21 Days Launch into 2017 — Lifespring Chapel

Every beginning of a New Year there is a sense of heightened hope and confidence. This is fed on by the pressure to get down resolutions. Perhaps it is a good thing to set goals and seek them. The often challenge with resolutions, as has been the tradition, is that it is fodder for regret […]

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Generous Living….Let go and let God,Debt Free living (Enter your Sabbath) — Pst. Aluma’s blog

Let Go and let God…… Debt Free Living (Enter your Sabbath) Mathew 18: 21-35, Deut 15:1-11 If you are just joining us, Generous living is about expressing the heart of God and finding true freedom as we acknowledge that we have been blessed to be a blessing. As a principle we have learnt that Generous […]

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Series: Generous Living …a costly price — Pst. Aluma’s blog

Scripture: Acts 4:32- 5:11 The recent interest rates bank act has restored many smiles on many Kenyans. All over sudden our loans could half in duration and amount. The most relief has come from just the idea that – the bank will stop making a kill out of people. Unfortunately, the bank is just one […]

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#Generous Living… A long night — Pst. Aluma’s blog

Scripture: Gen 22:1-19, Mat 6:25-33 I want to believe all of us have gone through this experience. Especially most men. I remember the first day, I got my first car. After waiting for so long, I had finally achieved what feels like a monumental point of being a man in our African society, owning my […]

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Generous Living… lessons from a widow — Pst. Aluma’s blog

Scripture: Mark 12: 41-44, Eph 1: 3-20 Have you ever been broke, and I mean really broke, embarrassingly broke? What childhood stories come to mind? We all have had our various levels of being poor and the truth is, because of our histories we avoid being poor like a plague, being poor is seen as […]

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Caging the Church?: Regulation Row in Kenya

Is the recent move by the AG opportunistic? Does he have an ulterior motive?

waanglicana

BY REV CANON FRANCIS OMONDI

The zeal with which the Attorney General Prof. Githu Mungai seized the moment, of Kanyari’s escapades, in streamlining churches and mosques should concern us. Our suspicion touched the ceiling when he suspended registration of new churches and mosques until fresh regulations are set. Though sharp as remedial solutions, its a double entendre whose other meaning may be hidden in a move against freedoms. The move is ill advised and will do little to stem the alleged illicit activities by certain religious institutions in the country which they are geared to tame. Shouldn’t The ‘mortician’ have allow the surgeons to pronounce the patient dead before swinging into action?
Prof Githu Muingai during a press conference
Some time ago, while justifying himself in a case Kenya lost in the Anglo-leasing scam, Githu said: “The man you see before you is a mortician. The patient died on the operating table long time ago. Githu Muigai…

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Week 2: Whom do you worship?

October: Stewardship of our presence- “Bado Tuko”.

Ps Maina Gacau

Last week, Pastor TC of Trinity Chapel Mombasa, while speaking about being Jesus in Our Neighbourhoods, laid a fitting foundation of the series. He helped us to see that we are Salt and light as seen in Matt 5:13-16.  He challenged us to dare to be different in spreading the love of Christ. Let us pick up from where he left off.

While on sabbatical I was engaged to work for a technology start up that was setting up offices in Nairobi. While I was working there I interacted with many young Kenyans seeking to find work with the company. In forums I was not introduced to people as a pastor. However many months later after I left working there, one of the workers found me on Facebook and wanted to know why she had not been seeing me at the company. Then she asked me if I am a pastor. I asked her how she knew and she said she suspected all along.

We live in a world of political correctness. We have been made to believe that it is best not to mix our faith with business or work. We therefore generally shy away of letting others know that we are followers of Christ. There are times I have thought that it would be easier on me if I wore a collar. Though there are many are the times times I have been glad for not wearing a collar. You know those instances where you have done something you are not very proud of. My point is that we would often rather be private with our faith.

