22 December 2008

10 Things I Took For Granted

With only 9 days to New Year, I look back at this year which has flown by and last year as well, and all I see is nothing but God’s grace and love to me.

God’s grace, in that I deserve death, and yet for all that I’ve done wrong and for all the blunders and mistakes I have made in my life, for they are many, God has shown me twice as much mercy. For every mistake, two blessings, and that’s really the definition of grace.

God’s love, in that I am so privileged. I spent over two years away from home, in South Africa, and in those times I learnt many things which I want to compile under the head, “Things I learnt away from home.” Those things have shown me just how privileged I am.

In SA, God has withdrawn a significant portion of his common grace. Proper churches are few and far between. In the town where I stayed, There was no Baptist Church, such a huge contrast from Lusaka and Zambia as a whole where, if you throw a stone, You’ll either hit a Baptist minister or break a Baptist church window!

Not in Nelspruit, SA, the hub of Mpumalanga Province. The only Baptist church there has within its four walls, a single race and a single language, namely Afrikaans, the language of the white South African.

The church I attended was very small, in comparison, of course, to my home church. It was also dead, in comparison to my home church.

One service each Sunday, a midweek prayer meeting in the morning, attended only by retirees who are the only people free at 10hrs in the morning and a men’s meeting once every two fortnights. There was a cell meeting attended by a few church members but I did not once register it as a church midweek programme because in a church where 90% are white, no white person from church ever attended our cell. The average age group of the church, was, I’d guess, around 60. Pastor Steve, himself, is over 70 years old, with the physique of a man 20 years his junior. The church had no youth ministry and no evangelism outreach. I am reliably informed that things have only gotten worse now and it breaks my heart.

Now with a background like KBC where church life is as busy and active as a beehive, this was zero. I felt like one second I was running at full speed down a long, downhill highway and suddenly, the next, I was lying in a bed. Adrenaline pumping and panting for breath and yet, still lying in bed. What a feeling it was! For those of you who don’t exercise, driving a car at 200km/hr, and then suddenly driving at 10km/hr, a total anti-climax.

10 Things I took for granted:

  1. The sound preaching of God’s word. My dad is pastor of the church of which I am a member so taking for granted the sound peraching of God's word, was worse. We pastor's children are surrounded by alot of high expectations from those around us and on that final day, God will require from us more than he will from any other something something's child because we sit under the minister's nose each day of our dependent life. Anyway, when excellent preaching becomes a norm, you take it for granted. I found, in the town where I was, a brother some members of our church will remember, Mickey Chikwabe. Mickey was literally starving, spiritually. It was only when he discovered that you could download great sermons from the net, that he was revived. I remember when I returned home for a short while, I heard my dad preach and it was music to my ears! I drank in every word and could not stop smiling and thanking God.
  2. Hymns & Zambian congregational singing. At the church I attended in SA, we sang 50% contemporary hymns and 50% good old hymns. Its not that the contemporary hymns and choruses where meaningless, they were excellent and I wish we could start singing some in our churches but I just missed the good old hymns we sang 100% back home, the hymns I grew up singing. I also missed the thunderous singing. I came back home and I could feel the passion of the congregation as we sang and couldn’t help but wish we could sing like that forever and ever and ever. Heaven will be a blast!
  3. Youth Fellowship. There existed no youth fellowship when I got to our church in SA, but we started one. Apparently there were attempts to restart it several times in the past but to no avail. In a church having 90% white folks only 0% white youths, attended our youth meetings. I am reliably informed that the ministry is not doing well and has closed its meetings for the festive season.
  4. Open doors. In SA our church was in a, I’d say, middle class area, the majority of the families in the neighbourhood, were white. We formed an evangelism team that went out after the church service for one hour. Out of a church of 90% white folks, 0% attended the outreach on Sunday, and we really needed some white folks! After a while a blessing, in form of one white, 14 year old girl, joined us. She added colour to our all black group. We had been praying for white folks to join our crew and had been inviting them Sunday after Sunday, not one person apart from that girl joined us. She had an older sister and two parents who attended our church but she is the only one who answered our call. It was important to us that we have colour in our team if we were going to evangelise in the area around the church because most of the whites were uncomfortable with black people standing outside there gate. It was tough because none of the whites let us in and most of the blacks were poor at English. In our whole team, none of the blacks were indigenous South Africans. We had 5 Zambians, 3 men, 2 female and 2 Ghanaians, both male. The white residents didn’t want us and we could not communicate effectively to the blacks who worked for the whites. Those people who would let you talk to them were as rare as diamond, and I’m serious. When you found someone who was willing to listen you cancelled all your plans and feasted on such an opportunity. If you were supposed to marry your fiancee that same day, you rang her up and said, "Honey, halt! Postpone the wedding! I have found someone willing to listen to the gospel! We can marry some other time." I only entered one house in over a year of evangelistic efforts! You can imagine how crazy I was about evangelism when I got back home, every evening I’d head out there and evangelise. When I began school here, I’d head out to Lusaka Trades as often as my parents would let me. I had finally found open doors. (It’s a shame that many people will read this and get convicted of there lack of diligence in the work of evangelism and yet do nothing about it. I know this because, we all know how privileged we are in Zambia were open doors scream at you and yet we do not maximize on them.)
  5. Sanity. You don’t need an imagination in SA. All the women in the streets will show you everything you want to see. With tight clothing, open bosoms, and skirts which look like they were made for people half their age, the dressing in SA is blinding. Nudity is the norm, in the work place, at the mall, in restaurants and at church. I played lots of soccer in SA, Monday and Thursday evenings. But whenever I checked the soccer pitch on weekends and holidays, none of the chaps were there. I soon discovered that every weekend and holiday was set aside for sin. Partying, drinking, orgies, my goodness, God have mercy on that Nation! Pregnant girls all over the place. You cannot live in SA for a year with out getting in contact with a pregnant girl or one who has a child, you just can’t. Either at the work place or school, even church, you are bound to find yourself relating to a girl having a child out of wedlock. I recall my first evening in SA. I was at the dinner table having supper with my new family. I was so appalled with what I heard on the news, “Man rapes his seven month child.” I look around me expecting to see someone faint at such horrid news but no, someone even reached for another helping! Before I knew it, I was the one asking for seconds at such news, because you hear those headlines each and every day! Zambia is heading that way, unfortunately. Mickey loves to say that Zambian ladies are more beautiful than SA ladies, what he actually means is that the decency of Zambian girls make them more appealing and attractive than SA ladies.
  6. Opportunity to serve and use my gifts. I thank God for my church more than ever. A place where I can sing and play guitar and write in newsletters and organise camps and concerts and youth meetings. I took all these things for granted. It was difficult in SA because, I was new there and I was not even sure whether or not I was a member, as there is no welcoming of new members, at least not publicly. Anyway, the opportunity to use and be used in a vibrant church is awesome! I now savour every second and work more diligently.
  7. Home. On a more personal level, I have gotten to know myself a lot better over the past two to three years. I am now sure who I am, what I like doing, where I like to be and with whom. The search for myself and for identity has come to an end. It is through this discovery of me that I found out that I hate new places and I am not too enthusiastic about new people. So being away from home for extended periods of time is not my cup of tea. When talks with my parents were concluded and it was a done deal, I wasn’t going back to SA, I was ecstatic! After being home for about half a year now, the prospect of going to visit my SA home excites me because, I do have a home in SA now. But I just love home and the people at home can see it, I am having a blast!

I thought I’d make it to 10 but I can’t remember other things I took for granted or perharps I've run out of steam so, I’ll end here.

Look Left, Look Right And Look Left Again!

On yesterday, I was with my two buddies. There were accompanying me to the road side where I’d catch a quick bus home. It was dark. We got to the road side; I looked right, then left. Upon seeing that there were no cars nearby, in sight, I began to cross the road, and then one of my buddies decided to address me. "Hey, remember blah blah blah…" So I stop, in the middle of the road and turn my head backwards to hear what he is going on about, next thing I know, my other friend rushes across the road and pushes me to the other side. Apparently, the car that was approaching me was pretty close. So, when all three of us got to the other side, I asked my friends how close the car was, one guys says, “You were a dead man.” The other: "Nowhere close man." So I turn to the first and ask, “Would I have made it across if I didn’t stop in the middle?" He says, “You’d have made it alright, you’d have made it straight to heaven.”
(Written on the 21/12/08).

I’m On A Row!

Tribute to Abishai Ngulube:

Since am on a role here, I am going to write another tribute.

Abishai Ngulube is an amazing pianist, you will see him playing keyboard at church every so often and at our church concerts all the time. In the short time I have known him; I have found him to be extremely humble, respectful, selfless and sincere.

