I AM GUILTY

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Just the thought of me writing this is a bit tricky, knowing that I would be speaking out my own guilt. You must be wondering which confession I am is so ready to make, but well you will soon find out.

“I am guilty of being selfish, thinking that I deserve that position more than the other person,

I am guilty of thinking that my time is more precious to keep waiting than the other person,

I am guilty of throwing away that ice-cream can, that sweet wrapper, because anyway it’s someone’s job,

I am guilty of giving that security man a few coins to allow me not to make the queue,

I am guilty of giving that traffic officer a few notes to pardon me,

I am guilty of not filing my KRA returns faithfully,

I am guilty of going to ‘speak’ to the head-master to allow my child to be admitted in school,

I am guilty of sending my child with five shillings for sweets so that he could go to the shop,

I am guilty……….

I am just so guilty.”

I have a question to pose, who of us bribed God or their parents, to be brought to this earth? Tough and harsh question I know, but it saddens me when we have the mentality that to gain the best of anything then you have to give out something (Goodwill as we sugar-coat it).

As we talk of the Lord being our shepherd, we shall not be in want, why then do we again quote,”The Lord helps those who help themselves.”At that point where you really need something and urgently (be it that title deed, Visa, Passport, position in an organization) you want to help yourself by bribing because you feel so ‘desperate’ you cannot wait for God to work through. Then what is the point in praying and waiting upon God? Yes, its human nature we all want to get the best, and again, from economics we learn that resources are scarce, from science we learn that the battle is for the fittest. However, we fail to learn from Christ “Nothing is impossible with God.” He is able to do it for you; you don’t realize at that that moment that by being corrupt as much as you will finally get all you need, you will be making yourself more vulnerable to whoever you are bribing. Stop stooping too low, we serve a mighty God.

As you give your tithe in church today, is it exactly a tenth of what you get? Because I know you wouldn’t give to God a tenth of the ‘stolen’ money, that’s enough reason you shouldn’t have it in the first place.

Titus 1:15-16-To the pure all things are pure, but to those who are defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure, but both their mind and their conscience are defiled. They profess to know God, but by their deeds they deny Him, being detestable and worthless for any good deed.

As the church , we have accepted to be labeled the worst label anyone could wish for,LUKE-WARM.We have accepted to compromise too much and accepted to categorize ‘small’ and ‘big’ sins. We are so quick to condemn the ‘big’ sins, especially those done by those in high positions. We magnify them so much forgetting the log in our own eyes. Why is it that we are confusing giving bribes to a way of ‘saying thank-you’ as we like to put it? Do you appreciate so that you can get something?

Even that church land was is acquired legally? Did that pastor follow the right protocol for appointment? That school and unions in the church, are the finances being managed by the right people? Why are we busy preaching about the good things the Lord will do in our lives, the beautiful families, excellent jobs, financial break-through etc, and forgetting the most important part-OUR SOULS. Jesus as well as John the Baptist was not shy to condemn the evils in society. What happens if the 80% of us in Kenya stood for what is right, as the name Christians suggests-following Christ, and we start the journey of transformation and doing what is right and living a pure conscience each moment you live? Let our deeds profess our faith, let us fight those little hidden actions that we do under the table and are even ashamed of saying. Let us face it, we are all guilty.

Accepting that we are all guilty is step number one, number two is realizing that this is a monster in our lives and in our children’s lives we need to face and fight, number three is seeking God for direction and allowing Him to be our guide as we actively fight, number four is taking the step of faith confidently and working on facing out corruption .I know that this is going to be a tough journey because this is the culture we have all been brought up with, knowing that we can always get away with anything.

I am ready to change, I am ready to be among the chosen few, and will you join me? Remember, we are all guilty, the question is, what are you doing about it?

By Mercy Karumba.

JUST A LITTLE BIT OF WILL AND HARD-WORK

I often find myself thinking,”i really don’t get enough to sustain me,should I really pay those dues(that is taxes,tithe,church/welfare contributions)?There are so many people earning much more I think they should be the ones doing that,i deserve being exempted.Even God knows how little I get.”

How many of us are like me? I believe we are quite a good number. Let us all take a look at this and learn something:

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MATTHEW 17:24-27

24After Jesus and his disciples arrived in Capernaum, the collectors of the two-drachma temple tax came to Peter and asked, “Doesn’t your teacher pay the temple tax?”

25“Yes, he does,” he replied.

