I Do Not Believe In Struggling

I do not believe in struggling. I believe that God created enough for everyone. He also made us unique so that we can help each other in case we are inadequate in a particular area. For example, doctors treat patients, and teachers educate students, etc. On a micro level, God gives you family and friends who can help you sort your issues. You should assist them as well.

Why are you struggling despite these safeguards put in place by God? Well, I believe it is because someone somewhere is not playing his part. That person could be you. It could be an individual close to you, or perhaps it is a person you do not know.

For example, maybe you are struggling to live in a posh area when you should be in a low-income area. You could also be living in a one-bedroom house when you should be in a bedsitter. In truth, you are stupid. Cut your coat according to your cloth. Life is that simple. Instead, we choose to live in a constant state of want where we have little or no surplus.

Perhaps you are struggling to please the apple of your eye. Leave that fool alone. Remember, affection is free and effortless. If you are struggling to get it, then what you seek is not love so let it be. Remember, a relationship should be an exchange of affection. It should not be an exchange of sex/money for affection.

I have watched men avoiding ‘ugly’ women who have the right qualities for a wife. Similarly, I have witnessed women avoiding ‘poor’ male companions who have the right kind of heart for a husband. Moreover, both genders try to marry someone they can show off as a trophy to their family members, friends, or colleagues. Still, you wonder why you struggle. Still, you wonder why happiness is so elusive.

new-picture

Another case of unwarranted suffering occurs when people who are close to you fail to act right. Family members are usually guilty of this sin. You might find that your relatives seek drama, but they avoid progress. All they can offer you is endless quarrels. Backbiting is also the order of the day. In this case, you are struggling because someone knows you have a strong attachment to him or her. That attachment, if abused, is slavery.

I have also noticed that some people hang around bad company. Companions you have to impress with the way you talk or dress. You have to own the right car and live in a ‘proper’ neighborhood. “When are we going out?” is the only thing you would hear from some of your friends. That is sad. Since when did friendship have conditions attached to it? Endelea tu na ujinga yako. That is why you are struggling.

Of course, I cannot forget the government & other authorities. These entities thrive on limiting the freedoms of those they govern. That is why so many people struggle. Why should doctors be on strike when they could be conducting research on cancer? Where is the money the government takes from us?

We create unnecessary frustrations and tensions when we fail to play our part. More importantly, we invite hate into our hearts when we struggle so hard with little or no success. Do you agree with me? What causes our suffering? Is it natural? Is it the result of someone’s irresponsible behavior?

Let Us Talk About Mary, The Mother Of God: A Response To Gerald M.G.

The person who fixes my dreads (sorry, I meant the person who retouches my dreads. You see Naomi, I remembered.) is not working today, so I have some time to write something small. A friend of mine recently shared a verse with me i.e. First Timothy 2:5. The verse says, “For there is only one God, and there is only one mediator between God and humanity, himself a human being, Christ Jesus.”

He also shared other verses including Matthew 5:23-24, which says, “So then, if you are bringing your offering to the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your offering there before the altar, go and be reconciled with your brother first, and then come back and present your offering.”

Another verse he mentioned is James 5:14-15, which says, “Anyone of you who is ill should send for the elders of the church, and they must anoint the sick person with oil in the name of the Lord and pray over him.”

Now, I had quoted James 5:16. It says, “So confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another to be cured; the heartfelt prayer of someone upright works very powerfully.” I had used this verse to show that God asks us to pray for another and therefore, we should ask the Holy Mother to pray for us. I was trying to show people where the last verse of the Hail Mary Prayer comes from i.e. “Pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death amen.” (The word ‘I’ in this paragraph refers to the pic I  shared that had the explanation on Mary. In other words, someone else came up with it, but I happened to agree with him. Please see the picture below.)

mary

Where is the Hail Mary Prayer in the Bible

 

His argument, basing it on Matthew 5:23-24, was that we should confess our sins to one another. No one is arguing against that. Ironically, the verse I quoted (James 5:16) supports this argument more than the one he quoted. I would add that Mary is one of us and as such, we should confess our sins to her as well (I will explain how she is still one of us later).

His next argument is that when you read James 5:16 together with James 5:14-15, you would realize that James is asking church elders to pray for the sick to strengthen their faith. He also adds that James implies the Church elders are alive i.e. not dead (He believes Mary is dead). The interesting part is that James 5:16 is a progression of James 5:14-15.

Notice the use of the word ‘and’ in James 5:16. It means that you should confess your sins to one another even if you are not sick. Notice the use of the semi-colon after the word cured. People use a semicolon between two independent clauses. Therefore, the heartfelt prayer of someone upright works powerfully, when he prays for a sick person or a healthy person. As you can clearly see, my friend misinterpreted the entire verse.

