Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Faith; taking daring steps based on our knowledge of God

From The Pastor's Heart
Faith is taking daring and risky moves simply based on our knowledge of God.
After spending time with a person, doing business with them and knowing who they are, we can make commitments that sometimes are daring and risky based on monies involved. Why do we do that? We say we know them very well and are sure they cannot disappoint.
In Daniel 3:16, we see three young men in a foreign land daring the King and their defense is simple, they had knowledge of what their God is able to do. They also acknowledged His sovereignty in choosing to do it or not. They knew Him. They knew He is able to save them from the fire, they knew He would deliver them from the kings hand but they also knew he was sovereign in His decision and could choose not romance them. That notwithstanding, they made a decision of faith based on their knowledge of God.
How much do you know your God? Your faith will never exceed your knowledge of God thus the saying by one author that faith is human response to God's self disclosure. If you want to take daring steps in your faith, invest in knowing God. If you listen to testimonies and you wonder if you can ever rise to that level of faith, invest in your knowledge of God.
How do you do this? Consistently study the word of God to understand and apply it, sit under the teaching and counsel of genuine and true ministers of the word of God, join and actively be in a genuine fellowship of believers whose aim is to seek God and find Him and spend quality time in prayer and meditation hearing and talking to God.
Jeremiah 9:24 allows us to boast but on one condition, that we have the understanding to know God.
Today, determine to make the sacrifice to dig deeper in your search for the knowledge of God and you will be able to take daring steps of faith.
Blessed day

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Key Pillars To Success

MENTORSHIP FORUM – RGC WAITHAKA - September 9, 2017
INTRODUCTION
Teenage years (13 -19) are foundational years. These are the years in which every individuals lays a foundation on which their entire life will be built on. If the foundation is weak, they have minimized possibilities of a great future since they may not be able to withstand the weight of their future success. Every big building you see is commensurate to the strength of its foundation.
It’s therefore needful that everyone at this age bracket considers how they live and the kind of life they lead. All actions or omissions of them will always have an impact on your life.
Leading texts
Ephesians 5:15-20 (KJV)
15 See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, 16 redeeming the time, because the days are evil. 17 Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.
Philippians 4:8 (KJV)
8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

The following areas are key for every person at this stage in life since they may determine your future and how far you go:
  1. Identify and pursue your purpose – Ephesians 2:10
  • Every human being was created by God with a specific purpose to accomplish on earth.
  • The discovery or identification of our purpose can only be done from God since He is the creator.
  • Failure to identify our purpose in life leads to frustration, lack of fulfillment and failure to perform since we will be doing what we were not created for.
  • In identifying our purpose, we first look up to God, then look within ourselves and finally look outside us in that order of priority.
  • In looking up to God:
  • Establish a relationship with Him through faith in Jesus Christ, this involves the acknowledgement of our sins and inability to cleanse ourselves from the same, believe in the ability of the death of Jesus Christ’s blood cleansing us from our sins, repentance of our sins and a commitment to lead holy lives before God. 
  • Upon establishment of the relationship with God, it becomes possible to communicate with God which involves talking to Him and hearing from Him in the various forms that He may choose to communicate to us.
  • Upon hearing God, we must be committed and in practical terms obey His guidance and direction as pertains to our purpose in life.
  • In looking within yourself, answers to the following questions will inform your purpose which are God given:
  • What gifts and talents have I identified so far in my life?
  • What things do I do and I get the most fulfillment in my life?
  • What things would I do and still feel satisfied even of nobody congratulated me or there was no pay for them?
  • What motivates me to do the things that I do?
  • What things do I do with a lot of ease even if others struggle to do them?
  • Are there people, situations or circumstances that keep coming on my way for resolution?
  • If all resources were available and I was given all ability, what one thing would I do?
  • In looking outside yourself, the following can help inform your purpose:
  • What position have other people designated me in society?
  • What gifts and talents do other people say I have?
  • What do other people say I do well?
  • Are there strengths that most people identify in me?
  • Benefits of identifying your call early:
  • Ease in identifying opportunities leading to its fulfillment
  • Fulfilling life 
  • Focused life
  • Avoid trial and error leading to frustrations and failures
  • Accomplishment of the purpose leading to a great reward from God

