Archive for November, 2006

Coming….

from the Urbana tradition, I laud the increasingly central place human sexuality and related health issues will e taking at next month’s edition of the triennial event.  Already Christianity Today is doing a good job of telling stories along this line (pardon the Kware in the mentioned story…I rather think the writer had hoped to say “Kawangware” or something like it).

I won’t attend this year’s Urbana, but will certainly keep a close tabs on events there via the web and first-hand accounts from buddies attending.

November 28, 2006 at 12:01 am Leave a comment

Hapa na pale…

a).  A staff writer with a magazine I blogged about mid this year informs me that it is now online.

b).  The August 7th Memorial Park is now online too.  And they have some interesting services and products to provide in the context of conferencing, – I loved that to bits.  Uhhmn..and apparently my world is getting even smaller by the day…the person in charge of the place knows me, the university I attended, etc etc (something I didn’t know was in this person’s domain).  Well, it got me some preferential treatment in my latest tour of the place, but I also couldn’t help thinking I really can’t hide anywhere in Kenya 🙂

November 27, 2006 at 10:46 pm Leave a comment

President Mudavadi?

Journalism can’t get any worse than this.

November 23, 2006 at 12:10 am 6 comments

What was your response?

That’s the question leading South African theologian Caesar Molebatsi said God will some day ask of us when all known and unknown history culminates before him.

Molebatsi was addressing an audience of which I was part, seeking to explore a meaningful and relevant Christian engagement with the challenge of poverty in the African and global contexts as we know them today.

Molebatsi then flashed back to his country’s apartheid years and how some Afrikaner believers had used the Scriptures to excuse the oppresive system, much in the same way as their German counterparts had glossed over Hitler‘s excesses in the name of God.

Molebatsi, for the record, was the young man who wept at a past Laussane conference over the manner in which the Body of Christ was responding to the South African question as it was at the time.

David Bosch, on the other hand, was the Afrikaner Christian who underwent a major transformation enough to make him challenge the status quo in some fundamental ways; he reminded me of his German prototype, – Dietrich Boenhoeffer (one of my heroes in the faith).

I mention both Molebatsi and Bosch because they remind me of a response I wish had existed extensively and over a long period of time in South Africa in its dark days.

True, there was an enduring Christian witness penetrating the political culture of those days with the credibility of the Gospel of Christ across the political divide, but the isolated nature of the same some times left much to be desired.

Naturally – for the African nationalists – help to their cause (very much in line with the Christian understanding of the Imago Dei) would then come from the hard-nosed liberals and “Islamofascists” of the day.

I could understand it when Nelson Mandela, during his presidency, would unashamedly dance with Tripoli, Tehran and such other unpopular state and non-state actors that had stood  by the African nationalists at their hour of need.

I still understand it when the “extreme” secular / liberal agenda appears to hold sway over South Africa these days, as was the case with the recent gay mariage bill in which “moralist” (read Christian) protests were as subdued as was their response to the apartheid question in days gone by.

Even Nobel laurate Archbishop Desmond Tutu appears to have felt the nation’s moral pulse, albeit with less – if any – detailed treatment of how the Church’s checkered past may have informed the current state of affairs.

The enduring lesson to pick from much of Church history, I suggest, is – like the Biblical sons of Issachar – the need to understand the times and know what God would have believers do at any given moment in time, lest they be found wanting in the way of a response; a response to the whole question of God’s call on their lives in their generation.

Only them might we, as Theodore of Beza once told a king, also say:  “The Church is an anvil that has worn out many hammers.”

November 22, 2006 at 11:52 pm 5 comments

Learning from Jesus – stumbling over treasure

Via the London Institute for Contemporary Christianity

Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head. Matthew 8:19,20

We never hear of Jesus going to his own house; he stays with friends; he borrows a room in someone’s house for his last meal; he tells a would-be disciple that he doesn’t have a bed of his own. There are other things he lacked. He never married. He never reached middle age. He seems not to have had any money, but a common purse, provided with funds by followers, for his and his disciples’ needs. He had little privacy unless he went out at night into the hills. He lived a full, perfect, wholly holy life without most of the things we take for granted.