Did you notice the emphasis on confessing your sins to one another in James 5:16? Did you know that the Catholic Church emphasizes on confession? In fact, Confession is one of the Six Precepts of the Catholic Church. Does your Church stress the importance of confession?

Did you also notice the emphasis on anointing the sick in James 5:14-15? The Catholic Church has seven sacraments. Does your Church have sacraments? Does it need sacraments? We can discuss them another day.

Finally, notice the use of the words ‘heartfelt prayer of someone upright’ and ‘powerfully.’ They appear in James 5:16. Who extends Mary, the Mother of Jesus, in uprightness? Is she not the most blessed among women (Luke 1:42). The English Knights were fond of saying, “Hail, the King.” Here, Angel Gabriel said, “Hail, favored one (Luke 1:28).” One of God’s greatest angels can pay reverence to her. Who are we mortals to deny her special recognition? Angel Gabriel would not honor her in such ways if she were not upright. More importantly, she would not carry Christ if she were not holy. Therefore, her prayers for us would work powerfully, because she is upright (James 5:16).

Remember that verse my friend quoted i.e. First Timothy 2:5 that says Christ is the only mediator between God and us. Does it not contradict James 5:16? Think about it. James explicitly asks us to pray for one another. Is he not asking us to mediate for each us? If so, then does it not contradict Timothy 2:5? No, it does not. My friend quoted it without understanding it correctly.

Jesus is God. Therefore, we are praying for each other to God i.e. Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit. In other words, your brother, mother, the saints, and the Holy Mother do not overlap Jesus when they pray for you to God because Jesus is God. Remember, Paul starts this chapter with “urge then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgiving should be offered for everyone (First Timothy 2:1.)”

It is important to note that he continues, “To do this is right, and acceptable to God our Savior) First Timothy 2:3.” Is Jesus not our Savior? Is he not our God? Therefore, my friend ought to read these verses in their proper context so that he can understand them and the come to the fullness of faith, which is in the Catholic Church.

Finally, this entire debate hinges on the question of whether the Holy Mother is dead. Do you not find it ironic that we know how all the 12 disciples died, but we do not know how Mary died? Did she die? We have no record of it. Could God take her into heaven without her suffering from death? Yes, he could. That is why he is God i.e. he can do anything.

Is there an example of where God did such a thing? Do you remember Enoch and Elijah? Read Hebrews 11:5 and 2 Kings 2:11. Now we know Mary not having died is possible. The question is why Catholics focus on Mary and not Joseph.

Well, Angel Gabriel did not say, “Hail Joseph.” More importantly, Joseph seems to have died before Jesus’ crucifixion. Remember, he was not at Golgotha during Jesus’ affliction. However, the most critical evidence is in Revelation 12. It speaks of a Queen in Heaven. “And a great portent appeared in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars,” – Revelation 12:1.

Is this why Angel Gabriel addressed her with such respect? Is she the Queen of Heaven? You see, Catholics believe that Mary is alive. In fact, she is in Heaven. Are there other humans in heaven? Remember, Enoch and Elijah. Therefore, as you can clearly see, Catholic teaching on Mary is Biblically sound. Conversely, Protestant arguments against Mary have no Biblical basis, at least not in the verses mentioned by my friend.

I prepared this by myself in about 2 hours. I saw the comment, and I started responding to it. You cannot see it, but I am clapping for myself right now. I am not a theologian or spokesperson for the Catholic Church so my arguments do not represent the Church, but most of them stem from Catholic teaching.

Feedback especially criticism is highly welcome. Lastly, nimechoka and I have to go to somewhere, grammar nitacorrect siku ingine.

The ‘Bare Chested’ Argument in African Culture By #MyDressMyChoice Campaigners

The debate over clothing for women rages on in our society with both sides expressing extremely divergent views on the matter. Social media is the main arena for the war of words between these two groups but street demonstrations provided an extra arena for those advocating for individual choice in dressing. Meanwhile, extremists from the other end of the debate choose to express their views through the stripping of women in their midst for ‘provocative dressing.’ This trend is gaining momentum and it should be a cause of worry for every citizen especially when the definition of ‘provocative dressing’ becomes more obscure each day. Another worrying trend is the misinformed arguments put forth by women’s groups and ‘pro-choice’ advocates. These arguments are fallacious yet laced with jargon and nice-sounding slogans that make it hard for moderates on the other side to decipher and then counter. The arguments misinterpret African culture, ignore clothing as an item of communication and fail to see the precedence they are setting.

