The Parkrun

Ten minutes from our home is Gillooly’s Farm where every Saturday morning the Parkrun event takes place. Parkrun is a 5k event that takes place in parks where people of all ages, race, gender, shapes, sizes, etc run, or walk their dogs or baby strollers. Astonishingly, some people run with their baby strollers. A couple of times I have been overtaken by moms with baby strollers. Argh. This morning I completed my 8th park run. Yay

I enjoy exercise and running in particular. Six years ago, I made running part of my exercise routine and I’ve never looked back. I’ve run a few half marathons and 10k’s over the years. I love it. I am Kenyan and at least in my mind I think I’m one of those elite Kenyan long distance runners. (Just so you know Kenyans epitomize the best of long distance runners in the world. Just so you know) I enjoy running more so because when I run I get lost in my own thoughts. Running has become like some sort of “therapy” where I think about my life, gospel, marriage, and all sorts of things. I laugh at my own foolishness. I shout myself down. I get angry. I regret things I’ve said to Jenny. I sing and pray. I cry sometimes (or is it the sweat that gets into my eyes) Oh, you should see me. 

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Finding Jesus in David’s sin

The gospel has become everything to me. Grace is everything to me. What Jesus did for me is my sail. Without grace, I’m lost in the stormy waters of life. Without the gospel, I’m a mad man hearing strange voices in my head. 

I have to write, journal, read, listen, converse, meditate, debate, consider, contemplate and constantly think about grace. For many reasons but one being to silence the voice of condemnation that speaks so loudly to my heart. The voice of condemnation keeps reminding me how I’ve failed, lied, cheated, doubted, feared and sinned against God and against everyone around me. I have to listen to the gospel. The stereo in our car is always playing sermons and talks that remind us what Jesus did for us. We seem to not get enough of it and every time we’ve lost sight of the gospel, Jenny and I end always end up in a bad space. It is amazing that when the voice of hope and forgiveness is muted, then the voice of condemnation becomes loudest and the consequence is that the person closest to you receives the backlash.

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Fences and Grace #1

 

Recently, I watched the film Fences by August Wilson based on his Pulitzer prize-winning play. The film features the two most gifted and talented actors of their generation – Denzel Washington and Viola Davis amongst other cast of stellar actors. 

 

The film is set in 1950’s Pittsburgh and it’s about Troy Maxson (Denzel Washington), his wife Rose (Viola Davis) and their son Cory (Jovan Adepo). Troy has a mentally impaired younger brother Gabriel Maxson (Mykelti Williamson) and an estranged son Lyons Maxson (Russell Hornsby) from a previous relationship.

Troy works as a garbage collector alongside his best friend Jim Bono (Stephen Henderson) whom he met in prison.

Troy’s younger brother is mentally impaired because of a head injury he sustained while serving in World War 2. Troy used the money Gabriel was paid from the army and bought the house they live in. Troy bought the house so that Gabriel could live with them but Gabriel moved out and is always in the neighborhood causing trouble because of his strange behavior.

Troy left his abusive father when he was young and became a robber. He ended up serving time for fifteen years because he stabbed a man to death he was trying to rob.

In prison, Troy learnt how to play baseball. However, his desire to play professional baseball was thwarted and blamed it on the racism that was very prevalent during his time. He claims that he wasn’t picked to play professional baseball because he was black. Bono his loyal friend thought he was way ahead of his time – came too early. Rose, on the other hand thought the reason why Troy did not cut it was he was too old. He was past the age of playing professional baseball.

His son Cory is a gifted young man who wants to play college football. But Troy insists that he wouldn’t allow him to play any sports because he fears that his son would encounter the same racism that kept him out of the big leagues. He wants his son to learn a trade and look for a job. In the film, you can sense some jealousy because Troy is scared that his son might do better than him.

Rose however is keen that their son embraces sport and makes something out of it. Eventually, Troy scuppers his move to see a recruiter who was due to visit and offer him a place in the college football team. Rose sees in her son that everything he does is to get approval from his father. Yet, his father keeps on pushing him away because of his own insecurities.

The film is very thought-provoking, heart wrenching, tear jerking and inspiring. As you watch the film, your own life might flash before your very eyes. You’d see your life through the various themes that run throughout the film. I cried both times I watched it. 

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Top secrets to landing a job with the grace company – How to prep your CV

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I’ve always been fascinated by leadership and especially how leaders recruit their workers or employees. The recruiting process in companies, organizations, religious organizations, learning institutions, goverments etc. is one that I’ve studied for a long time. It is amazing to see the different approaches used to recruit and retain workers and employees. Some approaches are very rigorous because they seek to always to get the crème de la crème of the work force. 

Here’s a short breakdown of what top companies do during their recruiting process.

  1. Make calls to assess interest and team fit.
  2. Skype, FaceTime or video calls with a recruiter – this usually takes three to four weeks
  3. On site interviews at the HQ or site offices – takes 6 to 8 hours. At this point you get to meet with the people you’d be working with for a culture fit assessment (would you be able to fit into the company’s culture?)
  4. Week or so later you get your results.

This whole process takes time (up to 4 months or more) and a lot of money.

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Why your hair matters to God – Why you are more valuable to God

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Every morning for the past 6 years I have been at the front seat of my wife’s hair-do. I mean literally. Jenny has this particular routine that she has perfected throughout her entire life that she goes through every single morning. Here it is – wakes up – has cereal for breakfast and reads — takes supplements — goes to the toilet (reads while in there) — showers — blow dries her hair  — does her make-up — done. All these take around two hours. Yes, two hours folks. I don’t know how she does it. 

I want to zero in on the part where she blow dries her hair. If I’m lying in bed or downstairs, I usually know that its time for the hair-do because of the sound the hair dryer makes. I’ve actually developed a snarky comment that I make – that the factory is now open for business because of the sound the hair dryer makes. 

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This is war!

 

2 Samuel 3:1 NKJV

Now there was a long war between the house of Saul and the house of David. But David grew stronger and stronger, and the house of Saul grew weaker and weaker.

Right off the gate, Saul and David are both from the same house of Israel. What does Israel represent? The Israel in the wilderness and in Canaan is the NATION under the Old Covenant of law. The Israel of God is the CHURCH under the New Covenant of grace (Galatians 6:16)

Secondly, Saul and David represent two different set or type of believers. Saul is a believer that depends or rests on his own self-effort, performance, strength and obedience. Saul really conducted his life on his self-effort, his performance, and his doing. He did what he wanted to do. He obeyed when he felt it was right. He lived to please people. He did it his way.

David on the other hand believed in chesed. He was totally reliant on the chesed of the Lordchesed is the Hebrew word for grace or the commonly used word lovingkindness . His psalms are full of chesed – his reliance and dependence on chesed for everything.

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How Jesus serves us

The story of Ruth is one that really warms my heart because in a sense I see myself in her story. Every time I read her story, I’m enamored by how Jesus is always attracted to outsiders – the least, weak, women, poor, sick, imperfect, prisoner, widows, orphans, uneducated, oppressed, illegitimate, immigrants, etc. Her story offers us insights into how grace really works and who it works for.

At this point in Ruth’s life, she is a Moabitess and there was a law against her tribe and her people. This was the law – No Ammonite or Moabite or any of their descendants for ten generations may be admitted to the assembly of the Lord. (Deuteronomy 23:3) Ruth was a real outsider.

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