Occupy Spiritually (Nairobi Full Life)

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If you knew you would NOT fail this year, what is the one thing you would do differently? What’s the one thing you’d do if you knew you were guaranteed to succeed? Invest everything? Go back to school? Start that dream business? Stop paying rent? Propose to the girl of your dreams?

2013 is a new year, and a new beginning, a time to leave the past behind and press on to what’s ahead. In the bible, every 50th year was the Jubilee and during that year, all that had been lost or taken away was restored. (Lev.25:10) As we listen to and apply God’s word, 2013 – our 50th year as a nation – will be a Jubilee year for the people of Mavuno Church.

It will be a year of freedom and celebration, a year of debt cancellation and release from bondage in our lives and in the lives of those  we love.

I once bought  shares from a local airline company and they did badly; I grumbled then a wise man told me they were a great buy. I held on to them and they ended up helping us pay for our first house. I’m so glad I listened to his advice and didn’t sell but if I could go back to that moment, what do you think I would do differently? Sell everything and buy all the shares I could get! I look back and think ‘if only!’

Fear will often keep us from maximizing our opportunities. Many of us know what it means to live fearfully; doing the minimum that we can get away with. Perhaps it’s in the area of…

·      Investments – Some of us know a lot about investments but we’re so terrified of making mistakes that we never commit. What if I lose it all? So we talk the talk, but we stay broke!

·      Careers – some of us are stuck in a career we don’t like – we’ve had a business idea for a while or we’d like to go back to school.  But what if I step out and it doesn’t work? And so we cling to the perceived security of where we are

·      Marriage – some of us are afraid to commit to a marriage relationship because we’ve seen marriages that don’t work. And some who are married are afraid to give everything to the relationship because they’re afraid the other person may take advantage and not reciprocate.

·      Spiritually – some of us would love to spend more time in prayer and see breakthroughs as we trust God for the big things – but what if God doesn’t come through for me?

In 2013, fear will keep many people from maximizing on the Jubilee opportunities that God has in store for them. But this is not your portion in Christ Jesus!

Read Luke19: 11-27 (THE MESSAGE)

Jesus and His disciples were drawing closer to Jerusalem, the capital city. A crowd was following them. They were convinced that God’s leader had appeared, and they thought that Jesus going to Jerusalem to take over the government by force and then all their problems would be history. Once God was in charge, there would be no more hunger, poverty,  death, and oppression. Of course they were excited that God was about to solve their problems! What could possibly be wrong with that?

Well actually, a lot! And that’s why he told this story. We’re told in other versions that the master gave each of his 10 servants 10 minas, the equivalent of 3 month’s salary. He said to them, ‘operate with this until I return’. Another version says ‘invest this for me while I’m gone’ (NLT). The KJV version puts it more dramatically; ‘occupy until I come’. The word used here means to take responsibility over, to invest, to grow, or to multiply.

Each servant had the exact same starting point, but it was what they did with what they were given that distinguished them.

So here’s the message for 2013; Mavuno, IT’S TIME TO OCCUPY.

But first, you must learn to think and act like an owner, one who has every right to be where he is. There’s a huge difference between an owner and a tenant! I currently live in a rented house. Even though it’s not my house, I like to plant beautiful flowers wherever I live. But there’s always that risk – what if I beautify the place so much that my landlord decides to increase rent OR kick me out and move in himself? So I’ve come up with an innovative solution. We grow most of our flowers in pots. That way if we’re ever kicked out, we hire a pickup and move with our investment! That’s how tenants think! An owner’s question is ‘what more can I invest to multiply and improve what I own?’ The tenant’s question is ‘what’s the minimum I can give and still get away with it?’

I sense this year that God is saying that too many of His children have been living like tenants!

It’s time to occupy.

It’s time to start living like the son or daughter of a king – like a person who has every right to be where God has placed you, taking ownership of every aspect of the life God gave you. Over the rest of the month, I’m going to talk about how we must occupy relationally in our family, physically in our health, economically in our finances and vocationally in our work. Then in February, we’ll talk about how we must occupy politically, in this important election year.