Reading: John 4:19-26

In this passage Jesus is travelling across Israel. He was coming from Judea in the south heading to Galilee in the north and had to pass through Samaria. He came to the Samaritan town of Sychar. It is while at the well that he had a conversation with the woman at the well. This was an unusual encounter. Jesus was a man, she was a woman. During that time there was a gender barrier. As if that was not enough, he was Jewish and she was Samaritan. These were descendants of the original tribes of Israel but we despised by the Jews. They were divided mainly on place of worship. The Samaritans believed that the chosen place of worship was Mount Gerizim. The Jews believed that the Samaritans worshiped idols and considered them unclean. It is then no surprise that the main subject of Jesus’ discourse involved worship: where to worship and whom to worship.

19 “Sir,” the woman said, “you must be a prophet. 20 So tell me, why is it that you Jews insist that Jerusalem is the only place of worship, while we Samaritans claim it is here at Mount Gerizim,[c] where our ancestors worshiped?”

21 Jesus replied, “Believe me, dear woman, the time is coming when it will no longer matter whether you worship the Father on this mountain or in Jerusalem. 22 You Samaritans know very little about the one you worship, while we Jews know all about him, for salvation comes through the Jews. 23 But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way. 24 For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.”

25 The woman said, “I know the Messiah is coming—the one who is called Christ. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.”

26 Then Jesus told her, “I am the Messiah!”

Where do you worship?

Whenever this question is asked it is often to find out which church one attends. It is a popular question in Christianese perhaps where one Christian is sizing you up before they start bragging about their church. I have mixed feelings about that disposition. It is good to identify with a local church and be sold out fully to the mission. It is also dangerous to be closed in to a local church yet the church of God is not limited by boundaries. Jesus, when speaking to the Samaritan woman, says this in verse 21, “…Believe me, dear woman, the time is coming when it will no longer matter whether you worship the Father on this mountain or in Jerusalem.” Jesus’ mission was for a movement of worshippers who are not bound by geography. The events of the early church intentionally dispersed the followers of Jesus (first known as Christians in Antioch). Throughout history, these followers of Jesus would attempt to confine worship to a locality or a people and God would intervene and disperse them. Sometimes using painful methods.

Because very often our mindset of worship is tied to a location, we tend to be reverent and worshipful only when in such locations. Watch people when they come to church, any church; their language is sanitized, they walk with a reverent gait, they smile at everyone. We listen and make bold commitments. Whatever the pastor says we can do. We give, we praise, we are reverent and worshipful.

Carefully consider this question. Where do you worship? Is your response a building? Perhaps your local church? Is it a people you fondly align yourself to? Is it a denomination?

I believe key to responding to this question is an answer to the following question: Whom do you worship?

Whom do you worship?

Further on, as Jesus spoke to the Samaritan woman, He went on to say in verses 22-24, “You Samaritans know very little about the one you worship, while we Jews know all about him, for salvation comes through the Jews. 23 But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way. 24 For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.”

While on a mission trip to Bangkok, no one needed to tell us what the people there worshiped. Everywhere, on the streets, cars, homes, workplaces and shopping malls, wherever people were, you would see idols and shrines of worship.

IntegrityI enjoy whenever I get invited to a business to dedicate and pray. I delight in visiting homes and hearing about what God is doing. I am careful about how I dress in the city center just in case I bump into one of you with your workmates and you have to introduce me. I am not sure how many times you may have dodged me when you have seen me in the streets perhaps with unkempt hair. But you see, this is just me. It is a subset of your worship to be able to relate to others who your spiritual leaders are. But it is one thing altogether for you to be able to show who you truly worship.

I hope we are not the kind of people who if someone said you were Christian many would be surprised. There is nothing about you that shows who you worship. If anything, perhaps your actions show that there is no way you can be a Christian.