Of late I have been trying to get him to admit that he is good at playing the keyboard but he won’t badge! If there’s anyone who realises that his talent is God given and undeserved, it’s him. And he sure uses his abilities to serve the Lord, which brings me to my next point.

If I were Abishai, and had his amazing gifts, well, to get me to play at your church or concert, you would probably have to pay me but not Abishai. I recall how during the rehearsals for the Youth Concert, Abishai would use his own cash to get to the rehearsals so he could help by playing keyboard. We as organisers only realised towards the end of our time of rehearsal that it was thoughtless of us to allow that to happen. And yet this young man, never once complained, but used his own time to come over and use his own gift at our own leisure and not for free either, he did it all at his own cost! Come on! That’s an amazing trait. I could never. I could do all these things but certainly not at my cost.

Few men are as humbly as Abishai. I recall a time when he came over to my house and we were discussing something and he got a call. I was impressed with his cell phone and asked to take a look. Well he handed it over and I began my inspection. When I was done and we continued talking, I forgot that I still had it in my hand, Abishai asked for his phone back in such a humble way that you’d have thought the phone was mine. “May I please, kindly, sort of, kind of, hopefully, if you don’t mind, I mean, would you be so kind as to, please, kindly pass me the phone?”

I was like dude! It's your phone!

Ok... so he didn’t really say it as humbly as that but he almost got onto his knees as he asked for it and I was like, "Wow!" If the phone was mine, I’d probably say, ”Hey buddy, I’d like my phone back now thank you very much!”

I respect Abishai and so does every other person who knows him. His conduct demands respect because he himself is respectful and patient. Just a couple days ago, I was playing the keyboard while he set up a few things. When he was done, he just sat there for, I don’t know how long, waiting for me to realise that he was waiting for it. When he saw that I’d realise precisely 1 light year from that moment, that he was waiting for me, he asked for the keyboard in his humble way again, and I knew for sure that my patience could not stretch that long.

I get so thrilled to see people happy when they get something that they really need and wish for. If I could, I’d get Aby a keyboard. He is working towards getting one, but the kind he is eyeing cost an arm and a leg. If I could, I’d be thrilled to provide it to him absolutely free. He deserves it. But now I will do, for him, what is within my means, I will write him a tribute that will hopefully help people appreciate his sacrifices and love for the Lord!

"I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, Always in every prayer of
mine for you...making request with joy, For your [partnership] in the
gospel from the first day until now..."
-Phillippians 1:3-5

Abishai, thanx for being a partner in the gospel!

16 December 2008

Under His Wing

Tribute to Brian Mpanzha:

There’s a man at church who I consider to be my older brother. Years ago, he did something that caught me alittle of guard but has helped me tremendously in my life.

I remember that afternoon distinctly.

Brian enjoyed playing basketball and I loved playing too, so I’d join him (I havn't really played in ages though!). Well, one afternoon after enjoying a game, Brian escorted me back home. He told me that he wanted us to develop a close bond were I could, in essence, come under his wing. We would begin to talk regularly and I would tell him what issues I was going through etc. He told me that at first it would be difficult for me to open up to him but that in due course I would.

Now, I am a very closed up person, I love my space and I love my privacy. I like my small circle of close friends and I always find it hard to meet new and bond with new people. Brian told me that in due course I would open up to him. I laughed inside almost saying, "Don’t hold your breath Brian!"

I thought it was just my luck. I mean, why me? Why'd he pick my life to disturb by trying to enter in? Little did I know that Brian's friendship would mean a lot more than I could ever imagine.

Well, Brian led us into our first talk, he asked me, I was a young teen at the time, what changes were taking place in my body, you know, the whole “teen talk”. I was completely shocked! I was thinking, "Is he serious? Does he really think I am going to have this conversation with him?" I was totally quiet, giggling here and there but saying absolutely nothing.

He tried to ask a couple more questions but to no avail, I’d just giggle and shyly and look away but never answer. So he decided to pick it up on his own, he talked and talked about sexuality, girls, cleanliness etc. When we got home, he told me that we would speak again soon.

Brian’s predictions were right on the money, in no time, I opened up to him like a lady to her prince charming! And to my utter amazement too!

He no longer had to initiate discussions anymore, I would go after him myself and start talking and asking and sharing. I was completely free with him.

When he got into University, he’d invite me over for the weekend and I’d let it all out.

Over the years, we gradually stopped meeting as frequently as before, spending time rarely and yet even now the effects of that friendship he offered me remain. To date I am completely free with him and the advice he gave and still gives me is still helpful to me.

We did lots of things together from going out for lunch, to weekends at his room, to places where we could swim and all that, it was great.

I recall asking him about music. A friend of mine had introduced me to a pop group that sang "love songs". I immediately consulted my older brother when we met. Do you know this group? What do you think of it? He discouraged me from listening to the group.

He had become, to me, someone I could tell my worst sins and not expect him to condemn me.

I think every boy and girl needs a "Brian" to take them under their wing. Someone godly with whom they can form close ties and in whom they can confide. Someone they can trust with their issues great or small, serious or not. If you are in a place where you have people younger than you, befriend them, take a deliberate step to enter their lives. Be an older brother or sister to them and watch your relationship with them grow to such heights that they confide in you totally. Imagine the positive voice and influence you can have over them replacing the voice and influence of this sinful and corrupt world, just imagine...

You may worry that you might be taking the place of that young persons parents. Don't.

I remember Brian mentioning in our first talk, that when I have "teen talks" with my parents, they may be suprised that I've already talked to him, but that did not worry him at all. The combined input of both him and my parents would only help me more.

But also, during teen years, I've found that teens around, open less to their parents the older they grow. Obviously, parents are to blame for this and its something they need to work on. Its no wonder that it is at that time of their lives that they begin to wander. Its because they turn to their peers for guidance. Parents only see the results of peer pressure, a pregnancy, a child comes home drunk, a child runs away from home and in the worst instances, the sudden death of a child. The build up to these tragedies is discreet. The older teens and young adults can help in this area by befriending the young stars.

I bet Brian had other things he would have preferred to do and yet he took time to invest in me, an ordinary kid. I will forever be thankful to God for him and to him for his sacrifice.

I must mention Graham at this point.

If there's one thing I remember about my relationship with Graham, it was that he was always there. When I went into secondary school, when I went into high school, when I left home, he always took time to advise me and I never ever requested either! He'd just say, "hey, whats new?" And I'd say, "Well, am getting into high school." "Oh," he'd reply. "You know, high school this and high school that... He'd just get into it. I was not as free with Graham but I really enjoyed stopping by his place. I'd be walking past his place with my buddy and we'd both just stop by. He was a couple years our senior but he would still give us time and hang out with us. Thanks for your friendship Graham!

Let me just share a secret in closing on how to make younger guys open up. There is a friend of mine who had "data" on every young person in the church because everyone opened up to him. He knew who was liked by who and who was eyeing who. He knew it all and he got this information from the sources themselves. How did he do it? I figured it out! He opened up to everyone else! That was him by nature. He is such an extrovert and talks to strangers like he has known them for years. If you are struggling to get your young star to open up to you, tell him what you went through and who you liked at his age and where you made mistakes. Before you know it, he'll open up-I think.


11 December 2008

Embracing Accusation

Note: To understand this post, you may need to read through the whole song first.


The father of lies
Coming to steal Kill and destroy
All my hopes of being good enough
I hear him saying cursed are the ones Who can’t abide
He’s right Alleluia he’s right!


The devil is preaching
The song of the redeemed
That I am cursed and gone astray
I cannot gain salvation
Embracing accusation


Could the father of lies
Be telling the truth Of God to me tonight?
If the penalty of sin is death
Then death is mine
I hear him saying cursed are the ones Who can’t abide
He’s right Alleluia he’s right!


The devil is preaching
The song of the redeemed
That I am cursed and gone astray
I cannot gain salvation
Embracing accusation


Oh the devil’s singing over me
An age old song
That I am cursed and gone astray
Singing the first verse so conveniently
He’s forgotten the refrain
Jesus saves!

-Embracing Accusation by Shane Bernard

Shane Bernard is a Christian Musical Artist and along with Shane Everett, they are best known as Shane & Shane. Click here to listen to some of their music and here to visit their my space page. When I discovered the dual, I could not believe my ears, they were exactly what I was looking for in Christian artists. There use of stringed instruments, there excellent guitar skills, their passion for the Lord as shown in the lyrics of there songs, their soaring vocals, ah! It was heaven on earth! I love these guys!

Anyway on their last album, theres a song entitled Embracing Accusation. I did not really like it at first until I discovered that the song's theme is based on an issue that I struggle with, probably more than any other issue in my walk with the Lord, the issue of Condemnation.

When the Apostle Paul said he was the worst/chief of sinners (1 Timothy 1:15), well, he hadn't met me yet! I am the worst of sinners, I really am. And the devil does a good job of reminding me of it.