But today, I want to begin with the foundation – the first and most basic place of occupation is spiritually. Unfortunately we’ve been taught a ‘gospel of salvation’ – one that teaches that the most important thing Christ came to do was to save us from hell. And so if you don’t want to go to hell, put up your hand, pray a certain prayer and bam – you’re now ready for heaven.

Salvation is like a fire-insurance policy. Real honest now – how many of you got saved multiple times in high school or college whenever there was a challenge weekend? Some of you remember the play Heaven’s Gates Hell’s Flames – it scared the hell out of you! The result was a 100% conversion rate! Actually150% – because many of the saved people got saved again!

This gospel results in a bus-stop faith. Get saved and then sit in the nice bus-stop away from the rain and wait for the bus to heaven! Like the people in our bible story, we believe that God will come and sort things out – since I’m heaven bound, what I do on earth doesn’t matter anyway! ‘This world is not my home’

There are two major problems with this ‘gospel of salvation’.

FIRSTLY it doesn’t result in true personal transformation. Yes you learn the ‘do’s & don’ts’ – read the bible, pray every day and don’t drink, or smoke or chase after women. But that’s not what Christ came for! The bible tells us that he came that we may have life and have it to the full! Jesus’ life was so full of joy and power that sinners were attracted to him. But for many Christians today, their faith is a private affair that doesn’t attract anyone around them, not even their own families.

SECONDLY, this ‘gospel of salvation’ has little impact on the society around us. It results in Christians who are waiting to go to heaven – too heavenly minded to be of any earthly good! An American writer said, ‘evangelized Africa is worse off today in disease, crime, justice, economics and the family than before Christianity came onto the continent’[i].

Ouch! Jesus didn’t preach the ‘gospel of salvation’; he taught the ‘gospel of the kingdom’! The kingdom means that God’s rule was re-established on earth through Him and His followers. Salvation is just the door… it must result in personal transformation, a life of purpose, impact, that changes the world around us; our families, our neighborhoods, our offices, our industries and our politics. That’s the faith Jesus had, that’s the faith the disciples had, and that’s the only kind of faith that’s worth having!

I want to apologize on behalf of the church at large: I believe the church has failed to teach the real gospel – the gospel of the kingdom. We say ‘pray this prayer and then come to church every week and all will be well. We say ‘send money to this Mpesa number and God will bless you’. We haven’t told the truth! The truth is that some Christians need to backslide! Controversial? Let me explain myself… So many Christians are LIVING A HALF LIFE! You’re neither fully inside enjoying the benefits of the kingdom meal nor outside enjoying the meager scraps of the world – you’re clinging to the door of salvation – trying to get the best of both worlds – like the hyena that tried to go to two parties at once and ended up splitting in the middle (Rev.3:15).

When I played competitive sports, there was a saying, ‘GO HARD OR GO HOME’. In other words, don’t bother coming to play this game if you won’t give it everything you have. Jesus was not afraid to release those who were half-hearted, rather than deceiving them with half truths.

I’m saying you must own your faith! Be an owner not a tenant!

Back to our story: The first two servants made 100% return and 50% return respectively. But the 3rd servant had a tenant mentality! He said ‘Sir, here is your mina; I have kept it laid away in a piece of cloth. I was afraid of you, because you are a hard man. You take out what you did not put in and reap what you did not sow’ (NIV). The man was afraid to fail, he was afraid to be taken advantage of. He was afraid that what he did wouldn’t matter anyway. And so he did nothing!

But notice how baseless his fear was! The boss hadn’t actually intended to take back the money he was giving to his employees – it was meant for them all along! You see the man already knew he would need governors when he returned as king. The money he was giving them was really the budget allocation for them to eventually run the cities they would be in charge of!

We have designed the Mavuno marathon to help you to have a vibrant and productive faith that gives real results.