  1. Establish enriching relationships in your life - 1 Corinthians 15:33
  • In life, a very big part of our lives is made of the impact that others have on us. Any relationship you have will either add or deduct from your life. You must always be careful who you allow into your life.
  • The people you relate with shape and mold you determining whether you will make it through successfully or not.
  • The first thing you must do is come up with a clear checklist in your mind on whom you can give your ear to listen to, time to spend with and attention. You must be able to evaluate people based on their talk and walk and keep off those you must keep off and walk with those you should walk with. This checklist must be informed by your values and principles in life.
  • I must say that relationships are also a great source of hope, courage and determination as we fulfill our destiny. It is therefore important that you deliberately establish some very crucial relationships that will keep you moving.
  • The first one is getting a few very close friends whom you share similar values and other than encouraging each other on the journey, you can always hold each other accountable.
  • Do not walk alone, get a close friend whom you can allow into your life. My counsel is that this very close friend should be of the same sex with you. From there you now can have other friends at varying levels of closeness.
  • The second key relationship to establish is a mentorship relationship. At your age, you must identify older men and women who will walk with you in this journey.
  • A mentor must be one person who accepts you as you are, is confidential and believes in your dreams and ambitions, tells you the truth in love however hurting or encouraging and always seeks for your good, is available when you just want someone to whom you can pour your heavy heart and listens to you even when I don’t make sense.
  • He/she must be a great role model who has exceled in what he does and you desiring to be like or better than him or her establish a relationship through which he or she helps you achieve.
  • A third level of relationship is one where you identify people who can tap from you and you allow them to. This is one of the best ways to grow. They may be your peers or people you can mentor and help them grow.
  1. Have a Christian character - Proverbs 11:3
  • Character are those distinctive attributes or qualities of a person that distinguish them from the rest of the people making him or her unique. The way a person carries themselves, acts, speaks or even thinks could be defined as their character. 
  • Christian character is thus those attributes that are unique to an individual because they have through conviction that is brought about by faith established a relationship with God through Jesus Christ. They do not behave the way they behave because of a set of rules laid down for them but because of a relationship they enjoy. 
  • Christianity does not prevent us from doing certain things but it enables us do those things right. It does not prevent us from holding some jobs but it ensures we hold the right jobs, it does not prevent us from doing some businesses but it ensures we do the right businesses in the right way. It does not prevent us from marrying some people but it ensures we marry the right people and in the right way. It is a fulfilling and very beneficial relationship whose benefits cannot be perceived by the carnal man but can only be understood by those who have taken up a walk in the Spirit and headed the call to believe and thus be counted as the righteous ones of God.
  • Our dreams and ambitions must be godly and should pass the test of Christian character. All we do must be in line to the word of God.
  • Means through which we access opportunities must be free of any sinful acts and must be guided by integrity and holiness.
  • Our engagements with other people must be holy and above board. There are things we will not do, there are jokes we will not crack and there are places we will not go because we are Christians.
  • We must develop a value system based on God’s word that will guide us through life.
  1. Prudently manage your time - Ephesians 5:15
  • Time is a resource that cannot be increased or reduced. All of us have 24 hours in a day regardless of who you are. 
  • The second thing is that it is a resource once used cannot be recovered or recycled. It must therefore be utilized with utmost care. 
  • You are at a prime age in your life where you are shaping your destiny as you lay the foundation upon which it will rest. Make good use of this time. 
  • If an activity is not adding value to your life and you are not adding value to any one’s life by being involved in it, keep off. No matter how good it looks, it is not worthy your time. 
  • You must be careful how you spend every minute granted to you by God remembering that you shall account for the time. 
  • This requires self-discipline and a lot of restraint in many things. 
  • As you end every day, ask yourself whether you have added value or deducted in your life and journey to fulfilling your purpose. 
  • Remember God created you for a specific purpose which is your assignment, gave you time just enough to fulfill that assignment and will require an accountability on whether you fulfilled it.
  1. Make right choices

  • It is amazing the role that the choices we make play in shaping our lives and how they affect us very many years later. What causes us to make wrong choices?
  • Uninformed choices - When we make choices before gathering enough information regarding those choices, we end up making wrong ones. This is because lack of information hinders us from understanding the ramifications of the choices that we make. We therefore make ignorant choices without foresight of what to expect out of them. Before settling on a choice, we must seek as much information as we can.
  • Failure to review alternatives - All choices in life have alternatives. There are other choices we could make in the place of the ones we have. If you do not exhaustively explore the available alternatives to the choice you are about to make, you will probably make a wrong decision.
  • Despising the weight of your choices - The weight or importance one lays on something determines how much time, energy and attention they give it. Failure to recognize that the choices we make place a very heavy weight not only on our lives now but also in the future is a fatal mistake that leads to us making the wrong choices.
  • Haste - It amazes me how people make decisions in haste with no regard to their importance. Things that are not urgent should never be made to appear to be urgent. If you make a hasty decision, there is a high probability that you will make a wrong choice. This is because your objective thinking will be affected and the investment cited above will not be made. To counter haste in decision making, start your homework early. You would rather delay a decision than make a wrong one.
  • Peer pressure - There is a tendency for young people to want not to miss out or to be seen to be out of place by their peers. To fit in, they tend to make choices not because they are good for them, but because they fit their peers or make them happy.
  • Emotional influence - Decisions require a well prepared and sober mind to be right. Many people who make decisions while under high emotions of anger, joy or frustration end up regretting. If you feel that the choices you are about to make are not informed by reason but by emotions, take a break until such a time when you feel you are emotionally stable to make them.
  • Indecisiveness - Many young people are very indecisive. They fail to make choices in life, forgetting that failing to make a choice is a choice in itself. You should never surrender to fate by refusing to make a choice. Be strong enough, even in the most challenging choices, to make a choice. Evaluate and decide what needs to be done. If yyou need help to reach a decision, don’t be afraid to ask. There are always many who are willing to hold your hand and lead you to the right choices.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