In the first verse, Shane says that the devil constantly reminds us that he who sins, is "cursed and gone astray". He, the devil, sees to it personally that we are reminded of the terrible sins we commit and whispers in our ear, "You will never be good enough, You love sin, You love it so much and that is why you continue to do it, You don't really love the Lord, He deserves better than you." In essence the devil "steal[s] and destroy[s] all our hope[s] of being good enough".

You know what? "He is right"!

Now listen to the voice of the defeated Christian, he says, 'you know what?"If the penalty of sin is death, then death is mine"(Romans 6:23).' He begins to listen and believe the lies of the "father of lies", He begins to torture himself by engaging in self pity. He begins to condemn his very self. The devil can even take a break from condemning him and he'll pick it up right where the devil left off.

There's a paradox here, I say the devil speaks the truth when he whispers those lies in our ears. You ask how can the devil be "telling the truth" and yet be lying at the same time?

Well its simple.

The devil speaks the truth when he sings that melody constantly in our ears saying, "cursed are the ones who cannot abide (Genesis 3:17-19, notice here the curse pronounced upon Adam because he could not abide, Romans 5:12)" the commands of our God. In fact, its "an age old song", A song "of how [we] are cursed and gone astray", he sings the verses "so conveniently BUT HE HAS FORGOTTEN THE REFRAIN!", he forgets the rest of the melody, he forgets the rest of the story, he forgets the rest of the song.

In other words, the devil tells a half truth and a half truth is a lie. He forgets the refrain which is-


Amen, Praise the Lord, Hallelujah! Jesus Saves!

No matter how many times I sin, no matter the frequency of my sin, no matter the variety or the magnitude, If Jesus has saved me, I am innocent! I have been set free, I no longer have chains around my feet, and no matter what the devil tries to say, I A-M I-N-N-O-C-E-N-T!

I have been Justified, I have been made right before the God (Romans 3:23 & 24)! I may sin but I am not condemned. That night when I asked God to forgive me and come and make a home in my heart, to change my heart of stone and give me one of flesh, that night God, not only forgave my past and present sins, but my future sins too, Jesus, that great high priest died for them all! Amen, Praise the Lord, Hallelujah!

I forget this truth so often. The opposite extreme is just as bad. That of abusing this forgiveness of future sins. For me the last few line of the chorus confused me for a while but I think I get it what Shane is trying to say here. He says," I cannot gain salvation, embaracing accusation." As Christians we cannot serve God effectively and get to heaven intact if we embrace the devils accusations. We will be wallowing in self pity if we embrace the devils accusation and sometimes we think by doing this maybe God we forgive our sin. By engaging in self pity God will see how bad we feel about how sin and forgive it, we cannot gain salvation embracing accusation. That's not how its done. We have to get on our faces every time we mess up which will be, for some of us, everyday, and repent. Salvation cannot be gained by embracing accusation, in fact it cannot be gained at all! Salvation is not do, do, do, Salvation is done, done done!


03 December 2008

Concert Preps'

On Friday evening at 5.30pm the youths of Kabwata Baptist Church will hold a Fundraising Concert to earn money for their annual evangelistic youth camp in December.

We have been practising for the last few weeks, every Sunday between services. At first there was some reluctance from the youths who were so co-operative last year. Obviously the guys have gotten bigger both physically and mentally and have become more self conscience, the guys have their whole ego thing going and the girls have their whole shy thing but as we have progressed we have seen the participants develop an interest and ownership of the material and thus they have gradually become dedicated and involved in the rehearsals.

Even the older intermediate youths have shown encouraging interest and seriousness, we give glory and honour and praise to God for this.

It has indeed been an awesome time and as an organiser I'd like to add that hopefully it will be the last time for me to participate as an organiser, the stress and workload and worry are unbearable!

With only two days left to the concert, stress levels are through the roof, anxiety is rife, a mixture of worry and excitement has filled the hearts of the youths who will be participating.

The Highs:

The concert preps have been both exhilarating and intense. We have seen the youths get to know each other better.

Those who didn't know that they could sing now do and those we did not know could sing have now shown their gifts.

The rehearsals have been fun, laughing together, singing together has really been a joy.

For the intermediate youths, one obvious high was the chance we got to wet the appetites of the congregation, when we gave them a taste of the concert by performing a song last Lord's Day. We are beginning to fear that we may have set the bar alittle too high!

The Lows:

Two sister churches whose youths we had asked to participate by singing could not join us, two other groups whom we were hoping would join us, pulled out. This has really caused us problems and sorrow but we'll see how it goes.

Well, I will definitely upload concert photos and all that after the concert!


25 November 2008

Love: About The Other Person

A couple months ago, August to be more precise, my friend and I were having a chat, at the Agricultural Show, about a girl he really liked. He told me that of all the girls he has ever seen or liked, he liked her most, infact he was pretty sure that he loved her.

This friend of mine and I are members of the same church and have grown up together literally. I just thought I should put that into perspective. Of course I would sooner cut my left arm than mention his name!

Well, things didn't quite work out between him and his "love" and he told me that the whole thing really hit him badly. I asked him if he still loved her and he answered in the affirmative. Well "love" is a pretty strong word.

I believe if a man loves a woman, he wants to see her happy because true love is about the other person. So I asked my friend, "Suppose you knew that this lady you love so much would be happier without you and with someone else instead, would you let her go?" My friend was very honest and told me he would not! So I rephrased the question, this time eliminating him from the picture. This time, I asked,” Guys A & B, realise that the women they love would be happier with other men; guy A lets his love go while guy B does not. Which of the two guys loves his lady the most?" As my dad says, "no prize for guessing", he settled for guy A.

I told my friend that I did not think he really loved her because love is about the other person, their needs, their wants, their happiness, all above yours. Seeing them happy makes you happy. Your happiness is made complete by theirs.

This issue of my love for a person being about the other person and not about me is lacking even in the church. A young lady joins the church and within 2 months she has been approached by seven separate men! There's something wrong there because if any of those seven men really loved this new lady, they would first want to get to know her a little, if you ask me two months is not a valid time frame.

Ok, that example is a bit far fetched but here is one closer to home. I have had the privilege of being close to some ladies who are my older sisters in the Lord and one in particular has told me she is uninterested in relationships largely due to her past. She had never grown up with her parents and has always been on the move from relative to relative. She is passionate about working towards independence, then and only then, will she consider getting into a relationship. She is not ready to get into a relationship and get married in a year and a half and be a dependant of her husband, she wants time to complete her tertiary studies and have the satisfaction of being nobodies dependant but completely independent.

This particular lady has been approached by brothers in the Lord on multiple occasions and some other brothers have begun dropping hints. Do any of those brothers really love her? I doubt it. If they did they would be more interested in her as a person because love is about the other person. Her background, her likes, her dislikes, her hobbies e.t.c. Knowing her name would be good too!

A friend of mine asked a girl to be his girlfriend. Her reply totally embarrassed him! She responded with a question. She asked, "Brother, what is my surname?" He had no clue what her surname was, no clue! He did not love her because love is about the other person. When you love someone there should be no rush.

If any of those brothers really loved my older sister in the Lord, who I have spoken about, they would know that she is not interested in a relationship through interaction with her and getting to know her better. True love is about the other person.


P.S: I do not advocate nor encourage, I hope(!), relationships between people who are two young to be in them for example, my two friends who I have mentioned above.

24 November 2008

Outside Looking In

This is the first of a series of "posts" which I have been planning to write for quite a while.

Most of what I write here is "brewed". In other words, the posts you see here are a result of probably weeks of brewing in my heart and this is one I have been brewing for quite a while. I have a lot of ideas of stuff to write. The thing that holds me back is both time and mood. If I am upset over anything, I just can't write. Anyway, I have been brewing a series of posts which I can generally entitle, "Things I learnt in the two years I spent away from home". This is the first of the series:

I spent the last two years in South Africa where I lived with my Uncle and his family. They were very welcoming to me. They embraced me as family! I hate being away from home. I hate being in unfamiliar territory with people I don't know and so, adjusting to my new surrounding was exciting at first but very hard later. After getting accustomed to everybody at home, I really became part of the family. If you re-read my last statement, you will notice that I called my Uncles place in SA, "home". That is really how I feel about it. It will always be home and I don't see myself ever being uncomfortable there.

The first thing I'd like to share that I learnt away from home, is the fact that I found myself on the "outside looking in".

What is the difference between looking at a room, in a house, from inside it and looking at it from the outside i.e. through a window? Well from the inside you can only see sections of the room at any given time. The span of your eyes is limited. You can not see the entire picture but only parts of it. Looking at the same room from the outside in, adds a whole new dimension! You get to have a holistic view. I got to look in from the outside when I lived as a dependant rather than as an heir.

