Sunday, May 23, 2021

A Life

It's time for Tuesday 4 started by Toni Taddeo and kept up in her memory by Annie of the blog, Cottage by the Sea.

This week's topic is about spending time

1.  Are you currently reading a book you'd like to tell us about? Maybe a TV program you can recommend to us?

 I just finished reading the late Cecily Tyson's memoir Just As I am. A few weeks after I heard about her book she passed on at the ripe age of 97. I didn't really know much about this actress only that she seemed to be a powerhouse in her field. I immediately got the book from my local library and was looking forward to it. Her life's story held many revelations for me and in that sense I enjoyed it though I cannot really say I was a fan of the writing style. Given Ms. Tyson's longevity and accomplishments as an actor, I would highly recommend her book.

2.  Are you a Jane Austen fan? So many seem to be. If you are what is your favorite book and who is your favorite character.  If you aren't a fan, is there an author you especially like to read? Favorite character, etc.?

I am absolutely a Jane Austen fan and it is hard to pick favourites as I've enjoyed each and every one of her books. If I really had to pick a favourite I would choose Mansfield Park though I cannot remember now if I read this book first, or whether I read Pride and Prejudice first. You can watch Mansfield Park as a movie right now on YouTube for free. I don't really have a favourite character in any of Jane Austen's books. I love each and every one because together they all add to the wonderful stories she writes.  I will say that most of the television adaptations of Jane Austen's books do not give me the same enjoyment as reading the books though some of the big screen movies do.  For example I really loved Sense and Sensibility with Emma Thompson and Kate Winslet.

3.  How do you spend your time during the day?  Do you set apart time to read, watch TV, study?

Yes I do all of the above. I very much enjoy reading and watching good television or YouTube videos. I also enjoy crafting (knitting, crochet, sewing, and from time to time a few other handcrafts) during quiet times. 

Here is the last large crochet project I made. It is a crochet blanket large enough to cover a tall man in a twin, hospital bed. I made it for one of my uncles. He just passed on today. I pray he is enjoying his reunion with loved ones in glory.

The green items are knitted dishcloths I recently completed. I really enjoy making these because they are quick and also very practical for personal use and as gifts.

Spending time almost daily, with my charitable mission to Kenyans, a grassroots effort to bring humanitarian helps and hope to a number of destitute Kenyans, is also something that occupies my time. It is my belief that it isn't enough to say we believe in God as Christians. I believe we must show our belief through actions.  Though actions and works won't save our souls, actions and works are a demonstration of the fact that God's Holy Spirit lives in us and that it is alive and real, not dead. 

God is love so we too must be examples of love to others. Not because people deserve it but because God is love and he loves each and every one of us. If we say we love God but have no demonstration of it especially to the very needy, yet we make sure we meet all of our own needs, I don't think that is love. Love demands a sacrifice from us. Not so we can become martyrs through sacrifice but so that we truly understand what God has given to us and how he has sacrificed so that we might have salvation and a hope of a wonderful eternal future.

These few thoughts don't capture the totality of my beliefs in this area but they will at least give a glimpse. Often when I share these thoughts people will jump to defend themselves and say that giving is not only about money or that there are people in our own backyards that need help too. I agree with both of these statements. God doesn't limit us to helping here or there. Each of us has opportunities to stretch ourselves both at home and abroad especially in this present day and age. We just need to be open and alert to those opportunities and also willing to use the creativity through the ideas that God gives to each of us to find ways to do what he wants. We also need to be open to hearing him when he is speaking to us in that often still and small voice.

4. Have your beliefs changed in your life time? New religion.. new politics? Or are they the same as they were growing up? Do you spend time thinking over the important things of life to take stock in your life?

Neither my political nor my religious beliefs have changed in my life time. I have always been a Liberal (in USA that would be a Democrat). Though I know many Christians support Conservatism (Republicanism) I am of the belief that God made every one of us a free agent to live and choose how we will live and whom we will serve. I do not believe in penalizing people for how they live unless they willfully harm others or disobey laws that are there for the protection of all . One day each one of us will be judged by a power much greater than a human being.  

I grew up believing in God long before I ever went to church (my parents were not Christian or church goers until much later) and learned about him in a formal way.  I did not always go to church as for a time. In my late teens and early twenties,  I did my own thing.  But God always called me back to him and in my adult life I have not strayed from the path.  I have to say that being a believer in God and casting my cares upon him has really helped me in every way. Some of my old friends called my belief in God a crutch but I don't care. " I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that he is able. To keep that which I've committed, unto Him against that day" (from the song I Know Whom I have Believed). I am a strong person so I do not need a crutch. 



My faith is in God because I know he loves me and has saved me from a life of ruin.  Those are not just words but have great meaning and I'm writing them in humble gratitude for how he gave me a hope and future from the background in which I grew up.  It was not an easy life for me or any of the generations before me in my family, but praise God, he made a way for me and for many others in my family.  I am truly grateful for that.  A life with God brings me a lot of contentment and inner joy. I want to use my life and whatever I have left of it to bring glory to God and as thanks for everything he has given to me.