TIME WASTERS



One of my wise lecturers in my project management class made some remarks about time that got me thinking. He indicated and correctly so that in every project, it is possible to have left overs of materials, broken pieces of various items and therefore able to almost accurately identify wasted in these physical materials. He nevertheless noted that when it comes to time, wasted time never piles together at a corner and thus at the end you will go like “oh, I wasted all these time!” Time wasted can easily go unnoticed and while we can use broken pieces of other materials or recycle wasted materials, time once lost is lost, it can never be recovered.
Another amazing thing with time is that we never have over or under provided time. All of us have 24 hours in a day, no matter which office or status you occupy, you are only provided with only 24 hours in a day and no more and no less. If rich men were able to buy extra minutes, the poor would sell some of their time but too bad, it is not possible.
What are some ways through which time is wasted?
1.      Idleness – it is very disturbing when a person remains idle for a single minute in a day without doing anything meaningful. Idleness is a state where one cannot identify a meaningful activity that they are engaging in. It is what many call passing time. This is nevertheless not passing time but wasting time. In one’s life, there is too much to be accomplished in the few short years that we have that no one should ever be idle. Idleness results from failure to identify why one is on earth. This is a person’s purpose for which God created them. They therefore live life as a pass time and not an assignment. When you have an assignment, you are engaged in making every effort to complete it on time. When you do not have an idea what the assignment is, you sit and wait for anything that comes your way to be done. Why would someone who knows that they have been called to make a certain difference on earth just sit and do nothing at any one time? One must therefore seek to identify their assignment on earth and therefore seize every opportunity to accomplish it. They will never sit idle. Another cause of idleness if a careless and don’t care attitude that is cultivated by some. They know what they are called to do but they do not care about it and therefore can sit idle. They never see the urgency in their assignment or even when they do, they are not careful to complete it. It does not matter to them. People who like relying on others too much can also find themselves in the idle category. This because before they do any task, they believe other people must have done several things before for them to continue. They never want to initiate but they want to follow and “complete” what others have started. They therefore are waiting in the idle mode for the others to complete their bit so that they pick it up from there. These are very dangerous people who think others in the world owe them. Your assignment is your assignment, if the others have not done it do it and get to your part, do not sit idle waiting.
2.      Laziness – Lazy people waste too much time. Not because they are not doing what they are expected to do but because the rate that they are doing it at is less than optimum. The Bible in Proverbs has many instances where it refers to lazy people. They never see the urgency of task and they love their body too much to stretch it beyond a certain point. For them, convenience comes before the need to accomplish a task and they only use the extra energy but are unwilling to tap deeper into their potential. Hard work to them is a vocabulary that is hard to comprehend and they cannot understand why everybody seems to be in a hurry while for them life is there to be enjoyed in slow motion. To them, task that should take them one day are done in five days and even them, they are not perfected. They love sleep too much. They want to enjoy the warmth of the bed and always have a reason why they cannot do it as fast as it ought to be done. A lazy person seeks for the simple tasks and even then does them with more time than they ought to be done. He thus wastes almost over a half of their time. This would mean that after living for 40 years, a lazy person will probably have only accomplished his purpose only to about 20 years. Laziness is one of the major time wasters in my assessment.
3.      Procrastination – this is the act of postponing or failing to do things that ought to be done now to a future time. When you procrastinate, there are two things that happen which lead to waste of time. One, since the postponed task should have been done now, you remain with idle time in which no planned activity is being done and thus you could easily get into the idle mode or could pick a task that does not fit this particular time leading to its accomplishment in lesser time and some residual time getting wasted. Secondly, the postponed activity that should have been done now is pushed to a future time when another activity is supposed to be happening. It thus does not fit that time and fills another projects time leading to a postponement of a second event. It is also possible to realize that after accomplishing a postponed event that it has been overtaken by time and thus cannot return the benefits it would have returned if it was done on time. This means that the return per minute on that even is diminished. The cure to procrastination is one, do it on time.
4.      Failure to plan – failing to plan like the old adage says is planning to fail. If you have not plan on how you are going to spend your time, anything will become an activity for you to do. For each day, you should have a clear budget on how you are going to spend every minute of that day. If you do not, there are enough people who will come in and help you plan or sneak in activities for you. This is a time waster since number one, you take to long to determine what you should do, you have no time to prioritize and therefore when you start a task, in the middle you realize there was another urgent task, you leave it unfinished and time spent on it becomes a waste. You also lose focus on the activities that need to be done. This is because you have not listing of all your tasks. At times, you tend to think you have too much time just to realize that a deadline for all the tasks is at hand and you have been in the idle mode all along. A to do list is one way of planning. You can plan for your week as well as each day. Although we should be flexible to ensure that these plans do not enslave us, we must make sure we know what we are expected to do, how long will each task take, when is each task supposed to be completed and what are the benefits of such tasks. We must separate important tasks from those that may seem urgent but might not be important. This will save us from a life of firefighting from January to December and allow us to lead a well-organized and more fulfilling life. Remember to include time to rest; resting is not idleness!
5.      Undue loyalty – This is a condition where one becomes too loyal to other people’s affairs and they forget their own. Being selfish is not a good thing but going to the extreme where the matters of others consume you is very negative. How does this lead to time wastage? When we are unduly loyal to other people, we lose the ability to say no. We are on their call, once they beckon us, we abandon our affairs and follow them. Since they are doing their tasks and we have abandoned our tasks, time spent with them is a waste. This is because we are only joy riders and not performers of any task. We are only there to make them feel good as they complete their assignments. Our assignments lie in wait for us and before long we find out, we are too late to do what was expected of us. I do not mean that we should never join others in their tasks or give them moral support when necessary. That is important but must be objective and value adding. It must also be well thought and planned and not an impromptu call. We must develop the ability to when necessary say no and not feel guilty. If you have a task that must be done, say no to others for a while but when available and sure you will add value to them, feel free to join them. Remember your life takes the priority and not theirs. Even on the call to love others, it is as we love ourselves. We therefore are first and others second. Do not abandon your business to fulfill others. DO not leave your house burning as you go to put out fire in your neighbors, it does not make sense. Do not be overly good, remember you exist for a specific purpose.