I am the first born in my family. Its not something I often think about, there's no bell in my head that constantly rings reminding me that I am the first born. I am now aware that there's a bell that rings in the heads of all those who have lived with my family for an extended period of time but are not my siblings. When they looked at me, they could not help but realise that I was the first born.

I know this because I, for the last two years, walked in their shoes. I was no longer a prince but I was now a mere dependant. My Uncle, Aunt and their family really made me feel part of the family but there was this bell in my head that kept ringing. I was not a child of my guardians, I was a dependant. Every time I saw their two children, I thought,"They are what this is all about, this food I'm eating, this t.v am watching, its all theirs, am not involved in this. I am insignificant."

I was no longer free to hold on to the T.V remote and change channels at will, I now watched what the members of the family I found, preferred, something I have never known. I could nolonger play my music as loud as I wanted to, I could not go to the fridge and prepare me a snack any time I felt like, I could not ask for money anytime I wanted to. There was no one to run to when I had a headache or stomach ache. No mom, no dad. I could not rearrange the room to fit my preference, I couldn't visit any room I felt like. I now understood what a "master bedroom" was. I now know that a master bedroom is a room you have never and will never enter! I nolonger had the freedom to scream or shout or do things which are silly or put my feet up or sit on the carpet, it was all gone.

I had to make sharp adjustments. At first all these things did not occur to me. I was still enjoying South Africa, still looking around, still exploring but when my feet finally touched the ground, the fact that I was a dependant really fell heavy on me. It was hard-nolonger first born, no longer the centre, no longer on the inside but rather on the "outside-looking in".

Thankfully, God had blest me with a loving, family. By the time I began my second year in SA, I was able to do all the things I couldn't. But for quite a long time, those things I took for granted, I nolonger had.

When I left home, I was about 18 years old, and also a man so, I had enough ballast to handle the whole thing but it was still very, very hard. I can only imagine what those dependants who've lived in our home have had to go through especially with my selfishness. I recall times when I was so unwelcoming, insisting on having the remote, sleeping on the bed alone so my brother would have to share with the dependant, or even sleeping in the sitting room if things were not going my way. How unwelcome they must have felt! Thank God he saved me!

Letting dependants know that you are the first born of the family is the most unwelcoming thing you can ever do. Believe me, they know you are first born, they know that the bread winners are your parents-don't rub it in!

The other thing I missed on the other side was the love and care. Not that I didn't get any but that I didn't get the 101% I am accustomed to. Obviously my SA parents could not give me that, they had two children of their own! They really balanced things and made me feel cared for but I missed the 24 hour attention, 7 days a week for sure!

The thing I learnt is that God had given me a family so that I can share it with others, especially those dependants who come to stay with us. I should do everything in my power to share the privileges and make them feel welcome and ask them what they need and show them love.

One thing is for sure, at home you will now find me making the most of my privilege of being part of the nuclear family, I spread myself everywhere and anywhere. I especially like the carpet just infront of the t.v with a cushion beneath my head! My parent obviously wonder whats wrong with this boy sleeping around the floor like that at the age 20, its just that I've missed being a kid in the house I guess. I've missed the freedom to be a child. At home, I don't have to prove anything, I can let go of the child in me alittle. I hope I will never forget this lesson and forever remember to use the place God had given me to make others feel at home away from home.


17 November 2008

Running A Home

6am this morning, marked exactly 2 weeks since I last saw my parents in the flesh, thanks to skype! Skype is just great! You can talk to anyone, anywhere as long as you both have computers with an Internet connection and even be able to see them as you talk! It would probly have to be high speed though. Dad and Mom left the house for the airport enroute to Brazil the week before last.

There were some mixed feelings. Dad and Mom were obviously alittle anxious because for the first time they left us all by ourselves as "children" for a considerable period of time, half a month! We as children had some mixed feelings about it too.

On Sunday evening, Mom gave me a talk on responsibility and all that.

Things have gone pretty well, the house is still standing, so are its members. All members of the house who were present after the parents departure are still staying in the house although we came very close to losing one. Don't worry, the story is too interesting for me not to tell!

During the parents absence alot has happened, there has definitely been a whole lot of drama. I, unfortunatley, was at the centre of all the problems.

Our first night alone, I remember distinctly that power went, and I upset my young brother. Alittle further on and I upset my young sister. The beginning of the second week saw my sister leave the house, literally, because I had upset her, again. Yes, its been a memorable week alright!

The night power went, my brother asked my sister (I should do a post on my family so that I can begin addressing my siblings by name instead of by their relationship to me!) for a candle so he could study because he was going to write an exam the next day. For some reason he didn't get his candle and so he asked me to intervene. Well, I told him that it is important to "make hay while the Sun shines" and not at night when the power might go. Well, he did not take that too well! After clarifying what I actually meant cause it looked like he had missed my point, he told me firstly, that he was infact ready for his paper but simply wanted to go through some past papers and secondly, that he did not spend his day watching t.v as accused (by myself) but had actually spent his day studying taking regular breaks to refresh his mind by turning on the television for a few minutes each time. Well after I concluded, our public dispute (our audience being our two sisters), my brother was still quite upset and muttered a few words as he walked away in rage.

The power came back and went again. My brother came back from his room and confronted me in the dark, we couldn't see each other. Basically, he told me that he had a couple problems with my behaviour towards him especially infront of others, namely, our sisters, my friends and his friends. I plead "not guilty" to all charges and quickly became my on advocate. He wasn't absolutely happy after I was done but I suppose took comfort in the fact that he had voiced out his grievances. We haven't really argued since.

It was not a very good start to my reign as "man of the house". Little did I that I had not seen anything yet! I do not even remember what caused the dispute between my sister and I. My best guess is that it all began when she got her plate for supper from the kitchen, sat in the sitting room and without waiting for the others, started eating. I told her to be patient next time, so we can pray and eat together. Maybe that sparked something, I'm not really sure. Well, I did something wrong, she (my sister) was quick to correct me, I refused to bend-pride but after she left, I yielded. Then she came back to again tell me that I was in the wrong still, which I was, sorry I am beating about the bush here-deliberately so.

Anyway, my sister and I even stopped talking to each other, literally. I remembered that at a certain point, I would have to begin leading the family devotions and obviously, I couldn't lead devotions well, if I was not on speaking terms with a member of the house. With that in mind, on Friday night, the first Friday night with out the parents, I got home and asked my sister, Mwape, if she could come into my room so we could talk. I then went to my room, started playing the guitar while waiting for her. Just when it seemed that I would have to go call her again, she arrived. I acknowledged that I was wrong the day I had refused to listen to her correction and apologised for it. I then asked her to tell me what I needed to work on and I would simply listen.

It was like giving her a belt and telling her to whip away! She shot me down! "Mwindula, you are rude, unaffectionate, arrogant, argumentative..." and so on she went. When she gave me her list, my reaction (in my mind ofcourse) was, "yeah, right." I didn't agree with a word she said! That was until she gave me example after example for each item on her list. And she was having so much fun doing it! I mean, we were called for supper and she immediately asked that we be given a couple more minutes. After emptying the last of the bullets in her gun, she was done. I promised her that I would work on the things she had mentioned. After that things were good as new, infact, they were better! You'd never had known that we had argued.

The biggest challenge came on the first Sunday evening since my parents departure. This time, my sister was being funny. Over lunch she had acted really silly to me infront of her friends, I won't go into details. Anyway, she lost the battle and had thus gotten upset with me. That evening she walked out of the house at night without my consent or anyone else's to go to my other sisters place. She returned the next day. Monday evening, she again, walked out of the house, but this time instead of watching her leave,I ran after her. Our conversation was pretty intense:

Mwindula: Where you going?

Sister: To ask the guards to get me something next door.

Mwindula: That's not what you told [our brother] when he asked you where you were off to as you walked out the door a second ago.

She thought I was now trying to interrogate her and began walking away. I continued talking and she continued walking. I grasped her arm to stop her walking and she exploded! "Don't squeeze my arm like that! Blah blah blah blah. Blah blah blah blah." We exchanged words, not screaming or anything but she was definitely on fire!

I'll bet the guards, who were watching the whole thing, were getting some real life stage entertainment!

I apologised for being rough with her:

"Sorry I didn't mean to be rough but what else could I have done? I was trying to stop you from walking away while I was talking to you. Look, is there a problem? (No response, and she wasn't looking at me either.) Whatever you want, you should not have to leave the house, with two brothers within its walls, to go ask the guards outside to get it. The reason why dad left me as the oldest man in the house is because he expected that whatever you need, requiring a mans strength or help, you could get from me. If you don't feel comfortable with me helping you or you don't want to talk to me, we can get another person who you would rather, handles your needs. (Still no response, no eye contact either.) Who should we call who you would be more comfortable speaking with? One of the elders maybe? Even yesterday, when you walked out at night, if anything happened to you, what would I tell dad? Dad, "she walked out and I failed to stop her?" Whatever you need, I am here to meet it."