  • Mizizi – helps you connect with God & with your purpose.
  • Life Groups – connects you with a family that will support you through your life journey
  • Simama – helps you deal with past baggage to bring freedom to your family
  • Ombi – helps you take over your place of work through the power of prayer
  • Hatua – helps you begin to occupy your sector of society

It is easy to do these courses just because ‘the pastor said we have to do them’, or figure out ‘that’s too much hard work, just give me good sermons’. But that’s tenant mentality! A tenant waits to be told by someone else what to do and when to do it. But this thing is for you!

It’s time to own your faith… Be an owner not a tenant!

 If you knew you could NOT fail this year, what is the one thing you would do differently?

What if you knew beforehand that God will answer every prayer you pray for yourself and your family in 2013?

What if you knew beforehand that reading His word consistently will give you the competitive edge that will help you to dominate in your industry and in your sector?

What if you knew beforehand that all those breakthroughs you’ve been waiting on God for in your family or your marriage or your career, He’s actually waiting on you to step up in faith, filled with His Spirit and make them happen?

What if you knew beforehand that God is longing to promote you to the next level this Jubilee year, and is just waiting for you to have the kind of faith that can manage the responsibility and the prosperity He is planning to pour on you?

It’s time to own your faith… Be an owner not a tenant!

 An international company assigned some new cars to their marketing reps.Each rep was given an allowance in their salary to ensure that their cars were well serviced by the dealer. Over the next few years, being clever Nairobians, most of the reps did the ‘smart’ thing; instead of taking their cars to Toyota Kenya, they took them to the cheapest garage they could possibly find and pocketed the difference!

A few years later, the company had a really good year and there were rumors that there would be a fantastic bonus. Everyone was excited! Sure enough, the department head gave the speech about how impressed he was at their performance and at the end he said, “This year we will transfer your car to your name as our bonus!”

How do you think they responded? The few who had maintained their cars well were ecstatic because their cars had a resale value of over ksh.1/2M .But most of the reps were horrified because their cars were held together by wires, string, duct tape and chewing gum! They couldn’t even sell them for 80k! So this year,

Own your faith! Be an owner, not a tenant!

 

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38 Responses to “Occupy Spiritually (Nairobi Full Life)”

  1. Hellen Karanja Says:

    what a sermon! 2013 am gonna own my faith

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  2. this year i want to own my faith. i want to leave my half life and backslide! of course to God’s side.i want to occupy. last year was a very good year for me, yet i lived a half life! how much more then will God bless me when i join his side without peeping on to the other side? Am joining Mizizi come the 16th then i see how things will go. i had registered for mizizi several times, then i never show. yea…but this time i believe al come. Its my year to occupy.

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  3. Forgiven and restored Says:

    I totally loved today’s sermon; This may sound dramatic but I was spellbound. Incidentally the sermon came at a time when I have just started the journey of growing in my faith having renewed my relationship with Christ in September last year. 2012 was a very difficult period for me; I lost my pregnancy at 8 months and it was the most difficult experience I have had to go through in my whole life.

    When I called out to God, He was so faithful and He stood by me through my pain and comforted me. Though 2012 was difficult, I believe in a sense I thrived because I did not succumb to the pain and go into depression. More importantly, my relationship with God is much better than it has ever been. I know that God is giving me a fresh start in 2013 and He is preparing me for much bigger and better things. I shall not be afraid to claim what rightfully belongs to me by virtue of being a child of God.

    I was inspired by today’s sermon to let God use me for my family’s healing; that my whole family may be reconciled back to God and that He may free us from all bondage in this year of Jubilee. I am interested in finding out more about Simama and claiming God’s blessings for me and my family without fear.

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  4. twas a blessing service indeed time to occupy. Got me thinking how much of a tenant I have been in my life. Pray with me as i trust God for a family

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  5. lifesatori Says:

    My resolution has been to find my faith – face up to the reality of my half life world view & hand me down values that is mostly rooted in fear. This sermon is an affirmation that I must own my faith!

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  6. Dear Pastor M

    In the parable of the token.