Who are you imitating?

From The Pastor's Heart
Who are you imitating and where is he/she leading you to?
In the world today, there are very many people who are rising up and influencing trends and way of doing things. Even in the church realm and way of doing ministry, many are imitating others.
Having and being a role model to be imitated or to imitate is not a wrong. Actually, that's what we are called to do. The question we must ask ourselves as we imitate and get imitated is, is Christ the ultimate source of the things we do whether learnt or imitated from others?
Ephesians 5:1-2, we are informed that like beloved children, we must be imitators of God our father. We are required to be like Christ. This means we must know our God so well that we can imitate Him. You cannot imitate one that you do not know. Seek to Know God.
Number two, as we imitate people whom we hold in high esteem, let us be sure they are imitating Christ themselves to. Paul confidely Tella his followers to imitate him as he imitates Christ (1 Corinthians 11:1). Let us also strive to imitate Christ so that those who imitate us will ultimately be imitating Christ.
Before you say I do this because so and so also does it, seek to know if he or she is an imitator of Christ.
Blessed Wednesday
Rev Bernard Warui

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Keep Off Distracting Projects

From The Pastor's Heart
Do not allow distracting projects to draw your attention away from the main task, Isaac is the son of promise not Ishmael.
One of the tools that the enemy uses to get us off the track and miss to accomplish the desire and will of God in our lives is distracting projects. Most of these projects look like the best alternatives in the place of our God given projects and may even be seen to meet the need for the initial God given ones. On other occasions, they are potrayed as more important and may even be given as prerequisites if the God given ones will be accomplished.
In Genesis 16, Sarah introduces a distraction project to Abraham, that of siring Ishmael with Hagar. She reasons and says perhaps I can build a family from there. She sees this as a viable alternative to the delayed promised son. In Nehemiah 6, the distractors send word to Nehemiah to go down to Ono for a dialogue on the peace of the region, Nehemiah identifies this distracting project and respond very strongly that the project he is undertaking is too important to be left. They knew if he leaves, the project would stall. Jesus Christ kept telling His distractors why He had come. They always wanted to find some distracting project for Him. Accuse Him with this and that hoping he will try to defend Himself and thus abandon the main task.
What is your God given project? Do you know why you are here? You must understand what wall you have been called to build. Who is your promised son? If you do not know these things, you will accept a distraction as the genuine and lose focus. You will take Ishmael and move on. You will leave the building of the wall and go down to Ono. Start by knowing your purpose, understand why you are here and you will be able to identify distracting projects.
Do not allow yourself to be distracted from your God given project, stay put. Let them not blind you with sweet words, alternatives or threaten you with consequences. Stay on course and fulfill your God given mandate.