I left it at that and she went to talk to the guards. I thank God he gave me grace to handle that confrontation. She was a little upset from that day but as the days rolled by she came around and before long things were all good again. During the time she was upset after the confrontation, the words "love her like Jesus" kept coming to me. Its actually a song by "Casting Crowns". Everytime we called her to eat and she didn't want to, I thought, let me allow to cool off, let me love her like Jesus.

Overall God has been great to us. He has kept us and has kept sanity. One thing is for sure, I am not interested in running a home at all. Juice given to Dad and Mom who deal with radical teens like us "children" in their home. The taste of running a home has really made me appreciate my parents and what they do for me and my siblings. They are coming home tomorrow and I can't wait!!

15 November 2008

Update on __________

The little guy is gone. I took the kitten in because I thought it had a better chance of survival with me than out there. I read, on the Internet that kittens are not to be given cow milk let alone milk with sugar in it as they end up with a running tummy. As for cow milk, it does not have all the nutrients necessary for kitten's growth. I couldn't feed the little guy anything, so I reasoned alittle. If I kept it, it would probably end up malnourished or dead, therefore, it would have a better chance of survival staying where I found it in the first place i.e. where its mother could easily find it. I took it back on the street in the morning. When I checked on it the next day, it was gone. The whole thing was really out of my hands, I left the situation in God's.

13 November 2008

What have I done now?!

I just had to do it. I couldn't leave the poor thing out there on the street. It was so small and it kept on crying, so far from any home, obviously lost by its mother.

Yesterday, or was it the day before? I was escorting my friends, Edwin and Henry, and as we walked along, we came across a little kitten. It was so tiny, about the size of my hand. It was walking, staggering actually, aimlessly in circles, crying or whatever that was. It was obviously born not too long ago to a homeless cat.

Well, what were we going to do about this?

Edwin stated from onset that he was not at all interested in the little animal and wouldn't touch it with a 10 foot pole!

Oh no, its crying right now, its in my room, I don't know what to do, it won't eat and I bet its going to starve pretty soon.**slips out**


No worries, it kept crying because it messed its cage and I am so happy! It seemed to be eating so little but apparently not! If it didn't have anything in its little stomach, well then, there wouldn't be any mess, so for me, a mess is an excellent sign!

Alright, where was I?

Oh yes, Edwin made it crystal clear he wasn't interested in the little thing. He is one of those people who don't fancy animals-like my mom. I tried to persuade him:

Myself: Ed, take it home with you...

Edwin: Ah! I can't! I don't like these things!

Myself: Come on! It will be fun, you can play with it, it will jump on you everytime you get home, it will sleep next to you in bed...

Edwin then explained that he simply couldn't, he liked sleeping with the bed all to himself!

I tried one last time.

I threatened to tell all the sisters in the lord about his lack of compassion for the helpless creature. It didn't work! He took it as a compliment!

Henry also refused to take it home with him, although not as elaborately as Ed!

Well, the ball was in my court. I asked Henry to help me find something to carry it in. Henry could not believe I was actually going to take it home. Well, I couldn't leave it out there. It would be equivalent to killing it. Infact, I suggested we smash it with a large boulder when both guys refused. I mean, if none of us were going to care for it, and just leave it out there, it would die of starvation or be killed by someone or something. Why not put it out of its inevitable misery?

It was so tiny and it kept shivering. I carried it home. I'm trying hard to feed it but it won't eat. Its probly too young for solid food, I'm giving it milk. I think its searching for its mother's breast when it keeps searching the sole of my foot with its mouth. I give it milk on a plate but I think it doesn't know how to lick yet, but hey, who or what needs to learn how to lick milk off a plate?!

I am looking for a baby feeding bottle now.

Mom and Dad arrive on Tuesday. I'll bet as soon as they find out about the little cat, its gone! Well, I couldn't leave it on the streets, I just couldn't.

What will I name it? Let me sleep over it. Next update on the little fellow and he will have a name-promise! Infact the title of the post will be: Update on __________.


09 November 2008

Courtship...(PART 2)

In my last courtship post, I discussed the pre-courtship stage and the importance of interacting with the opposite sex in all purity. I wish to add alittle more to what should happen during the pre-courtship stage and touch alittle bit on the right time for courtship. These are my personal thoughts on the matter.

First and foremost, in my last post on this subject I mentioned and tried to explain why relationships are such a big issue for youths today. My buddies and I, admitted to the fact that most of us were under serious pressure to be in relationships. This was a serious concern for me, especially since we are, mostly, too young to be in relationships. I asked the question, where is all this pressure coming from?

The largest source of pressure, to be in a relationship, eluded me but upon further thought, eureka, I think I’ve got it!

It’s the world! Relationships are all over the media, celebrities, magazines, newspapers, internet, television from movies to soap operas, music, they all preach relationships. It’s all about who is seeing who, who “broke up” with who, who cheated on who, who got dumped by who… The source of pressure is indeed the world, God help this generation which is bombarded by the world constantly!

Well, I urge you to read the first post on courtship, simply check the left of this page and click the courtship link.

The period during which we relate to girls as sisters and enjoy their sweet company, it is indeed sweet(!), is meant to help us spur one another and help us learn how to relate to them properly. It should help us get to know them better and therefore appreciate them and vice versa. This is discussed in detail in PART 1.

There is a most important duty each young Christian guy or girl, man or woman should begin to work on. We all have character flaws. As we relate to our friends, guys or girls, we begin to see our flaws more clearly as our friends point them out and as friction begins to occur. The importance of interaction between sexes is that certain flaws are best noticed by individuals of the opposite sex.

For a guy, for example, fellow males will not see the roughness in you because guys are somewhat rough in the way they relate, pushing and shoving each other as they walk along, tossing each other all over the place, etc. Your lady friends on the other hand will tell you, “Brother, you need to be more gentle, the way you pushed sister Jane yesterday was not nice, or the way you handled that child wasn’t nice”.

A character flaw which may be found in a lady is that of gossip. As interaction between the opposite sexes occurs, fellow sisters may fail to see that another sister is too much of a gossip. The guys might pick up on that more easily and will quickly correct their sister, “Now sister, there you go again, no gossiping today, lets change the subject.”

Another example is “skitting”. The word “skitting” is not English, it’s colloquial. It means someone who is sort of prideful. It’s the kind of thing a popular girl at school would do when guys are talking to her or when a guy is talking to her. She knows she’s on demand and that is clear in the way she speaks to others. Well, a sister in the Lord might be a “skit”, knowingly or unknowingly. Guys can ‘spot a “skit”’ miles away! They will personally see to it that the sister is put back in the straight and narrow.

Character flaws vary and are plenty. I will mention a couple of mine. I tend to be rude, heartless, argumentative, emotionless, arrogant, someone who sometimes embarrasses others…let me end there before someone stops reading my blog permanently because they discover that a total wretch owns it! I’ll be honest with you. 90% of the flaws on that list have been exposed to me by my sisters in the Lord. They tell me, “brother, you were very rude to that sister, go and apologise.” It’s really helped me to have sisters in the Lord!

Why is all this important? When I get into a relationship, I should not enter it with baggage upon baggage of garbage! In other words, relationships are not the place for fixing flaws. Sure, ones partner helps with character deficiencies but, you shouldn’t enter without any work done on your character! If everyone concentrated on working on their character flaws during the pre-courtship period when sisters in the Lord help brothers in the Lord and vice versa, courtships and marriages in the church would be much happier today!

06 November 2008


I foundound this brilliant, little picture of a guitar and since I love guitar so much, I thought I should post it. As usual I sincerely hope I don’t get sued on copyrighting charges!

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04 November 2008

My "once upon a time" unusual fears...

When I was younger, I remember that there were three unusual things that scared me alot. Ofcourse I had the typical phobia of the the dark etc, but only three unusual fears. I nolonger "fear" them anymore but I must admit, they still make me alittle uncomfortable!

First, I was afraid of women in wedding dresses, I recall when I was on a wedding line up, when I once looked cute on pictures, well I'd like to believe I once did(!), I had a tough time posing for pictures next to the bride. It made me totally uncomfortable. Even today, there is a list of places I'd really not want to be found in, one which tops the list is a place next to a woman in a wedding dress, unless ofcourse, I am the groom!

I was afraid, secondly of pregnant women. Each time I came across a pregnant woman, I felt kind of... guilty! I repeat, KIND OF!! I really felt like something was terribly wrong and abnormal and that made me very uncomfortable! How a human can grow within another is a mystery that will never cease to amaze me, I mean how?? God could have made humans lay eggs as well but he chose to have it done otherwise, its really amazing. Today, the phobia is gone but sadly, it has been replaced by a uncomfortability.