    I am one of the servants who invested my tokens, but from poor investment or management reasons (mostly if not all focused on me and not God) I have -ve returns at this point…

    Since I am God’s child (my father is a King who owns all), I will spend the remainder of my life taking care of what he has given to my custody as if I was taking care of it for him.

    From myself (health, spiritual nourishment), my family, my friends, my possessions, my business

    Thanks for the sermon and my prayer request is that I get to always remember what I have just written whenever it gets unclear why I do what I do and for God to walk with me and me with him as I give this the best shot I can, but this time not by my might but by his spirit.

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  7. As we occupy lets do a steve corvey say the inside out, inside out mean that we need to fix our inner spiritual existence, lets occupy and displace our fears with faith

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  8. Welcome back Pastor M! Your sermon was right on the money. That’s God’s word to Mavunites at this moment. As I prayed for Mavuno on New Year’s day God layed Psalm 72 on my heart as the action plan we should follow to access the Jubilee year blessings. We are called to be God’s channel for making his kingdom a reality in the world. I commit to doing my bit.

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  9. I just don’t know why you had to say family, but I’m glad now you did that coz it was overdue for me, I must say I was vexed a bit when u said that but the spirit just said ‘….u know what, its u with the issue…’. I’ve been talkin to God to change my brothers n their ways, but now I see it’s me that needs the change in a whole drastic manner.
    I look forward to my Jubilee this Year n also in my plan to even leave work for my passion n studies.
    I’m awed by the sermon coz truth is I wasn’t looking forward at 2013 as whole New year for me, but am now humbled, and realy anticipating change for me n others God’s placed around me.

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  10. This was the best message i have heard this year n i choose it to be my point of reference 4 this year. last year i had the best and the worst-est, too bad that i almost broke down.but this year i have a testimony that God is able. I had the perfect solution to every problem that came my way courtesy of God coz surely; God can never give His faithfuls a problem too big for them to handle. rather, for every stumbling block, God gives grace and strength to manage it or means through it. people; GOD IS ABLE!!!!

    On to this year, I’m recovering (please pray for me) and I’m on a collision course with the devil; he will just not have his way coz am fully occupying my faith. from experience, i know i cant make it alone. things happen even to the most staunch christian and it only takes a minute to bring stuff down. you need God and your inner self to activate your reason to enable you to sense danger a million miles away and evade some of those instances that would cause you to live a half-life. guys lets think about this more keenly and pray to God for guidance along our way to eternity.

    Lastly.. kindly lets raise our hands to heaven in united prayers for safety of our roads. lets pray that kenya’s transport sector will lead people to their purpose rather than to their destiny

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  11. Amazing Sermon. The ambience, the energy, God’s presence in church. It really inspired my week.

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  12. After this sermon,i dared to stop living a ‘half life’ and pastor M asked whoever wanted to be prayed for to live a fuller life/to change to raise their hand.for some weird reason,he saw my raised hand yet i was at the overflow tent,at the last row,AND there was a pillar blocking my view of the pulpit.
    I was shocked at the same time jazzed that he had called me out.
    And honestly pastor M doesnt have such awesome eyesight so all i can say is that its God.He called me out and i know this is the beginning of an even bigger testimomy 🙂

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  13. After this sermon,i dared to live a ‘full-life’…when pastor M asked who wanted to be prayed for to leave half life bt to live full life i raised my hand.
    And the oddest thing happened,he called me out,odd because i was seated in the overflow tent hapo nje,AND at the back row,AND with a pillar blocking my view of the pulpit.
    I know for a fact that pastor M doesnt have such awesome eyesight leave alone xray vision,and till now am jazzed,and all ill say is that it was God who called me out and i was prayed for.
    This is the beginning of a larger than life testimony,God has claimed what is His.
    This will be one awesome year.AMEN

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  14. Pastor welcome back, I am now fully awake! last year i wasted my time begging for breadcrumbs and asking God for Mercy favor and all those soft spiritual terminology in the name trying to see change in my work place, as from now I am taking authority over every issue, partiality, favoritism, against gossip etc come end of 2013 you shall witness my long testimony of things that God has done after i decided to occupy.

