faithfulness to all generations.

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No Fear Friday Everyday


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Fear creeps up on you.  Before long, it has captured and cornered you in your own mind.  It crushes, overpowers and controls.  If left alone, fear can stifles and cripples. There is definitely hope!

Jesus said, “It is finished!” 

I believe Him and so should you!

Isaiah 41:10 ESV

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

The Open Door


Waiting.  Shifting.  Repositioning.  All without any knowledge of what comes next.  Anxious.  Irritable.  Standing alone in silence.ID-100129031

No seats. Not a single chair.  No tea or coffee.  No water.  No newspapers or magazines.  Just a long hallway.  One door on this end and another one at the other.  The door I walked through seems to melt into the wall.  Irrelevant, since I do not wish to go back.  Waiting.  Listening met with a solitary silence.  No movement.  No wind but plenty of fresh air.  Hold my breath and listen, then ease my mind into the tranquility of the moment.  Peace at last.  Focus on God and pray.  A calming and pleasant air takes over me, as I subside into God’s flow.

A long drawn breathe of increasingly fresh air stills me further.  A sense of joy rises.  Fear ebbs away, drifting away like a fading shadow.  The door seems to morph into three!  Free will is within my grasp.14709982-three-open-doors-in-gray-room A trick of the mind or the eyes?  Who can say?  Mind recedes back into prayer, asking, seeking and the answer comes – beware of what shines too bright!

My mind’s eye registers the disappearance of the other two doors and the narrowing of the corridor to its original width, height and depth.  Colours appear, transforming the classic white scene into a splash of colour – bursting with life!14095434-3d-render-of-red-door-in-green-wallI sense something is not right and strain to hear whether I should go.  Silence. Then an assurance there is no future through this door.  Think again my heart tells me.

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Single-minded I relax and let go.  Waiting always pays off, so I wait some more.  Calm, assured and peaceful.  A garden gate instead of a door, leads me to a Garden.  Could this be the famous Father’s Vineyard I sought and dreamed of.  The day is finally here and the time to set off  to do His work now!  Delighted to find the perfect place in His will.  Working in His Vineyard is well worth the wait!

The Ultimate Gift


12040960-a-crown-of-thorns-and-a-crossEaster conjures up sad memories of Christ’s suffering, betrayal, shoddy trial and crucifixion.  Early memories of Jesus’ suffering led to me wonder why anyone would celebrate Easter.  Fears now quashed, as God gave me understanding.

That the Messiah would choose death, as He chose to defend all those who confess their belief in Him?  Simply awesome.  That our sin would play a part in His death?  Our guilt.  The Messiah is celebrated today, over and over again.

Today we relive the memory of His grand entry into Jerusalem, on Palm Sunday.  Showering Him with praise and lavishing His presence with every honourable act we imagine.  A grand display and a worthy show of praise.  Within days, the same crowd falls silent and a swift trial of the Son of God leads Him to the Cross.  Flogged, shamed, chained and forced to carry His own Cross, Jesus is led to Golgotha, the place of the Skull.   The Ultimate Sacrifice.

Jesus’ sacrifice shocks, shatters and shames the world.  The very depths of Hades is shaken and changed by His glory.  The earth above thunders under the weight of an earthquake.  The veil in the Temple torn in two.  The Priests fall over in the presence of His Holiness.  Every earthly order changed for all eternity.

Sin still knocks us off the beaten track.  Our belief, trust and faith revived by God’s Holy Spirit.  We have hope and a reason to belief and share this knowledge and the security of this free gift.  This gift paid in full by the blood of Christ.  We celebrate Easter is a great reason for our choice to believe in Christ; a celebration of His ultimate sacrifice.  Easter for us is the Ultimate Gift!

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romance in our coffee!


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Welcome to coffee country! Kenya coffee has recently gained international fame and acclaim as the best single blend for four years running.  Quite an achievement considering the introduction of coffee to Kenya in 1893.  The history of coffee is dark and deep, with many memories of the crop as the preserve of the colonial settlers until the 1940s.

Africans were not permitted to grow coffee and could only consume the lowest grade, the infamous ‘burnt’ taste of the ‘mbuni’ grade.  This grade is produced from the late harvest berries, which are too defective and would ordinarily be picked and discarded.  On a positive note, at least nothing went to waste.

old coffee kettleThen came Karen Blixen the striking and ambitious Danish woman, who settled in Kenya, on the outskirts of Nairobi, close the to Ngong Hills.  She bought a farm, in the hope of growing coffee in 1913.  She and her new husband settled at their Mbagathi Farm and later added the Mbogani Farm.  As soon as the First World War broke out, their borrowing and coffee sales immediately went into risk.  Mounting debt, a series of misfortunes brought mounting debt.  The peak cam with the depression in the 1930 and by 1931, their farms auctioned off.  She left after divorcing her husband Baron Bror Blixen-Finecke and a tragic love-affair with Denys Finch Hatton in 1931, two months after the latter’s death.  She eventually wrote about her experiences in Kenya, coffee and life, in Out of Africa.  Her strong, artistic and almost nutty character dominated the movie of the same name.

The Arabs brought us coffee from Yemen and Ethiopia hundreds of years earlier.  Sadly, the consumption of coffee remained within the Swahili nations for centuries.  When we lived at the coast, I remember the streets lined with coffee vendors, in their white kaftans, short caps, sandals and donning Arabic coffee jugs, complete with cups on the streets of Mombasa.  I once asked my father if we could taste some and he declined – the coffee served unsuitable for children, due to the strong brew and bitter taste.  When I eventually did taste it, only a few years ago, I understood Dad’s reasons perfectly.  I then joked with a colleague, later that day, that I would only fall asleep after another 48-hours!

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A super-sized Swahili brass coffee pot in Mombasa

The thing with coffee is that it is Africa’s other black gold, especially with the prices our brand fetched over the last few years.  Sadly, the wealth does not trickle down as well as it does with tea.  One of the reasons is that we have left other nations to stock-pile the world’s green bean stocks, which largely determines future prices on international stock exchanges.    If only we can realize our own coffee exchange, this song would be that much merrier!  Our coffee farmers and industry are resilient.  Coffee is now known to prevent a variety of illnesses, from cancer, to stroke and even heart disease!  As with all treats, consume in moderation!

Coffee in Kenya is taking centre-stage as a leading beverage and is consumed on a larger scale more than it was ten years ago.  Kenya is once more rekindling its quirky love-affair with coffee.  Our famous AA Coffee serves up a delightful taste, every time.  Coffee may be responsible for bringing wild and wonderful people to our lovely country, but at least we can taste , and dream on the aroma of the romance they left in every sip!