Friday, August 25, 2017

A LETTER TO THOSE JOINING UNIVERSITY


I will start by congratulating you for making it to secure a place at the university. It is never a mean feat and you have worked very hard to be where you are. I pray that you will continue making effort to achieve even more success as you continue with your journey of life.
I will never forget August 28, 2000 when I joined Kenyatta University. It was a moment of mixed feelings. I was excited to join my university of choice to undertake my course of choice but again I was not sure what to expect and how to handle to sudden change in my life. I thank a friend or two who had been to campus and shared with me a few tips that were very useful to help me settle and move on smoothly.
In this letter, I do not desire to tell you a lot but allow me to share a few tips that I am sure will be useful as you settle in the new environment and progress in life. I will take a context of a God fearing girl / boy but if you find some things do not fit well with you, it is a message that you may need to turn to God and dedicate your life to Him.
You are all alone
The first challenge most of you will have to deal with is how to handle the sudden freedom that will come with joining the university. You are going to a place where you will be all alone so to say and what you decide to do you will do without many questions. If you decide not to wake up in the morning, there might be nobody to knock your door and demand for a reason as to why you are not waking up. If you wake up in a bad mood and you decide not to attend classes, the probability is high that no one will notice or demand an answer as to why you did not attend that class. If the club near the campus has great music and people to hang out with until mid-night, you can do it without a care and with no one asking for explanations or calling to ask where you are this late. You are all alone. If you are a lady and decide that tonight you will sleep in your boyfriend’s room, you will do it without being scolded.
Many young people have a big challenge dealing with this sudden freedom and can easily lose it at this point. This may explain why some very bright students join university but they drop off along the way due to very poor grades or failing completely to complete their assignments as well as examinations. This is the source of very many unwanted habits that develop and lead to addictions. These could include smoking, drinking, drug and even sexual immorality. What must you do to escape this trap?
Resolve in your heart – Daniel 1:8
The resolve of your heart just like Daniel’s is born out of several things. One is understand who you are and why you are here? Daniel understood who he was with relation to His God and that informed his decisions. He also was sure that even in Babylon, there was need to worship and glorify God. You must know that nothing has changed with regard to who you are. You are a born again Christian called to purity and holiness. Beyond that, you are a child of God with a purpose to fulfill who is on an assignment. The accomplishment of this assignment is the one that informs your conduct and habits. You must therefore make a deliberate resolve in your heart on what you must do and what you must not do. It does not matter how enjoyable and fulfilling some things are but you must make a decision not to get into them. You must acknowledge that the reason why your parents had to painfully let you go as well as sacrifice their hard earned cash is to ensure that you obtain knowledge and complete the course you have been called to do. Having that in mind, make a resolve in your heart, mind and communicate it where necessary.
Have a clear plan – Luke 14:28
It is said that failure to plan is planning to fail. I agree with this old adage and have seen it work very well in my life. What does a plan entail? A plan entails the activities to be done, how they will be done and whom they will be done with. You cannot live successfully in campus if you will only be flowing with the current. You must make a deliberate effort to ensure that you are clear on what you get involved with, when and with whom. This also eliminates what you cannot be involved with, when you cannot be involved in and whom you cannot be involved with. At the onset, you must determine your objectives and what you want to achieve with you time at the university.
At the onset, several things will already be planned for you and only require you to follow. The first one is the university time table. You are at the university for one primary purpose, to study. The time table for your courses must be your primary plan and you must resolve to follow it as much as is possible. Personal comfort, extra academic activities or even church activities should not be conducted at the expense of your excellence in academics. You must realize that nobody will be watching to see that you attend classes, sit for the cats, submit your assignments in time and even sit exams. You must have a very clear plan for all these. After fitting within the academic time table which is in many universities very flexible leaving you with a lot of time, you must plan on how you will handle other academic requirements. These includes doing your assignments on time, preparing for exams and CATS as well as carrying out the necessary research. There is a tendency to rush the last minute on all these areas which I do not consider wise. You must have a very clear plan which relies on self-discipline to implement to ensure that you are able to at a comfortable but fruitful pace handle all these. Failure to complete your assignments on time could lead to devastating effects in serious universities. This could even lead to an incomplete result which would force you to repeat the course. Poor grades too which would affect you even in your future life as you look for jobs and opportunities to advance could also result from last minute rush in preparing for a CAT or an exam. This may result in poor grades even in rather easy subjects where such grades should not happen.
Upon having clear plans for your academics, you can then make plans for your other activities. Remember you do not have to fit everywhere. Check with the Christian Union, see their schedule and activities that they have and fit in as appropriate considering your academic program.
Mind Your Relationships – 1 Corinthians 15:33
It has always amazed me when I think the extent of transformation that took place in my life during the four years I was at the university. Amazingly, most of these transformation can be directly linked to the people I related with while there. It is also amazing how I met great friends and how I have maintained those relationships to date, thirteen years after graduation and the role that those friendships play in my life to date. I have realized that it is at the stage in life when we go to the university that we make some of the best or worst decisions regarding relationships. The people you relate with shape and mold you determining whether you will make it through successfully or not. It is also at this age when peer pressure and influence is at its highest. This is made worse by the first point that I made telling you that you are all alone. You have no one to check on who you are relating with and what benefit they bring. I can also tell you that this is a time when you can easily be taken advantage of. Older men in campus are looking and waiting for younger fresh girls to join so that they can snatch them and feed their lustful appetites. Older girls too are watching for na├»ve young men who will fall into their trap and keep them company as they destroy their future. Peers too who have always been on a 24 hour watch by their parents all of a sudden find themselves free to relate and walk with anyone without an eye watching on them. They may want to experiment the things that the parents kept them off from and you might fall prey of their opportunistic maneuvers. The choices you make now as a first year student will either build or finish you. For those who have read my book ‘Youth Pitfalls’ should take another look at destructive friendships and see how they can make use of the tips there. In the next few paragraphs, let me share a few things to look out for as you mind your relationships.
The first thing you must do is come up with a clear checklist in your mind on whom you can give your ear to listen to, time to spend with and attention. You must be able to evaluate people based on their talk and walk and keep off those you must keep off and walk with those you should walk with. This checklist must be informed by your values and principles in life. If you value your time, you will not hang out with people who have no sensitivity on how they utilize their time. If you do not smoke, you have no reason hanging out with people who smoke. If you do not drink alcohol, there is no reason why you should be walking with people given to alcohol and who cannot remain sober. If you are given to excellence in your academic work and you identify a friend who too is determined to achieve and making all the effort to excel, you choose such friends. If you are born again and determined to live as Christ requires of you, then you will seek for people who are born again and serious with their walk with Christ.