The last unusual thing I feared when I was young and still makes me uncomfortable today is, a lady who is crying. I am not really a comforter, maybe that's the problem, the whole give a hug thing... doesn't really appeal to me. I mean, a crying baby is pretty easy, you gather the little child into your arms and gently sway from side to side and talk to the baby and before long, tadah! It isn't crying anymore. A lady, now that's a different story!

Well, those are my top three, only three actually, unusual fears!


03 November 2008

Words I really wanna hear.

What words do you really wish to hear the most? You are promoted? Or maybe, you are fired! :D Well, what words do young people, Christian or not, wish to hear the most, these days?

Probably for young men, it isn’t words; it is actually a single word-- “Yes!” For young women its, “will you be…” I know that this is true.

If you want to prove it, sneak near a group of young Christian men or women or both (!) after church, they will be talking about the thing closest to their heart--relationships. Sneak near a group of young non-Christian men, the story is the same, a little more graphic but definitely the same.

I don’t want to sound more spiritual than I really am but honestly, for me, the words I wish to hear the most are found in Acts 16:30- “What must I do to be saved?”

When I’m sharing the gospel with my buddies the words we love to hear, the words we long for from the time we wake up on the day we have agreed to go out and evangelise is, “What must I do to be saved?” Ofcourse it comes in many forms but it is the same thing.

If you are getting alittle agitated reading this, I mean no harm. I too will probly want to hear the word “Yes!” so very, very much but I hope it will never overtake my longing to hear those sweet words, “What must I do to be saved?” One thing is definitely for sure, youths today need to get their priorities right. Unfortunately, Christian youths, too, need to get their priorities right, do you?


01 November 2008

Preaching & Fixing

The past two days have been fantastic!


I mentioned in my last post I think, that I was to preach at a school nearby, DK. I also mentioned that it was a long story. Well, it’s a long page! I preached on Thursday, a 3 week old sermon.

I got home Thursday evening at about 20.30hrs. I met my dad at the door, found my mom in the sitting room. She looked at me with eyes which asked, so… how did it go? I read her mind and said, “Mom, I am lots of things but I am no preacher!”

About a month and a half ago I asked my buddy if he could let me come preach at his school where he is a leader of the youth meeting there every Thursday evening. He was much obliged. The guys at the school already know me because I sing quite a lot over there. They appreciate my singing there but obviously didn’t think of me as a preacher. Anyways, my buddy told me I was on about 2 or so weeks later to preach an evangelistic message on the topic, “The joys of becoming a Christian.” I had a problem with that, read about it on the post titled, “Where you really repentant”. A week before I was to preach, my buddy tells me, “Look man, there’s been a mix up in the schedule, you are to preach after this coming Thursday instead of the Thursday itself, sorry.” I’m like, “Cool bro, I’ll be ready.” Well, I thought, “It’s just a mix up, everything is fine.” The next week comes through and it’s a holiday on the day I am to preach. In the morning my buddy tells me that, the numbers might be low because people might travel home for the long weekend but if not I’ll preach, if they travel he’ll push me to the next week.

DK is a boarding school. It’s a secondary school. It also has “A Level” students who are not necessarily regarded as ordinary students. The “A Level” students have an “A Level” Fellowship. It meets every Thursday evening at 18.30hrs. Only “A Level” students attend so when I say I sing at DK, what I mean is that I sing at DK to the “A Level” students who attend the meeting. The attendance tends to be very good. It’s always surprised me how that so many non-Christians attend the “A Level” Fellowship. It has since dawned on me that they attend because the only other thing they are allowed to do at that hour is study!

So, that evening as I am walking out the door to go to the meeting where I am to preach, the power goes at home. I arrive at the school only to discover that the power is gone their too! It doesn’t come back until after about an hour and a half I think it was. So I don’t get to preach. I begin to wonder what issues God seems to be having with my preaching at DK. I must mention that two of my friends where very supportive of me. When I told them I’d be preaching at DK, they totally made sure they’d be there to support me. I am quite discouraged but my buddy tells me, I’ll preach the next week.

The next Thursday, the day before yesterday, comes through and guess what, Zambia is voting, it’s a holiday! What is up with God?! My buddy tells me numbers might be low again as people will go for a long weekend. I’m not impressed. My buddy tells me to pitch just incase the numbers are good. I really doubt that they will be good so I even go play soccer that afternoon. While playing soccer my buddy sends me a message on my cell. “The numbers will be poor”. This time pushing the date will be very difficult because the rest of the Thursdays are taken. I return to my soccer game actually happy because I wouldn’t have to cut my soccer game short to go and preach. Well, after the game, I call my buddy on his cell; I tell him I want to preach to whoever’s there. He encourages me to do so.

This time my faithful friends bail out on me. I was playing soccer with them and they say they are tired and can’t support me that evening. I am pretty discouraged but I just say, “No problem fellows, I’ll let you know how it goes.”

I get to the meeting; I find the room empty, under or maybe just over 10 people. Attendance is poor. I get up there and preach.

I was really motivated to preach that night. Not that the sermon was powerful or anything, but I wasn’t at all discouraged by what was going on around me, the postponing, my friends, attendance etc, none of it really got to me. Infact it encouraged me. The postponing, attendance and my friends bailing on me was divine, I knew it was. Everything seemingly going wrong was no mistake, God knew what was happening and I thought If I preach like everything had worked out like, attendance was good, like my friends where there, like it was the original date set, in other words, if I conquered the trials, something big was going to happen, maybe someone would get saved. I was so convinced of this that I was not at all discouraged by what was going on. I almost saw it as funny. Like God was pulling my leg, or trying me.

Anyway, I preached on true repentance. We are all sinners, I worked hard to show this even going to the extent of showing examples from Romans 3 and Psalms 52:1-5 or is it Psalms 53, I forget. I then went on to show that God is Holy, A fella even started dosing! Ha, ha, it was so funny how those things were happening to pull me down! But as I said, I was so convinced something big was going to happen, maybe not immediately but definitely. I then said that God loves us despite and inspite of our sin. He puts up with us. I ended by addressing those who are saved. I urged them to preach true repentance, see my post with the same heading, last paragraph. I addressed those seeking God. I told them ask God to make you realise you are a sinner, only then will you truly be sorry. I ended by addressing those who, “[were] not even interested in what I have been saying tonight”. Like that fella who sat at the back who even had the courtesy to stick one earpiece into his ear while I was talking to listen to the radio on his phone or whatever. I said, “If you are here and you are saying, I don’t need God, am happy the way I am, happy with my wrong doing, I don’t give a damn about God. I only have this to say to you. Don’t go to God because you love him; go to him because he loves. He wants you so badly, he loves you. He loves you so much that he will still have open arms when you have been brought down to your knees, He will always love you.” Amen.

It was great to preach the good news and you know what, I want to do it again!


I’ve written so much, am so tired. But Dad is really smart. We have this display in the sitting room that is connected to a timer. Everyday, the display lights light up its contents from 19.30hrs to 21.30hrs. Dad came up with the brilliant idea of removing the timer and connecting the display to the switch for the sitting room lights so that whenever you turn the sitting room lights on, the display lights go on as well.

Dad then took the timer to the switch for the geyser and timed it to turn on certain times of the day, rather than be on at all times of the day, brilliant! I actually did all the work while dad issued commands and blamed me for the screws which went missing! It was fun, chao,


26 October 2008

Were you really repentant?

My buddy and I got into an interesting disscussion not too long ago.

The whole thing really began with myself. I was supposed to preach at a school last thirsday night, it has since been postpone to this coming thirsday evening. Its a whole other story! I don't preach publicly at all. I last preached at the same school for the very first time about two or so years ago.

Anyway, my other buddy, one of the leaders from the same school (DK), had asked me to speak on, "The previlages of being a Christian", from an evangelistic point of view. Being a very controvesial individual, I immediately had a problem. In essence I was being asked to show the non-Christians the previlages of being a Christian inorder to, as it were, entice them into becoming Christians. Unfortunately, or fortunately rather, Christianity doesn't work that way. Its not like convincing or luring someone into changing political parties by telling them the advantages of doing so!

Christianity comes from true repentance, being contrite. And thats where all the problems emanated from with my buddy.

If you agree with the above statement, "Christianity comes from true repentance", you may want to look at the statement alittle more thoroughly! If you don't, let me try to convince you otherwise.

When my buddies and I go out evangelising, we tend to parallel the relationship between our hearer and God as that of the relationship between a son/daughter (who has wronged their father) and his/her father. It is very useful, as it knocks out certain potential problems when we preach the way of slavation.