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  15. Amazing sermon. Timely. I had never thought of me living life to the fullest as something God is interested in!

    And owning my faith – many times I am the fearful third guy. Too scared to do the things God is calling me to. Safer to have the gifts under my bed. Bus stop mentality. Great sermon. Challenging too. I pray it’s not something I just hear but that I actually go BIG with my faith. Thanks Pastr M, we are glad to have you back!

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  16. Hi!

    Happy new Year!

    Occupy! Yes. The kawaida christian socialization is that you get saved and lived bored ever after. Which did not make sense, and yes it scared me away from Christianity and still makes me question some christian behavior (that is a story for another day).

    I am also as guilty as charged, as a christian I have been a bad person to be around, but starting Sunday that will change so help me God.

    C U next Sunday!

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  17. Pst M, welcome back, we missed you while you were gone, but we are glad you had your much deserved rest.

    I woke up this morning thinking how do I occupy in my area today, this is really the hard question that you are calling us to answer every moment of our lives, because you see occupying means that those decisions I keep waiting for to be made by others (owners), I have the responsibility to start making them right now, coz I’m the owner!

    Needless to say , this is not an easy paradigm shift, my mind, I find keeps running back to the easy ‘waiting for someone to take care of it’ mentality, but I am determined to be an authentic owner, and so I am putting things into perspective often.
    God’s word to me this year was to seek first the Kingdom and His righteousness, and I find that was just His preparation to me so that He could tell me to Occupy! Thank you so much for this word, it is right on time, and a wonderful opportunity to work those spiritual muscles that qualify me as an owner.

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  18. Pastor M, I thank God for the Word He put in your heart to share. This was my 2nd time in Mavuno and I know I have found a home. 2012 was not my best year but on thanksgiving Sunday I knew that come 2013 I will have a testimony, and a great one at that. Im now occupying my faith, no more luke warm-ness. Barikiwa!

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  19. In Jesus we live and move and have our being.

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  20. This is a beautiful sermon!

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  21. Tony Muramba Says:

    Code ‘Owner Occupier’…eish. Pastor M, welcome back and thank you for allowing God to use you. that sermon has got me thinking about what i want in the coming year. Started the year by taking stock of what my wife and i own (physically i.e). then you upset the apple cart by bringing the spiritual dimension of ownership.

    Thank you for turning the tables so that we get it right, from the inside out… cant wait for the next instalment. so help me God…

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  22. Justblessed Says:

    I am too blessed with this sermon…. time to occupy!

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  23. I fidgeted and squirmed in my seat as I listened to this sermon. I could not wait for it to be over. I know that I have allowed my other loves (the praise of people, personal comfort and security, etc.) to crowd out my affection for God. I have lived a half life of faith. It is easier this way, I suppose, because it keeps me in control.

    May 2013 be the year where my affections are re-ordered and God becomes my ‘namba moja’ so that I will be a tenant of my faith no more. I pray this with fear and trembling…..as I know some bleeding may be required.

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  24. Wow wow! Welcome back Pastor M and thank you for just reiterating what God has already been saying to me! I thrived in 2012 – it was up and it was down…but i determined to move from that place and chose to start the year ontop of Mt Kenya – by Gods grace we peaked the summit and watched the first sunrise of 2013 ontop of point Lenana…praying for our nation and Gods plan to manifest in 2013 – it was amazing i tell you! And in all of it; having nearly given up just before the peak and instead choosing to overcome the fatigue, the fear and anguish – i chose to push onto the to, to achieve the goal i had set for myself, there was no turning back (well you just had to look down and realise you’re too far ahead to give up ha!)…I know this year will be like no other year…it is time to push through and occupy what God has already put before me… i had been offered directorship of our organisation in 2012 through several hints, but never felt ‘ready’ enough! I certainly do now..not because of what I can do, but only because of what HE can and will do!.I pray for His wisdom, His guidance, His ideas and divine favour…I am ready to occupy! God bless you all in 2013!