Mind Shift

Our lives speak louder than words. The way we live is a powerful witness that can open or shut doors for others to know Christ. Jesus addresses this in Matthew 23:13

“What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you shut the door of the Kingdom of Heaven in people’s faces. You won’t go in yourselves, and you don’t let others enter either

Ways you can open/shut doors:

  1. Lives of Integrity: The root word here is drawn from the word integer which means whole. Many people are attracted to people of integrity. We shut doors when we say one thing and do another. When we say we are Christian yet we act different.
  2. Open or secretive about who we worship. You will find that many times when people know your faith they do not have to figure you out but know how to relate with you. One of the things that happens a lot is that because people know I am a pastor they will plan me in whenever they need a pastor. I think every workplace needs a pastor. Someone who challenges the conscience of others. Someone who prays before meetings, meals, journey etc.
  3. Our response in the face of everyday living. How we react and respond to live events speaks volumes about who we worship.
  4. Acts of service. The world is competitive and cruel. It is refreshing when someone is willing to go out of their way to help others. Acts of selflessness are a magnet. We were challenged last Sunday to consider service beyond the four walls of the church. These can be done individually or with others.

God is interested in making us whole. It is the mission he has been up to for generations. He does this every time we allow him in. My prayer is that we will begin one step at a time. Make commitments this week to correct where we have failed. Do not commit to a big leap. Begin somewhere, begin small. Think of one thing that will need to change immediately and determine to work on it this week. Meet as a Lifegroup and share your experiences.

Pst. Maina

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Week 1: Jesus in my Neighborhood

Pastor T. Ngala @tcngala 2014

October Sermon Series: Stewardship of our Presence – ‘Bado Tuko’

Week 1: Jesus in my Neighborhood

How to live out our faith amidst our neighbors; all people of diverse religions, tribes, families, the drunkard, the debtor, the stigmatized, neighborhood groupings and chamaz.

Read Matthew 5:13-16

13 “Let me tell you why you are here. You’re here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness? You’ve lost your usefulness and will end up in the garbage. (The Message)

14-16 “Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.

Who chose the neighbors around us? Who determines the environment I should stay in? Would it be better if all around me were Christians and I would not have to deal with all this…?”

First it’s easy to say I chose the neighborhood I should be in, that is quite right but you do not chose the people around you, that’s a God placing. Only monks did this, and they ended up being the reason why Islam for example and other philosophies that were against Christianity to fill up Europe- talk of post modernism. When we were shining but hidden under a bushel (heap) called the monastery.

The bible says these two things:

1. “You are the salt of the earth”

Fish in Salt

The functions of salt (Acronym NaCl)

1. N– Nursing wounds (outside of Wine- as sterilizer

  • Ezekiel 16:4 (salting babies)
  • Levi. 2:13 (purifying quality of salt)

Tweetable: Dear friends, we have a wounded and septic world… a world that needs purifying, and sterilizing. When we do not open our hearts and our hands we relegate the world to a septic condition.

2. A– Absorbs Moisture – prevents decay – in meat:

  • Dehydrates and leaves the environment unfriendly for the bacteria to exist.
  • Prevention of decay –or rot

Moisture droplets that destroy the society. Our society needs this prevention, Stop blaming the meat: it’s the salt that needs to do its work

3. C– Causes thirst

  • Cows use it to help in the drinking etc
  • We can cause thirst to the world

Why is no one running to the water of Life? No one running to you for help because they see you as the doctor on call, why isn’t anyone noticing our white coats, why is everyone mistaking us for butchery attendants while we are doctors and nurses?

Why is the world not thirsty for water?

  • We withhold from the world the ultimate catalyst in discovering a relationship with Jesus Christ.
  • Salt is meant to be noticeable, the absence of it is very disappointing
  • Numbers 18: permanent covenant
  • Our salvation is permanent

4. L– Lasting flavor

God created the world with flavour.  But it can be contaminated or corrupted by the world. God wants to work through you and impact a lost and dying world.

It starts with us opening our hearts: others will want to open their hearts to the God we have opened to. People will want to know about how you live out your life.

The more we continue to guard our comfort, at the expense of a dying world, the more we show how much we value Gods loved poured on us. Luke 7:37 says, “He who has been loved much will love much.”

Tweetable: Jesus is in my neighborhood because I am in it. Not because the church building is in it.

2. “You are the light of the world.”

The absence of Light disappoints; it hides a lot. It encourages a lot of evil and danger as the Bible says, it resides in the dark.