I do spend a lot of time thinking about the big issues in life and also spend a lot of time taking stock of my life. I do this and try to improve myself here and there and make sure I am on the right path for me. When I was younger I spent an awful lot of mental energy on these activities.  We go through various stages of growth and now that I am older I still do a lot of deep thinking.  But I probably spend more time doing and acting. As we age, we have the sense and awareness that time goes by so quickly. I don't want to waste too much of the time I have left and ask God to help me to make the best use of my time, to even extend my time and to open doors that he wants me to enter.


 Thank you for visiting my blog and for taking time to read my thoughts.

I'm joining in at Tuesday 4.

May God truly bless you in unimaginable ways.


Saturday, May 15, 2021

Slow Return

Hi friends,

I haven't been posting for awhile.

I have been quite busy with the needs in Kenya. The one friend I posted about last time has now been released from hospital and is recovering at home.

In the meantime, another Kenyan man I'm acquainted with through other contacts fell off a boda boda (motorbike taxi) and fractured his leg. These boda bodas can be quite dangerous.  I've known at least 4 people over the course of time who have had accidents and ended up in hospital.  This latest accident involved a man named Livingstone.  He spent a few days in hospital and has now been discharged with a cast on his leg to recover at home.

In Kenya if you go to hospital they will also check you for Covid.  If you test positive they will keep you in hospital or send you home with a prescription for medicines if you are not showing signs of medical distress.  Unfortunately Livingstone tested positive and so he needs help with the cost of the medications.  Thankfully he is not hospitalized for Covid treatment and we hope it remains that.  Truthfully though I am concerned about the possible exposure of his other family members. These are humble villagers and they live in very small homes.  Given he has a cast on his leg, someone has to take care of him.

We hope he can continue being treated at home and get better. He needs a variety of medications for a total of 10 days. As of the time of this post he will be going into his 3rd day of medications.


If you can help at all please donate to the Pay Pal account on the side bar.  If you make a donation and you have any problems sending it through please let me know as it happens from time to time.  I do not really like asking for funds.  On the other hand, as Christians who try and help others, we ought to let people know about the needs so they can help too if they are felt led to do it.  Some kind and generous people will never have an opportunity to help someone if no one ever brings the needs their notice.  This is, after all, a ministry we are doing in Kenya. It is not formalized through a registered organization though some day it may be.  It is ad hoc and really focussed on helping the very destitute who are not able to access help through organizations.  There are so many who fall between the cracks.  

I do as much as I can on my own with helpers in Kenya and I fund most of it myself. When the needs that come to my attention are too much for me on my own I post about the needs.  We could do so much more if we had more helpers but we do what we can. If  you feel led to help these people, you will know who you are.  If God is speaking to you, please be in touch. Thank you.

I've written from time to time about another young man, Alvin whom we assisted through the final years of  engineering degree.  He graduated with wonderful grades but it is next to near impossible to find work in Kenya.  He has been praying for open doors and God's leading his life. He has now moved on to what may be his life's calling and is now on the path to becoming a priest in the Catholic faith. He left a few days ago for the first phase of his multi-year training.  Though it isn't a job in engineering there may be opportunities to serve in his church with his background. Up to now we (mainly he) have been involved in getting him ready and getting all his needs in place (special clothing and other necessary items). He has been in seminary before as a high school student so the early part of studies will not be new to him. I wish him every happiness and success in life and in the ministry to come.

From time to time, I've mentioned a digital project I've been working on. It has eaten up a lot of time and energy but soon the main part will be done. Then I won't look at it again for a very long time. I'm so glad!

I've used the time in between the above activities to read a few books. Here is a collage of 4 books I'm currently reading or have read recently.  

My modest goal for the year was to read  25 book and I've now surpassed that goal.  I have several other books on the go and on hold at my local library but I will slow down a bit. I need to focus now on enjoying the summer ahead and doing some household projects and making more time in prayer and study.  There so many people in great need for a great many things, not just material needs but physical, emotional and spiritual needs as well.

Thursday night I bought a big ball of cotton yarn to make a few dish cloths. I rather like the multi-green colour. It reminds me of the spring season we are in. It feels good to pick up the needles again.

I'm not sure how often I'll be on line over the summer but I expect to pop in to various blogs and visit with you. I have already started doing it.  Hopefully I will have a chance to pop into my own blog too in between activities but I expect to resume normal blogging in the fall.  I don't even want to think about fall right now though it is one of my favourite seasons due to the crisp air and the beautiful, seasonal colours.  I am looking forward to enjoying the spring sunshine and beautiful colours as we move into the summer months.  Along that line, I have finally started working in my patio garden and once it starts blooming that is something I will post on this blog. I can't wait to see what it will look like in a few weeks.  The photo below is a before photo taken on Friday, May 14, 2021.

Stay safe

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