‘Desperate’ for marriage and children; ‘wasted’ in the wrong job; ‘bitter’ about physical handicap: we all live with some level of longing, that cannot or might not be fulfilled, but which can destroy our happiness and our peace with God. Jesus showed us that a full and purposeful life, with rich friendships and a close relationship with God is not dependent on material and personal circumstances.

The way we respond to handicaps and limitations is much more important for a full life, than the ‘handicaps’ themselves. If we seek and long for the material things we don’t and can’t have, then we are bound for disappointment and regret, and likely to lose our God-given opportunities for purpose and enrichment.

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:19-21

There is another side, however, to the longing for treasures we cannot have. Many of us do have this world’s material treasures in abundance and may find much of our happiness and self-fulfilment in their acquisition and up-keep. Health, wealth and good fortune can be just as powerful barriers to true heart happiness and fulfilment than the lack of them. Storing up treasures on earth or regretting that we haven’t any to store, either way we are losing out.

Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise,

Thou mine inheritance through all my days;

Thou, and thou only, the first in my heart,

High King of heaven, my treasure thou art!

Margaret Killingray

November 21, 2006 at 10:53 am Leave a comment

Maikarite Thi Utuku (“While Shepherds Watched their Flocks by Night”) Luke 2

1.  Maikarite thi utuku
Ariithi a mburi,
Muraika wa Ngai niokire
Na utheri munene.

2.  “Tiga guoya,” nioigire,
Maamba kumaka ma,
“Ndi na uhoro munene,
Naguo ni mwega atia.

3.  “Niaciariruo umuthi
Mukuuri wa andu;
Ituura-ini ria Daudi,
Nake niwe Kristo.

4.  “Thiini kuo mukone
Kaana haria kari:
Nigathaitwo na tama,
Na ke muharati.”

5.  Muraika aarikia kwaria
Makiona Iguru
Araika a Ngai gitutu
Makiina ruru –

6.  “Kugoocwo kurogia kwa Ngai,
Na wega guothe thi;
Ngai arorathima andu,
Riu na hingo ciothe.”

*pp. 44 & 45 (last stanza appears on pp. 45).  The song number is 67.

Further bibliographical information:
First published in 1915.
Fourth edition published by the S.P.C.K in 1935.
Reprinted many times since 1935-and supplements included
This edition completely revised, and enlarged, 1974
Reprinted 1975, 1976, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997.
(c) Uzima Press

Gikuyu Hymn Book (source of the songs)

Published by Uzima Press, Imani Hse, 2nd Floor, St. John’s Gate, off Parliament Road, P.o Box 48127, Nairobi.

Printed by Act Print Ltd, Lunga Lunga Road, P.o Box 48127, Nairobi.  

November 19, 2006 at 10:37 pm 1 comment

Uhoro wa Gukena (Luke 19:9,10)

1. Uhoro wa gukena
Niuukite guku gwitu:
Uhoro mwega ni uyu
Wa Muhonokia witu.

2.  Uhoro niuukite
Gutwira ithuothe
Uria ohanagira
Na uria twendetwo niwe.

3.  Na wendo ni munene
Wa Jesu Muteithania:
Nioimire Iguru
Ni gutuiguira tha.

4.  Niaatukuiriire tene
Atuike igongona,
Na mehia maitu mothe
Hindi io agitwara.

5.  Nituhunjie thi yothe
Uhoro wa Mwathani.
Tukonie andu othe
Wendani wa Mukuuri.

6.  Kinya kugathwo gwake
Gukainwo o ku na ku,
Na mithiriga yothe
Ni igatiga waganu.

*pp. 186 & 187 (last stanza appears on pp. 187).  The song number is 269.

Further bibliographical information:
First published in 1915.
Fourth edition published by the S.P.C.K in 1935.
Reprinted many times since 1935-and supplements included
This edition completely revised, and enlarged, 1974
Reprinted 1975, 1976, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997.
(c) Uzima Press

Gikuyu Hymn Book (source of the songs)

Published by Uzima Press, Imani Hse, 2nd Floor, St. John’s Gate, off Parliament Road, P.o Box 48127, Nairobi.

Printed by Act Print Ltd, Lunga Lunga Road, P.o Box 48127, Nairobi. 

November 19, 2006 at 10:29 pm Leave a comment

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