For example, It knocks out good works as a way of salvation. We say, suppose you have wronged your father and you, perharps, are no longer on speaking terms, would you sending him a gift to rectify the situation? Will your buying him a gift, putting fuel in his car or washing his car or preparing him a great meal or doing anything good for/to him, will any of those things reconcile you to your father? Ofcourse not! You fathers interest is your coming to him and repenting, i.e. saying you are sorry and stopping to do that which upset your relationship in the first place. If anything, he will reject those gifts because things are unwell between you. In the same way, going to church, tithing, giving to the poor, singing in the choir, even getting baptised doesn't reconcile one to God, those "good deeds" only please the father when things are right between you, i.e. when you repent!

Alright, now to convince those who may not agree with the statement, "Christianity comes from true repentance". Using the above principle, A son wrongs his father. We've already seen that sacrifice or gifts don't help the situation. Would you say the son is truely sorry if he decided to make things right because, for example, he hears that his father is contemplating removing him from his will or his father is prosecuting all those who owe him money and jailing those who can't pay. He remembers that he owes his father money and thus rushes off to make things right lest he end up behing bars. Would you call the son truely sorry for what he did? ...I don't think so either! Why? Because fear is driving his apology and that is not true repentance! Well then, if you agree, what would you say about those who say, I became a Christian because I feared that I would go to hell? Is that really being sorry for sin? Is that really someone who has realised his sin and God's love for him inspite and despite his sin? Is that one who truely regrets the life he once led? Or is it someone driven by fear? Well, I leave it to you to decide.

When, then, is a son who has wronged his father truely repentant? As my dad says, "no prize for guessing". It is when one realises that he has sinned against God and that God loves him and will take him back if he genuinely confesses his sin and stops doing that which he used to do, 1 John 1:8-9, Romans 10:9.

I don't cry much. I really don't cry at all, but I remember the day I got saved, 10 years ago this month, I wept like a baby. I sat down to ask myself why I cried like I did that late evening years later, I realised that I was really moved by my sin. I was truely sorry for my sins. I saw myself as one who had wronged a God who did nothing but love me. I'm not saying, if you didn't cry, you aren't saved, by no means! I'm saying if you were not sorry for your sins, you may not be saved. To disagree would be to refute the earlier mentioned example.

As I pondered these thoughts while preparing my sermon, in my heart, I discovered that, I could not for the life of me remember any true christian say that they decided to become a Christian because they were scared of hell. I've probably heard a true Christian say they did become a Christian for fear of hell but as I said, I can not remember any.

I decided to test this on my buddy. He is a christian. I asked him how he got saved and what led him to salvation. It was clear from what he seemed to be saying that it was for fear of God's wrath-hell. Well, from what he said, I really think even though he says it was fear, he definately seemed to have realised he was a sinner when he recieved Christ. That is why in the paragraph before last, I state that you may not be a christian, its because, I know someone who is and yet says he was in essence driven by fear.

How then do I explain my buddy's case? Well, the first thing that trigered his thoughts of God was his watching a graphic movie about hell. He was so scared, he rushed home to pray! But according to him, he says he became a Christian some time later through Christian literature. If you ask me, through that literature he came to faith by true repentance.

In terms of application, I think it is wrong to share the gospel as christians by scaring people by speaking of hell because that is not the gospel. The gospel is, You are a sinner who has wronged a holy God, God loves you despite and inspite of your sin, Repent and believe because he wants you so bad-he really, really loves you! It was good enough for a wretch like me, it should be good enough for the world!

Give me that old time religion
Tis the old time religion,
Tis the old time religion,
And it's good enough for me.
It was good for our mothers.
And it's good enough for me.
Makes me love everybody.
And it's good enough for me.
It has saved our fathers.
And it's good enough for me.
It will do when I am dying.
And it's good enough for me.
It will take us all to heaven.
And it's good enough for me.

Give me that old time religion
Tis the old time religion,
Tis the old time religion,
And it's good enough for me.


20 October 2008

Shocking revelation!

No verse has ever hit me like Ezekiel 33.1-9!

Ezekiel 33:1-9

1 The word of the LORD came to me:
2 "Son of man, speak to your countrymen and say to them: 'When I bring the sword against a land, and the people of the land choose one of their men and make him their watchman,
3 and he sees the sword coming against the land and blows the trumpet to warn the
4 then if anyone hears the trumpet but does not take warning and the
sword comes and takes his life, his blood will be on his own head.
5 Since he heard the sound of the trumpet but did not take warning, his blood will be on his own head. If he had taken warning, he would have saved himself.
6 But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet to warn the people and the sword comes and takes the life of one of them, that man will be
taken away because of his sin, but I will hold the watchman accountable for his
7 "Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of
Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me.
8 When I say to the wicked, 'O wicked man, you will surely die,' and you do not speak out to dissuade him from his ways, that wicked man will die for his sin, and I will
hold you accountable for his blood.
9 But if you do warn the wicked man to turn from his ways and he does not do so, he will die for his sin, but you will
have saved yourself.

Here is a crystal clear analogy of a man whose job is to watch over a city by being on the lookout for any threats to the city. This particular watchman fails to perform his duty to warn the city of oncoming attackers. The bible tells us that the blood of the city will be upon the watchman's head.

If you think about it, this passage make absolute sense! Suppose I discover that the apples in the fridge at home, have gone bad and will result in a stomach upset if ingested. Suppose I, for whatever reason, do not warn the rest of the family of the danger of eating those apples. Who is to blame when, the next day, everyone is sick?! Who will feel guilty if one of the family members die of complications caused by eating those apples? On whose head will the blood of the deceased be? Who is accountable for the death? Me, me, me!

This scripture shook me to the core!

As a child of God, I have been given the responsibility to preach the gospel of the Lord Jesus. If I have ever come in contact with anyone and not warned them of the wrath to come, should they perish, their blood will be upon my head! Yes, they will be punished, but there blood will be on my head!

When I realised this, I thought of all the people I have come in contact with since I came to know the Lord, cousins, uncles, aunties, inlaws, classmates, schoolmates, visiters at church, guys I play soccer with a couple times a week, neighbours etc. How many of them have I warned?! How many of them have I lost contact with? How many of them have I failed to minister to by being a testimony of God's grace? How many of them have I, not only, never preached the gospel to but never lived the gospel to? How many have I, myself, mislead by not correcting their ways?

Names began to flash through my mind. People who i'll never be able to speak to about God love because i've lost contact, people whose blood is upon my head.

This passage tells me that I should warn all those I am in contact with, all my classmates, all my teachers, all my neighbours and family. Its a huge task but it is not optional or else their blood is on my head.

Psalms 1:5,

"Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the
congregation of the righteous."

is clear on the fact that the ungodly will not stand. It is truly by God's grace alone that I shall. It is truly by God's grace that we, Christians, shall.


Getting the camera out and having some Fellowship!

Saturday afternoon after the youth meeting was really fun! A couple of us were sitting on the lawn infront of the church entrance. We got the Camera out and got a couple pics, I thought i'd share a few. By the way, I am the guy with the glasses.

From left to right: Henry, Ann, Mwindula, Nelly, Edwin, Esther and Abraham.

Yup, I am a member of KBC.

Finally, while we were still busy taking pictures, some other youths found us and we took a shot of all those who joined us.

I learnt quite a while back that fellowship is not just when a group of Christians spend time attending to spiritual matters or topics. Fellowship is alot more than that. Getting the camera out and just having fun together is really nice. Sitting on the lawn just chatting away and laughing is really nice. So long as sin is absent, God delights in his children having fun together to the glory of his name. Fellowship glorifies the Lord's name.


19 October 2008

He almost got away with it!

Last night was unique for my family. Usually when it’s a family member’s birthday, we have a small party in the evening. We cut the cake, bring out the confectionaries and sit around our dinning table. Each individual gets to ask the birthday man, woman boy or girl any question in the world and it must be answered! After that is done, the birthday man, woman, boy or girl is given the opportunity to tell each family member, anything that is upon their heart to do with the particular person, be it advise, rebuke, praise etc. Dad says it’s the only time we [the children] get to tell “dad and mom” whatever we want and be able to get away with it!

Anyway, my brother and I have birthdays under 3 weeks apart. None us had any evening party but last night we gathered in the sitting room to perform the “question and answer ritual”.

Actually we [the kids] were busy watching “Pirates of the Caribbean” when dad interrupted the movie. Well we all gathered round and got started. I was first as my birthday came before my brother’s. My interest is not what happened during that session but what happened afterwards. When we were done my Dad asked us to get our bibles so we could look at something.

About a month and a half ago my cousin got expelled from school for drinking, bless his heart. Two of my cousins live with us but are only home 3 months a year because they are in boarding school. Well, they are in their final year and were returning to school after their final break before they finished high school when one of them got expelled after arriving drunk (or rather arriving, having drunk alcohol) at school on his first day after holiday. Well, he came right back home.