The other key thing that you must consider as you mind your relationships is what you can and cannot do with your friends. You must not flow with the current but curve your own path. You must determine how much time you will spend with friends and what you can and cannot do during such times. The most dangerous relationships are those with the opposite gender which must always be handled with care but with the prevalence in lesbianism and homosexuality, I cannot exonerate even same sex relationships. You must avoid crime at all costs. Anything that is unlawful must be avoided and anybody who engages in unlawful acts must be kept at bay. You could easily be introduced into things like robbery, drug trafficking etc which would ruin your life, lead you to death or land you in jail. Exam cheating is also a crime and is many times perpetrated by groups of friends, keep off such things and work to genuinely earn your degree. Another thing to avoid is spending too much time with friends and at times until late in the night. During my days in campus, we had what we called 10 to 10 rule. You were never allowed to be in the hostels of the opposite gender before 10 AM and after 10 PM. With the emergency of own rented hostels, there is nobody to enforce this. My request to you is to avoid being in a friends hostel late at night. Avoid what in my book I call indecent body contacts. Do not allow things like kissing, petting and caressing in your life. This will ruin you and get you into sexual immorality. Must I say that you must keep off sexual immorality? Very many pregnancies occur at the university while many get HIV AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases at the university. Sexual abuse is also rampant with many unable to speak out because they took themselves there. Keep off relationships that will lead here. If you are not ready to marry of get married to a particular person, do not specialize. Specialization is an incubator of many evils including sexual immorality, it drains your energy and exposes your emotions. It sets you up for heart breaks and disappointment and sets for you unrealistic expectations. It hinders broad interactions with your peers and may even become a hindrance to your identification of a life time partner.
I must say that relationships are also a great source of hope, courage and determination as we fulfill our destiny. It is therefore important that you deliberately establish some very crucial relationships that will keep you moving. The first one is getting a few very close friends whom you share similar values and other than encouraging each other on the journey, you can always hold each other accountable. My university best friend Hilary Mwangi is still my best friend to date. We prayed in the chapel together, we studied for exams together, when things were hard we encouraged each other. To date, we still hold each other accountable and whenever I am veering off the path, he knows that he can authoritatively get me back on the path. Do not walk alone, get a close friend whom you can allow into your life. My counsel is that this very close friend should be of the same sex with you. From there you now can have other friends at varying levels of closeness.
The second key relationship to establish is a mentorship relationship. At your age, you must identify older men and women who will walk with you in this journey. It is during my university days when I identified Rev Dr Peterson Wangombe as my mentor. He has walked with me since 2001 and remains one of my most resourceful person in life. He is one person who accepts me as I am, is confidential and believes in my dreams and ambitions, tells me the truth in love however hurting or encouraging and always seeks for my good. He is available when I just want someone to whom I can pour my heavy heart and he listens to me even when I don’t make sense. These and many more are the attributes to look in a mentor. My book has a whole chapter on mentorship and I encourage you to read it. As you go through the university, get a mentor if you do not have one and if you have one, you can always add another one with the new experiences and life that you are going through.
A third level of relationship is one where you identify people who can tap from you and you allow them to. This is one of the best ways to grow. They may be your peers or people you can mentor and help them grow. I cannot explain how fulfilling it is when I see people that I have mentored grow and make a difference in the world. It is even more fulfilling when I consider the growth that I have gained from mentoring young people including writing this long letter to you. Identify people to whom you can be a resource, whether academically, socially or even spiritually.
Prudent Financial Management – Ecclesiastes 10:19
When we were at the university, we had a funny saying. We used to say that at the beginning of the semester you eat chicken, in the middle you eat chicken products and at the end you eat like chicken. This was a result of poor financial management where you would party and eat chicken, by mid semester, the funds have started going down and now you can only afford eggs. At the end, you are too broke and can only eat maize just like chicken. Many of us missed meals at the end of the semester and even lacked fare back home when university closed. The reason why this happens is because you have never been exposed to managing your own finances that would determine your wellbeing. In high school, even if you finished your pocket money, there was always food but now your food must come from your pocket. Some people buy unnecessary things due to peer pressure or ignorance and end up suffering. I am an accountant by profession and I paid for my own professional examinations (CPAs) from the savings I made out of the HELB loan I got. How do you make sure that you are prudently managing your finances?
Number one, know how much is available. We all come from different back ground and these determine how much is available to us for the semester or even the year. Some of you have very little while some have a little more. You must establish with all honesty to self how much is available to you. Do not put undue pressure to your parents or guardians or hold false hope on what funds you will access as you progress. Upon appropriation of how much is available, prioritize what you need. Let us assume that the school fees has been paid. Your priority now is to ensure that you have a modest stay on campus. This will involve a decent hostel if you have to get one for yourself, decent meals, and stationery for your studies, clothes and decent grooming. Prioritize these things and if possible, list them down. You could seek the help of those who are ahead of you and have some experience. Upon listing them, allocate the available funds to each line ensuring that you are allocating enough to take you to the end of the semester. This will give you an itemized budget. The funds available will either be more than you need or less or maybe just what you need. If the funds are more, get to a second level of what you must do. These will include other courses that you could do, extra stationery that would make your learning more fruitful or even some entertainment. If the money is not enough and you cannot obtain more. Try to see where you can reduce to ensure that you are safe and not strained as you go through your campus life. It is good to have some discussions with your parents or guardians to help them understand how much you need to comfortably go through the semester comfortably. I nevertheless know that some sacrifices will be worth making for your progress. The next step is to ensure that you stick to your plan and review yourself often to ensure you are not off track. Once in a while as you get used to campus life you may find the need to adjust your planning, do so but not at the expense of basic and vital necessities. If you have access to a lot of money, you must be wise to ensure that you will not be enslave by the money and forget the primary purpose why you joined the university. As you plan, always remember to consider emergencies like abrupt university closures, illness and such.
Manage your time – Ephesians 5:15
I mentioned a few things earlier with regard to time management. This is when I talked about planning as well as minding your relationships. Time is a resource that cannot be increased or reduced. All of us have 24 hours in a day regardless of who you are. The second thing is that it is a resource once used cannot be recovered or recycled. It must therefore be utilized with utmost care. You are at a prime age in your life where you are shaping your destiny as you lay the foundation upon which it will rest. Make good use of this time. If an activity is not adding value to your life and you are not adding value to any one’s life by being involved in it, keep off. No matter how good it looks, it is not worthy your time. You must be careful how you spend every minute granted to you by God remembering that you shall account for the time. This requires self-discipline and a lot of restraint in many things. As you end every day, ask yourself whether you have added value or deducted in your life and journey to fulfilling your purpose. Remember God created you for a specific purpose which is your assignment, gave you time just enough to fulfill that assignment and will require an accountability on whether you fulfilled it.
Finally
Remember to live on honest means, be modest in all your dealings and lead a self-controlled life. Be the driver of your life. Earn your degree, do not cheat for it takes away any moral authority to own it. Dress and groom appropriately, remember you will never have a second chance to a first impression. I met my first employer in third year, he liked what I was doing and who I was and invited me to work with him after campus. He is my mentor today and that job laid a foundation for my career as an auditor. It does not matter how a certain way of dressing or hairdo looks cool, it is not about coolness but fulfilling destiny. If it stands in your way and closes doors of opportunities, it is not worthy it. How you look, what you do and who you do it with will determine how people perceive and understand you. It is people that God uses to open opportunities for us, be careful what impression you give.
Time and space limits me to say more. I nevertheless submit to you that ignorance is not acceptable in an ocean of knowledge. If you do not know, ask. Asking is not foolishness but walking ignorantly and not seeking help to know is foolishness. My contacts are hereunder, feel free to reach out to me in case you have a question or need more. I am also sure God will give you many, who will guide you as you navigate through these waters.
I look forward to in a few years see your graduation photos having attained the best grades and graduated on time.
God bless you.