When Peter came into the house, Jesus was the first to speak. “What do you think, Simon?” he asked. “From whom do the kings of the earth collect duty and taxes—from their own children or from others?”
26“From others,” Peter answered.
“Then the children are exempt,” Jesus said to him. 27“But so that we may not cause offense, go to the lake and throw out your line. Take the first fish you catch; open its mouth and you will find a four-drachma coin. Take it and give it to them for my tax and yours.”
There are a couple of lessons I learn from this text:
  • God really likes us to honour authority:Romans 13:7-Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.
    This is exactly what Jesus was trying to demonstrate,that despite being the son of God,He had an earthly duty to perform of paying his dues to the government.

So the next time you are thinking of skiving to file your returns or those payments you really need to pay e.g parking fees,kindly remember that despite Jesus being the son of a Mighty God,He was still humble enough to submit to authority and as he said,”that they might not cause offence.”

  • Where there is a will God will always provide:As long as we are willing to give,be it in support of project,paying some arrears or any other due payments,God will always make a way.

Jesus provided the four-drachma coin from the mouth of a fish.The amount was actually enough to cater for the tax payment.So often we are praying,”give us this day our daily bread,”but do we really mean what we say?Do we trust God enough to provide for what we need for use?

If you trust God enough you will not be hiding to avoid paying your dues,you will not fear contributing because you think there is not enough for tomorrow and most importantly your faith grows stronger for you trust in the provision of this God.

  • God will use your skill/talent for provision:You keep complaining,”you know I don’t have enough money,my finances are not that stable, I really don’t have anything to put food on my table.”

You know what,you actually have more than you think.Have you put into use that skill or talent and see just how much God is actually faithful to bless the work of your hands.

Peter was a fisherman and Jesus sent him to go and fish and he provided the 4 drachma coins from the mouth of the mish.Let us not be lazy and sit back but instead we should get out there and work and God is faithful enough to provide.

Its time we quit giving excuses and instead go and ‘fish’ as God commands us and in that obedience and diligence,we shall never lack.

By Mercy Karumba

BUILDING BRIDGES

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“Once upon a time, two brothers who lived on adjoining farms fell into conflict. It was the first serious rift in 40 years of farming side-by-side, sharing machinery, and trading labor and goods as needed, without a hitch. It all began with a small misunderstanding, and it grew into a major difference, and finally, it exploded into an exchange of bitter words, followed by weeks of silence.

One morning, there was a knock on John’s door. He opened it to find a man with a carpenter’s toolbox.

“I’m looking for a few days’ work,” he said. “Perhaps you would have a few small jobs here and there I could help with? Could I help you?”

“Yes,” said the older brother. “I do have a job for you. Look across the creek at that farm. That’s my neighbor. In fact, it’s my younger brother! Last week, there was a quarrel between us. He recently took his bulldozer to the riverbank, and now there is a creek between us. Well, he may have done this to spite me, but I’ll do him one better. See that pile of lumber by the barn? I want you to build me a fence. An 8-foot fence -so I won’t need to see his place, or his face, anymore.”
The carpenter said, “I think I understand the situation. Show me the nails, and the post-hole digger, and I’ll be able to do a job that pleases you.”

The older brother had to go to town, so he helped the carpenter get the materials ready and then he was off for the day. The carpenter worked hard all that day – measuring, sawing, and nailing. About sunset, when the farmer returned, the carpenter had just finished his job.
The farmer’s eyes opened wide, his jaw dropped. There was no fence there at all. It was a bridge…a bridge that stretched from one side of the creek to the other! A fine piece of work, with handrails, and all!

And, the neighbor, his younger brother, was coming toward them, his hand outstretched… “You are quite a fellow to build this bridge, after all I’ve said and done.”

The two brothers stood at each end of the bridge, and then they met in the middle, taking each other’s hand. They turned to see the carpenter hoist his toolbox onto his shoulder. “No, wait! Stay a few days. I’ve a lot of other projects for you,” said the older brother.

“I’d love to stay on,” the carpenter said, “but I have many more bridges to build. Just remember this.”

Doesn’t this story challenge you to ask yourself, “AM I BUILDING BRIDGES OR FENCES? “It is actually much easier as humans to build fences. You know, when that friend comes and tells you how the other friend/family member did all sorts ‘evil’ against him/her and the bitterness ends up spilling on you.Before you know it,you are part of the dispute,not as an arbitrator but actually drifting them further apart. Instead of being the one to speak words of love and peace, you are the one ‘adding salt to the wound’, by speaking ill of the other person and encouraging conflict hence becoming the fence instead of the bridge.

I just love how the carpenter puts it,”I have many more bridges to build. “How I wish we would all have that desire to build bridges in the lives of those around us. What bridge have you built within the past one year? Remember, your career doesn’t matter but how much you touch the lives of people as you work. Your words don’t matter, if they are not uplifting to the other person. Make it you intention to build that bridge.

By Mercy Karumba