‘Pro-choice’ advocates have flooded social media with photos of bare chested women wearing traditional African regalia as a way of justifying mini-skirts and tight clothes. These advocates fail to understand decency in the context of culture. For example, the bare chested Turkana woman is decent and fully clothed according to her customs and traditions. People in other cultures viewing her would interpret her dressing based on Turkana culture and therefore, she would still be fully dressed. Her level of decency would not change even if she walked in Nairobi bare chested because dressing that way is her culture but her level of dignity would suffer. Why is this so? A dress is a tangible item that communicates a message to those around us, which can be intentional or unintentional. It is not her intention to communicate anything to anyone while in Nairobi but some people in Nairobi would still receive a message from her without her knowledge. The receipt of these unintended messages by some people is the reason her dignity suffers and it is even worse if she does not know that she is sending such messages. The same case of lowered dignity applies to a woman who wears a completely see-through dress to town unknowingly i.e. her sense of pride, self-esteem suffers as soon as she discovers this fact.

It is also true that our society as a whole associates scantily dressed women with sexual liberalization i.e. women who are aware of their sexual nature and have taken control of it. This in itself is not a bad thing because their sexual nature is theirs is it not. However, our society also associates scantily dressed women with less flattering traits that include sexual promiscuity, sexual perversion and of course red light districts. Now, we can pretend that this is not so but fill in this sentence, “Did you see her dress? Trying to get my man by dressing like a…” Denying that scanty/tight clothes send messages to people about the character of women wearing them is a recipe for disaster for there is reason why such people think so. It is not a coincidence that women in red light districts choose mini-skirts/tight clothes as their preferred clothing item. They know what messages such clothes send and they take advantage of it. In addition, the ‘sexy’ nature of these dresses is something to look at. Women engage in comparative competition and dressing scantily has become a tool of this comparative competition. This means that dresses would become less scanty by the day simply because women are competing with each other. Does anyone else see a problem with this?

We should take note of the precedence our actions set for future generations. We must do things based on solid reasons that would give proper direction for those to come. For example, imagine a scenario where a family, priest, pedophile and prostitute live in the same building where everyone dresses as he or she pleases. The family composed of a teenage daughter, a small son, father and mother does not know that a prostitute and pedophile live near them. The prostitute wears clothes as she pleases and her clothes communicate something to men everywhere. The priest would rather not suffer from temptation but in this case, he cannot escape it if the woman was to wear anything she pleases. The same case of temptation applies to the man in the family that lives in the same building. The teenage daughter grows up seeing how the prostitute dresses, seeing all the money the prostitute makes and she begins to admire the prostitute for her ‘liberalized’ and independent state. The pedophile dresses as he pleases mostly boxers only and he tries to become friends with the small boy. He invites the boy to his home, asks the boy to ‘loosen up’ by wearing boxers only. Now, imagine if someone tells the mother the truth about everything. Her mind would explode would it not? Society cannot exist without a system that warns us of impending catastrophe. For example, the small boy in the short story should feel alarmed when he is in a room where a man wears his boxers only and/or encourages him to do the same. This is only possible if wearing boxers around people is not the norm. The prostitute should wear what she pleases in a given forum but not in every forum making life easier for the priest and for the man in the family. Everyone wins in this building wins just because of a norm in dressing except the pedophile. Additional measures against the pedophile are necessary but proper dressing is a measure you can start with.

I have associated scanty/tight dressing with prostitution/promiscuity as society does so many women would be offended and I understand that because there are many women who wear such clothes without indulging in such vices. What these women should be advocating for is an understanding of how women feel or want when wearing scanty/tight clothes. For example, men feel comfortable when wearing tight fitting shirts so why is it so hard to understand that women feel comfortable when wearing tight fitting clothes. This is an argument that makes some sense and it preserves the warning systems in society. Men should open their minds to these arguments instead of rushing to judge women. It is clear that we interpret scantily dressed women quite differently from how people in Turkana interpret their bare chested women so let us not bring up this argument again. Continued urbanization is a fact around the globe and it means that we will continually meet people from diverse cultural backgrounds with different sets of customs and beliefs. The only way to make things work is to bring to birth a new culture that recognizes the freedoms and choices of individuals living within that urban setting. This is a weighted choice and not an individual one but we should assign as much weight as possible to the individual. Solid reasoning should inform the weights not brute force.

You may also want to read the following article on the same issue. Click on the link below to find out more.

http://nahashonkimemia.org/the-family/it-is-not-your-dress-it-is-not-your-choice/

Hypocrisy Is Not My Color…

The kidnap of three tourists in Kenya prompted the most massive military operation in Kenyan history. We invaded an entire country to protect our citizens and prevent cross border incursions. Do we know the casualties, civilian or otherwise? Do we care? We just want security and we support our troops no matter what.