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  25. Beautiful Sermon, time i became an owner and committed to God totally, Thank you for sharing this with us….

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  26. I am so blessed just by reading this!!i can only imagine how guys who were at Mavuno on sunday were and are still feeling..I’ve been living in fear for too long..BUT NO MORE!!driving out fear with faith:)Thank you for blessing us Pastor M and we thank God that He is using you in a great way to bless the nations..

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  27. Mr challenged Says:

    That was the most difficult sermon I’ve had to sit through since I joined Mavuno. To be honest at some point I felt Pastor M was so on my case until a thought crossed my mind that probably he had come off his sabbatical prematurely:-)…….I am the embodiment of the half life Christian who wants a little bit of both worlds, the proverbial Mr. Kiundu who wants to go to 2 parties at the same time. But after last week’s sermon, I was challenged to the fullest and the message was clear, I need to choose which party I want to attend. Well, its clear in my head now which party I want to attend and am grateful that the church has offered various practical avenues such as Mizizi, LG, Hatua and various other initiatives that make the walk in Christ an amazing experience. I am taking baby steps and am requesting the church to pray for me as I take this journey of faith especially since most of the company I keep are half life Christians as well. Thank you Pastor M and may God’s grace be upon you as you continue to challenge the likes of us

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  28. This sermon was not only a blessing tome but also very timely. Last year was a fantastic year i got to THRIVE in almost all areas of my life. I served at Mizizi for the two seasons, grew my faith in leaps and got a job in an industry that i had always dreamt of. This year am trusting God to take me to another level in my life, faith, career, relationship, investment and true to his word he is already doing it. This week, i got my appraisal after been at my place of work for a year and i received a 20% salary increment, which was way beyond my expectations. I have already doubled my saving contribution and can’t wait to see the many other Miracles that God has in store for me in 2013. I am owning my Faith and ditching the tenant mentality! This year by Faith and WORKS, i will OCCUPY.

    Esta

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  29. wanguisummedup Says:

    Reblogged this on A thoroughbred living like a donkey and commented:
    A beautiful way to start 2013

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  30. amazing stuff

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  31. cant get enough of this !! too good

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  32. ]PST M. MAY GOD BLESS YOU 4 THIS’ an AMAZING SERMON.]
    U kw am one of those people whos been aving self intimidation wen com to taking action/occupying. i used a very small mirror to see maself hoping that one day al makeup finding big/grown.! wat a lie!! instead i was growing big while the mirror remains the sem size every year. then i find other way of lookin at myself, in anew mirror called ‘full-life’. i love it , its big ,it shows even the inner mi.ma out to help ma family, in kwing GODAND and anywy i can . thy r responding well to mi, actuly wth alot of respect,considering th fact tht am the secnd last born in a famly of 12hehe. yes 12! THANK YOU SO MUCH also fr echoing our peace campgn “I VOTE PEACE’,(aslo driven by the occupy sermon) jas keep doing it, its nt js 4 us bt fr this beautiful soil of east africa kenya God has given us.we av ateam in diaspora helping us to do the sem. pliz peopl, tweet,facebook, sms,teach, preach peace in your homes,office, social places,wateva arena ul find yourself coz kenya IS NOT ending on election day.OCCUPY!!!

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  33. Reblogged this on Plant-a-Fruit and commented:
    This blog is a must share,its a good start for 2013.

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  34. Reblogged this on Dhamani.

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  35. Occupy vocationally… For the past two weeks I have been trusting God for another job. I don’t think I have prayed that hard for something in a long while. Then I attend service over the weekend and the preaching is about occupying in your career. I felt hope rise in my heart as if Pastor M knew just what i needed to hear. After the sermon there was prayer for those looking for jobs and Pastor M say that this coming week we will have testimonies. Then, in the course of the week I get a call from a multinational company here in Nairobi that i was successful in an interview that i had done just a week ago and i have the job!!! Isn’t the Lord faithful? In addition, I have been offered double my current salary and the job description is what I love to do. I really thank God for opening this door for me. This year and beyond, I will OCCUPY!!!!

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