Without light, evil can gain a foothold. There is a reason that a lot of crime and other bad Lightbehaviors take place under the cover of darkness. Light exposes us, it allows for our behavior to be seen clearly, it removes from us the option of hiding or trying to keep our deeds from others. Light reveals our secrets, it tells the truth that can become obscured when we retreat to the darkness. Light can be a painful thing when we have something to hide!

You are a city on a Hill: whatever you do you cannot be hidden, yes people know the light bearers in the community, no matter how much we try to hide it. The LIFE Community is the light.

Tweetable: If death happens around a life community, if darkness reigns and decay is prevalent, we must look deep and ask our self what we are not doing to impart life…

LIFE Community Application

  1. Take a spiritual gifts test: “How many of you have taken a spiritual gifts test, and after discovering your gifts, you went out on your own and found your place of service?”  You can do so here. (Take the test)
  2. Find like minds if you feel you cannot initiate; find an Aaron in your life that will go ahead of you and speak, if it’s courage you are looking for.
  3. Begin anyway, regardless of all the circumstances around you. It’s all you need to enter the books of history. Darkness disappears at the incoming of light.

What if as Leaders at LIFESPRING we encourage people to serve in an unusual place first: outside the walls of the church. Rather than making the perpetual pitch for ushers, greeters and kids’ ministry workers, staff members. Our Members are encouraged to live out their faith most in the “domains” where they live, work and play.

If someone has time and a passion for mentoring kids and that’s their passion, encourage them to do it instead of imploring them to work in the nursery or Sunday school. What would happen if we released these people to be transforming agents where they live, work, play and learn? You will not only deal with the issue of need to serve in church but will also have far reaching impact in your community which is also part of the DNA from the start.

Example:  There is a lady who is not a Sunday school teacher or volunteer at her church but leads a children’s bible study club in their estate. That is Jesus in the community. I bet you she is not trained to do so.

The Question is:

As a church we must ask; how do we move beyond “episodes of mercy” to where community engagement is part of the DNA of Christians and the church?

Imagine if we could ask everyone in the church to give a one-minute story next year October about how they sensed something was broken in the world or community, how they felt led into that area, what they did about it and the difference it made. Imagine having a thousand stories like that on your website. And when people ask you about your church, you tell them, “We’re a church that will help you change the world.”

If we can help people have a story to tell, you can invite people to come to your church because you’ll help them change the world.

The needs in our community are only doors to usher us into people lives and allow them the opportunity to be attracted to the light. The wine running out just as it did John 2 at the wedding in Cana.

The Prayer of enablement

For all of you out there feeling a tug to do something yet you may be feeling inadequate to the task. May the Lord give you boldness to step out. May he resource you adequately for the task. May he walk with you as you dare to change the world.

Prayer of Salvation

You are desiring to have great impact in this world. This is only possible with the Maker of the universe on your side. Will you dare to start walking with Christ? Invite him into your heart. Confess your sin, ask that he may forgive you. Receive salvation from Jesus this day. You will be well on your way to personal transformation that will translate to transformation of your world.

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Do you know who you are?

I know who I am. Do you?

Pastor Maish's Script

“God is who he says he is and I am who He says I am”

Psalms 139

1 You have searched me, Lord,
    and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
    you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
    you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue
    you, Lord, know it completely.
You hem me in behind and before,
    and you lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
    too lofty for me to attain.

Where can I go from your Spirit?
    Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
    if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If…

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The Practice of Renewal

The Practice of Renewal–Sunday Sermon Script by Pst. Maish.

Pastor Maish's Script

Sharpening the Saw

13 Years ago I joined the Internship at Lifespring Chapel. I was prompted to consider this course soon after completing my undergraduate degree. I had experienced one of the most difficult seasons in my life. For me, life had been relatively easy prior to this season. It caused me to take a good hard inward look for what was most important in my life .

RenewalDuring the internship I was placed under the mentorship and leadership of some great men and women. They taught me lifelong lessons on a variety of topics. I freshly recall lessons in relationships, money, leadership, personal development and spiritual direction. One of the lessons I learnt by reading, coercion and observation was on the importance of rest and renewal.

It was a rule that at a regular interval we were ‘required’ to take a break and retreat. Every week we had to…

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