Three Israeli teenagers die at the hands of Hamas. No one tweets, posts an update or shares a link. Israel responds in a manner similar to ours and all of a sudden, people gain a voice on social media. People do not utter a word when we see images of Palestinians celebrating the death of teenagers but alas, the same people have new-found conscience when they see images of casualties on the Palestinian side.

Honestly, hypocrisy is so last season. I would gladly wear this color but I am as ugly as it gets. I would not want to make my appearance seem anymore grotesque. I cannot accept media propaganda, biased talk and selective revelations. I must knock on the door of truth, justice and hope at all times even if I knock alone.

This conflict will not end unless we embrace that all life, Jewish or Muslim, is precious.

We must also recognize the fact that Israel and its people have a right to exist and a right to defend their existence. We must also recognize that Palestinians have a right to self-determination including forming their own state. Keeping numb when something happens to Israel and then speaking out when something happens to Palestine or vice versa is despicable leave alone hypocritical. All life is precious. One life, two lives, three lives… each one of them is precious.

A Simplified Analysis of the Israeli – Arab Conflict

The ‘Jewish question’ is a question that has plagued humanity from the beginning of time. The Jews have been persecuted, murdered and exiled for years because of this question but they persist. It almost seems as though they are an unconquerable people, perhaps they are the children of God for nothing seems to defeat them no matter how bad it gets. Then there is modern-day Israel, the land upon which the Jews choose to form a state but it is now a hotbed of violence and in time, it may become a catalyst of a global or at least regional war. We must ask ourselves, what the problem in Israel and in Palestine is. We must study this problem keenly for the solution lies in understanding the problem.

Claiming that the Jews as the chosen ones of God is blasphemous in both Christianity and Islam though many Christians may disagree with me. Other religions and those who practice the religion of ‘non-religion’ would undoubtedly agree with me. We are all children of God and none is above the other. However, ideology and interest skews our idea of each other. For example, many evangelical Christians believe that Muslims will go to hell and just as well, Muslims believe that Islam is the only way to God. These ideologies and interests shape our view of world events and therefore, our opinions may just be a reflection of these ideologies and interests as opposed to being a reflection of truth. The same applies to the ongoing violence in the Middle East i.e. our opinions may just be a reflection of ideologies and interests as opposed to being reflection of facts.

Now let us look at these arguments keenly. Many people say that Israel forced the Palestinians out of their territories with the help of the British and as such, the state of Israel came into being. Many people also say that these Israelis immigrated to other lands only to return and claim land that others had already settled on during their absence. Well, it might interest you to note that there is no evidence of a single group of Palestinians forced out of their homes by Jews during or prior to the formation of the Israeli state. Ask for some statistics and dates next time anyone makes this assertion and you will find what I say is true. On the contrary, you will always find evidence of Jews evicted from their homes and their property confiscated by surrounding Arabs prior to the formation of the Israeli state.

Those who say that the Jews received help from the British to immigrate to Israel do not know history. The Jews have immigrated to Israel since the middle Ages when Christians and Muslims forced most of them out of Israel. Pogroms, massacres and genocides in East and Western Europe prompted this immigration. What you should be keen on is the process of immigration and settlement in Israel. For example, did the Jews buy land or did they fight for land. The answer is obvious but we blind ourselves to the truth. The Jews are astute businesspersons who adopted a strategy of buying land in Israel because they could not fight off the rulers. For example, thousands of Israelis immigrated to Israel during the Ottoman rule yet there was no battle with the Ottomans so how did they manage to do this. Jews formed many land buying agencies and through collective effort, they bought land in Israel.

There is clear evidence to show that the British tried to impede Jewish settlement in Israel though public sentiment in Britain was still in support of such a move. Britain was trying to secure Arab oil and it could not do so while it was aiding the ‘people of the Book’ to settle in Israel. The British raised restrictions on Jews entering Israel. It captured Jews caught trying to enter Israel illegally and sent them to Mauritius. The British even put an arms embargo on Israel during a war with its Arab neighbors while the Arabs had highly effective British military hardware. The Jews won thanks to Check Slovakia that defied the arms embargo. You should also note that prior to these occurrences Hitler had raised up anti-Jewish sentiments in the Middle East and he made various promises on the confiscation of Jewish property including land and its appropriation among Arabs surrounding the Jews.

The question is why lies persist. Why do people keep saying that the Jews forced Arabs out of their land to form a state? Where is the evidence? Think of it this way, there are one billion Muslims in the world and counting. What happens when one billion people and more share certain images of conflict and Israeli occupation? What happens when anti-Christian crusaders join them? What happens when the liberals join in? What happens when the conspiracy theorists and anti-Semites join in? I tell you what happens, information is lost and all you have left is propaganda, innuendo, slogans and images. This is why you must always ask for dates and figures, always.