Its worth mentioning here that my dad is a very calm man. You could come home from killing someone and he won’t pounce on you but greet you almost as though nothing happened [hyperbole (!)]. Well that’s how he greeted my cousin, with a smile on his face, of course telling my mischievous cousin that “they needed to have a chat”.

Dad’s an extremely busy man and did not have that “chat” with my cousin. It was beginning to look like he was going to get away with it. Well, didn’t he get the shock of his life last night when dad not only addressed the issue but addressed it quite strongly, for lack of a better word!

My cousin leaves for his boarding school to write his final exams (as that is where he is registered) tomorrow, Monday.

After we got our bibles that eventful evening, dad asked us to turn to Matthew 5:44.

"But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you" - Jesus
of Nazareth, as recorded in Matthew 5:44 (NIV translation)

We discussed the passage a while, then dad asked, “Why is it important for Christians to love their enemies?”

Dad wanted a particular answer and after a while it was crystal clear. If Christians do not love their enemies they will misrepresent their Father who is in heaven and will cause the world to mock God.

Then came the punch line! Dad used this same analogy in the home setup. He said that when we as children of the home go out of the house to school or whatever we are perceived as reflections of our parents. Therefore if we carry ourselves in any way, whether positive or negative, people will say “So this is the way this child’s parents have brought him/her up.” Therefore, if my parents have brought me up with Christian values and I go get myself drunk on the first day of school, I a misrepresenting my parents.

Dad went further to illustrate how that my cousin had misrepresented dad and mom. It was really embarrassing for him, he must have wanted to sink 6 feet underground but I think it was well worth it, especially if the point was driven home. We love him and care for him too much to see him wind down the spiral of alcoholism and drunkeness. We will do everything in our power to prevent it!

Dad said in closing that it is not easy to represent parents correctly as children or God correctly as Christians, but we should be driven by gratitude for our parents and for God.

In the case of our parents, they have clothed, fed, educated, loved, cared and served us each and everyday of our lives, surely the least we can do is not make them the subject of mockery by misrepresenting them.

In the case of the Christian, God has chosen, called, justified, adopted, set free, transformed, imparted peace, joy and love and redeemed. The list is endless! Surely the least we can do is not make him the subject of mockery by misrepresenting him.

It was quite an evening that Saturday, the 18 of October, 2008.


11 October 2008


Someone once told me that she couldn't write without inspiration. I have found that I am always inspired to write. For me the thats the norm. Catch me on any day, anytime, give me pen and paper better still a blog, and I will write some thing. So am always inspired but unfortunately, my inspiration goes, I have come to realise, when I am upset. Whether I am the upsetee or the upsetter, I lose my inspiration. Anyway, what do I have to say about courtship?

I know that many older folks at church would be suprised to see young Mwindula, posting or discussing courtship probably because am still rather young or still regarded as young (It is especially so when people watch you grow or as they say, "you grow up in their eyes"). Anyway the issue of relationships is really huge among teens and post teens. I myself am under pressure to be in a relationship. When I shared this with three of my buddies, two of them said they too were under pressure. The third denied.

Most of the guys in my age group are in their early college years, a couple years away from independence and thus nowhere ready for marriage and yet are under pressure to be in relationships. I mean if we got into relationships now, we would be in courtship for atleast 4 years. Relationships should therefore be the last, well, second last thing on our minds. This is not the case.

The question is, where is the pressure to be in a relationship coming from?

I think it comes mostly from seeing our older friends bragging about their girlfriends and, you know, being in love and being with those they love. This, coupled with the predominant "relationship talk", among youths, could account for the source of the pressure.

I have some thoughts on the whole issue of relationships:

When an individual finishes school and begins college, he should, at that stage of his life, be able to relate to girls freely. In other words, that phobia of girls should be gone. At that point relationships are definately out! It will be years until he is independent and so it would be too early to get into courtship. It is during this period that he should continue to interact with his girlfriends or rather "friends who are girls". He should do this with all purity, i.e. No intention! His motive must be entirely pure. He should seek to relate to ladies like he would his sister, spuring and encouraging one another in love and ofcourse just enjoying each others company.

That is why youth meetings are so, so important. They facilitate this interaction. As he interacts with ladies during youth trips, evangelism, sports and so on, he will begin to appreciate the opposite sex and get to know how they are different from men. All wrong notions of women will begin to be cleared, for example, because of ones background, one may see women as objects. Interaction with ladies in ones youth group will help such an individual realise that they are not objects and thus one begins to regard women as they really are.

This topic is getting a little broad, perharps I should do it in parts...I'll end here for now though,


10 October 2008

Mwanawasa's Family Pictures

Here are some pictures of our late president and his family. If you want to know more about the amazing thing he did, read the precurrent post. Very few things are as beautiful as family...

You gatta love family,
Mwindula Mbewe.

28 September 2008

Thanks for attending my funeral...

On the 19th of August, I believe it was, my country, Zambia, got a shock. Well it wasn't much of a shock come to think of it. Our president had died. He had been admitted to a hospital in France after suffering a stroke. The people where totally confused not knowing what to do or expect. We didn't know whether the leaders of the nation where giving us the truth. Some said the president was already dead, others said he would recover and come back. Still others said even if he did recover he would have to step down for health reasons. Well the on the 19th, the vice president announced on public television that the president had passed away that very day. His name was Levy Patrick Mwanawasa.

Well a few days after burying the president he, yes the president himself, appeared on national television to bid farewell to the Zambian people! He further went on or rather, he went on further to thank those who attended his burial. It was pretty freaky. Below is a transcript of the message he delivered to the nation:

“It is my wish that this Will is broadcast both on television and radio…I now want to address the nation.“I am grateful to all of you for giving me the opportunity during part of my life to serve you as President. It was a privilege which I cherished up to my death. I did all my best to improve the standards of living of you my people. I strove to attend to the production of sufficient food for domestic consumption and for export. I worked hard to encourage investments, both local and foreign, so as to create jobs and so as to enhance the growth of our economy.“I believed that national development could only be sustained if good governance, respect for the rule of law and democracy were encouraged and not taken for granted. To spur these virtues, the fight against corruption had to be waged relentlessly and without treating anybody as a sacred cow.“I regret that in my zeal to facilitate this fight, I lost friendship with a number of some of my best friends and at many times my own life and that of my family members were threatened. I want to assure the nation that no malice or ill will was intended in these initiatives.“I was driven purely by love for my country and the urgent need to transform it from poverty to prosperity. I have always been grieved to see so much poverty, hopelessness and anguish in the faces of our children, the leaders of tomorrow. It has always been my belief that nobody has the right to take away what we should be giving to these children and keep them in their selfish pockets.“I do hope that the party, the Movement for Multiparty Democracy, can continue with this vision for our nation pursuing the fight of zero tolerance to corruption.“I was sad when some of you our members appeared to embrace corruption and actually criticised me for fighting the scourge. This vice will not develop our country.“It is my desire that all future governments will continue to wage this fight.“If in my endeavors to provide only the best for my country I offended some of my compatriots, all I can ask is that they should find a place in their hearts to forgive me as no deliberate intentions to harm their feelings without just cause was intended.“To those who attended my funeral and to those who mourned with my family, I say I am extremely grateful to all of you. I am certain that I speak on behalf of my family that their burden has thereby been lightened.“In witness whereof, I, the said Levy Patrick Mwanawasa have hereto set my hand this 23rd day of March, 2005 and I have signed this Will as my last Will in the presence of my two chief personal secretaries: Brandina Nyendwa and Josephine Shakabinga.

I never really thought much of Mwanawasa, I was out of the country for about two years and can see a considerable improvement. He did a great job. I think he is the best president we have ever had. We have only had 3 presidents. The other two, left the country in a poorer state than they found it. Mwanawasa is the only president who has done the opposite.
Mwanawasa was is probably in heaven. I never knew the man ofcourse(!) but;
1) Any man who leaves a message thanking people for attending his funeral, obviously knows he is about to die.
2) Any man who knows he is about to die and decides to pre-record a message of thanks and gratitude to be delivered upon his burial is not scared of death. If he was scared of death he'd be too worried about dying to bother leaving a message of thanks.
3) Any man who does not fear death, obviously, at the least, has some assurance that he is going to a place where he will be not be sad. Such a man would probably believe he is going to be fine after death.
4) Since Mwanawasa professed faith and was publicly baptised, he must have been saved. Putting one and one together, leaves me no other solution. He had no fear of death, typical of one who know Jesus Christ as Lord and saviour. To the one who knows Jesus personally, death has lost its sting, 1 Corinthians 15:55.
We can safely say that, "his soul resteth in eternal peace."