Rev Bernard Warui Wairura – 0721554549 – waruigathoni@gmail.com – https://www.facebook.com/waruiwairura 

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

LIMITATIONS TO OUR DESTINIES

  1. God created all of us for a specific purpose. He has a destiny for each one of us but reaching this destiny is our choice. Here are some of the limitations that have hindered most of us from reaching our destinies
    1. Having a dream that is not equivalent to who we are.
    The bible records that a nation that has no vision perishes (Proverbs 29:18), as much as this is the truth; it is more disastrous for a people to have a vision which is not equivalent to who they are. Many people are living other peoples’ lives because they have not discovered who they are. The discovery of who you are is a process that you are the only one who can deliberately initiate as well as accomplish. The Bible describes us in very many terms which we ought to understand and fit in them. Branches to the true vine, royal priesthood, ministers of reconciliation, sons of God, co-heirs with Christ, friends, a chosen generation, saints and so forth and so forth. But how many of us are living like the Bible refers to us. In 2Kings 13:14 - 19 we find Joash king of Israel. He learns that Elisha is sick and surprisingly, the sickness was to lead to his death. They both had appreciated that fact and we find him seeking the last counsel from the man of God before he goes because as they say in Africa, the last words of a man are very important. Elisha tells him to take a bow and an arrow. Note that Elisha does not give him a bow and an arrow but tells him to take. This is a clear indication that it was not the responsibility of the man of God to do the job, his was to deliver the word from God and Joash’s was to implement that which he had heard from him. Obedient and faith were of key importance here. It’s an active and deliberate move. He tells him to shot to the east. This was the side from which his enemies lived. He obeyed without questioning. On shooting through the window to the east, Elisha declares victory for him over all his enemies in the east. What a joy to hear the man of God declare victory over what had always been a headache to his kingdom. He may have jumped; shouted and made a joyful noise for victory was now sure, nevertheless, the victory was only pronounced after obedience to the word spoken by a man of God. Do you have someone who speaks God’s word? You may call him/her a mentor, spiritual father/mother. You need some spiritual authority who can speak God’s oracles in all that you do. His joy was short lived, Elisha may have told him “we are not done yet”. Elisha asked him to pick the bow and arrows. The key word here is arrows. It is now in plural not in singular as in the earlier case. In all instructions that you receive whether from God, your work place or from a friend, pay attention to details. He did as instructed, he was then asked to shot to the ground, and the real test was here. He shot three times. The bible records that Elisha was angered by this action. He asked him “why couldn’t you shoot five or six times, now that you have shot only three times, you will conquer them only thrice!” why was Elisha annoyed, because the king limited himself by the number of arrows he shot to the ground. Many of us have already shot through the window to the east. The question that now remains is, how many arrows have you picked and how many times will you shoot to the ground? Three? May God forbid. Some of us will have victory in our careers only to an equivalent of three because that’s the far we have taken ourselves. Others will run businesses on a successful note for only three years, others will keep good jobs for only three years. It’s your choice how many arrows you want to pick. Having a vision is not the real deal; the real deal is having a vision that is equivalent to who you are. And who are you? You are who God says you are. Do not listen to what people say about you, that is their opinion, they are entitled to it but your real worth lies with your maker, not even with yourself. No, if you want to discover who you are, spend time with Him. He will disclose every bit of who you are to you and your life will take a turn towards your destiny. Many of us will get surprised when we discover what we could achieve but do it rather too late. We waste our time on small business while God made us being big business materials. Some of the careers we admire and envy so much because they seem too far from us may be far below where we are supposed to be. Some of the vehicles we see being driven and we think that they are not achievable may be exactly what God made us for. We only have limited ourselves based on the circumstances that surround us, the environment we were brought up in, the schools we attended, the jobs we hold and many more. None of the above should define who you are or who you are to become. When I was in Form 4, my dad lost his job, he could not have bought me a pair of black leather shoes to go with to school. I therefore, according to the immediate circumstances was supposed to sit at home until he could afford the shoes. Nevertheless, the vision within me was greater than that. How could I sit at home instead of being in school making my “As”? Compelled by my vision to join the university and become a great person of influence, I went to the yard where old items that were no longer in use had been thrown. There I found an old high heeled sandal that had been lying there for some years. It was near what I wanted but was white in color. Using an old shoe dye that my dad had, I attempted to transform the sandal into a school shoe. I removed the heel, and as I tried dying it, it turned purple. In my zeal I wore my school socks, the purple sandals, fastened the straps and hurried off to school. The teachers looked at me shook their heads and left me alone. If you were the teacher, what could you do with such a boy? In the old sandals, I attended classes for one term and a half, sat KCSE in them and got grades to get me a place in a good public university to do my dream course. The circumstances would have dictated otherwise but I refused that my vision should be blurred or even carried away by lack of school shoes. What reasons do you have for not striking that business deal? Why didn’t you apply for that job? Why didn’t you choose that course? Why didn’t you bid for that tender? All those are school shoes while the sandals are filling the termites’ belly. The second reason why we don’t achieve our destiny is.

  1.  In ability to leave the riverbank

The book of Deuteronomy 9 records God’s clear instructions with regard to crossing over Jordan to posses Jericho. He informs the children of Israel that Jericho is walled and more so inhabited by the sons of Anakim. They were feared for their size and fighting skills. The walls are described as being unto heaven. This is scaring; it’s going into the unknown. Having been brought up in the country side and looked after cattle, I have a very clear description of a riverbank. This is the only place where cattle would feed and get full even in the times of drought when all other areas were dry. The bible describes a man whose trust is in the Lord as a tree planted by the riverside. He gives us a clear picture of the tree that does not dry nor wither, bears its fruits in season and is ever green. Leaving such a place for an unknown place like Jericho of which the only knowledge you have is about its scaring inhabitants and all you can see is its towering walls which are described as being unto heaven. Along the riverbank, the refrigerator has no use, the fruits and vegetables are fresh, there is enough water to drink as well as good pasture for the livestock. Telling the children of Israel who have had a rough journey through the wilderness for all these years to leave such a zone of comfort to the unknown was requiring more than enough from them. We all have our comfort zones, places we are familiar with, places that provide all we care about and have no lack in them. We feel secure and would not like to leave such zones. They are our territories; everybody knows them and expects us to always be there. These may be jobs that we hold so dearly, they seem secure and we are not ready to try anything new. Business zones and levels which we consider too safe and beyond which we look at as too risky to undertake. We do not want to take an extra mile because it is so demanding on us. It will be an infringement on our comfort. Friends we so much want around that leaving them for greater things is a sacrifice we are not ready to make. Spiritual levels which to us are so demanding in terms of time and money and thus not anything to consider. If we have to fulfill our purpose on earth, we must have the ability to leave the goodies of the riverbank and plunge into the unknown. This must nevertheless be at the direction of Him who holds our final word, whose purpose we are here to fulfill and without whom we are nothing. One sure thing that God promised Joshua was that He would go before them like a consuming fire. Victory was therefore sure but only to those who were ready to cross Jordan and walk blindly towards the walls of Jericho. Many of us are called into business but are still holding unto our small jobs for the fear of the unknown. If God has given you direction, follow it without fear. Fear will never let you achieve but will always pull you behind whenever you attempt to progress. Just cast it out and forth, know that he will be with you. Don’t remain crippled because you will get from your begging and fear to be healed lest you be required to work. You may never know what your work will bring forth. It is time we left our comfort zones and advanced towards the Jericho that God is leading us to. The results may not seem evident, nor would an opinion poll give positive results but God’s word is saying it. It’s time to cross over Jordan! Crossing over Jordan takes courage, determination and full trust in God. It is leaving a zone where our wallets are able to take care of us to a zone where our provision is on God, it’s like diving into an empty swimming pool believing in God that by the time you get down, there will be water. It’s refusing the status quo and asking God for direction without the fear that He might direct you to a place that everybody fears to go to. It’s listening to the inner voice within us and refusing to follow our friends or even relatives’ opinion. The victory that follows after leaving the river bank in obedience to God’s direction leave even those who prevented you from going there giving a testimony of what God can do.