The Preaching Style I Like - Reflections of a Young Man™

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The Preaching Style I Like

While revising for the SAT exams a decade ago, I came across in Barron's SAT revision book a passage that aroused my interest. It was actually an excerpt from Jane Austen's The Watsons in which an elderly Mr. Watson discusses a visit to church. The passage read as follows:
"I do not know when I have heard a discourse more to my mind," continued Mr. Watson, "or one better delivered. He reads extremely well, with great propriety and in a very impressive manner; and at the same time without any theatrical grimace or violence. I own, I do not like the studied air and artificial inflections of voice, which your very popular preachers have. A simple delivery is much better calculated to inspire devotion, and shows a much better taste. Mr. Howard read like a scholar and a gentleman."[1]
The above passage aroused my interest because it seemed to explain the preaching style I like in a way I can't express better. As in, like the character Mr. Watson, I also prefer preachers who appear natural, honest and humorous. That's all I am saying.

[1] I have extracted this passage from page 637 of Barron's How to Prepare for the SAT by Sharon Weiner Green and Ira K. Wolf, published in 2006 by Barron's Educational Series Inc.

If you've enjoyed reading this short story of mine, you might also enjoy a story in which I wrote that salvation is free and another one in which I proved God exists. Just click those links in blue to jump straight into the stories.


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I Like Mischievous People

Awhile back, I was having a haircut in my home-town at a barbershop owned by my friend Goldine when I spotted a sticker on one of the barbershop mirrors with a quote in Agikuyu language that read as follows: "Nie nyedete ciana; wana niguo itedaga."

In Swahili, that quote translates as, "Mimi napenda watoto; utoto ndio sipendi." And in English, it translates as, "I like children; it is childishness that I don't like."

Though that quote tickles my fancy when I think of it, I don't agree with it because I like childishness to some extent. Or rather, I like mischief and I tend to admire mischievous people.

Like there is this friend of mine I met at All Saints Cathedral in Nairobi who I call Jack the Jackal. I came to like him during one Bible Study session we were having in the church when he started calling some of the attendants with his phone and then ending the call just as the receivers were about the receive the call - what is popularly known here in Kenya as "flashing" but my dictionary has no such definition of the word "flash".

To paint a clear picture of how mischievous Jack the Jackal was, imagine you are in a Bible Study session when your phone rings. And when you take it out of one of your pockets, you discover that the caller is Jack the Jackal who is seated just opposite of where you are. Haha, how I liked Jack the Jackal for that mischief!

By the way, when I first befriended Jack the Jackal, he used to tell me that he was from Jamaica, the birthplace of reggae music and the Motherland of Bob Marley. I came to believe him given the pride with which he said he was from that country. And he promised me that he would one day take me to Jamaica.

But then, I remember faintly at one time asking Jack the Jackal, "What is the capital city of Jamaica?" He didn't know.

Another mischief I liked was when I visited JKUAT in 2012 to reconnect with my classmates who were then finishing the degree course I had pursued but dropped out in 2009 in my second year. I was impressed with how beautiful the university had become which made me regret for having dropped out.

And as I was strolling around campus that night I visited the university, I was taken aback on seeing a neon-lighted signboard that read "FAR HO TEL". The signboard was pointing to a hostel which was for girls during my days in the university.

Surprised to the core, I faintly remember pausing and asking one of the guys passing by, "You mean they converted this women's hostel into a hotel?"

And the guy was like, "O man, where has this dude been?"

But I think he sensed my sincere ignorance because after a few seconds of pause, he replied, "No sir. The university authorities named this hostel FARASI HOSTEL. And then some JKUAT students removed some of the characters on the signboard; that is why it is reading FAR HO TEL."

As to how the JKUAT students could remove some of the characters from the signboard without fear of being caught by authorities or getting an electric shock is something I have never understood. All I know is that I liked the mischief.

Yes, I like mischief and I tend to admire mischievous people. That's why I am a big fan of April Fools' Day. And should I ever get lucky to have children, I will encourage them to be a little mischievous. So help me God.


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On Truth & Truthfulness

The great American president Abraham Lincoln once quipped, "You can fool all the people some of the time and you can fool some of the people all the time but you cannot fool all the people all the time." See?

I have come to agree with that Lincoln's statement a 100%. That's why when I re-branded this website to its current look and started writing stories afresh, I decided to get rid of all the plagiarism that I used to do in most of the stories I used to write in my previous version of this website that I christened "Polly".

And because I want this website to endure for many years to come after I die, I also decided to get rid of all the lies and exaggerations that I used to tell in the "Polly" website. You see, I didn't want to eventually suffer the unbearable shame of eventually getting found out that all I did was lie and exaggerate because as Lincoln put it, we can't fool all the people all the time.

Take, for instance, a story I wrote in late 2015 titled "Homage to Friends" which began as follows:
On the night I officially left Starehe Boys' Centre as a student in early April 2007, I sat down at home to list all the hobbies that I enjoyed and made me fully alive. And I then decided to build my life with the hobbies; so I penned down my life goals which I would accomplish by indulging in those hobbies.

I have long since lost the paper on which I wrote down the life goals but they remain fresh in my mind: to be a good man, make great friends, have a wonderful family, produce inspirational songs, write great articles/books, be a motivating teacher, become a compelling speaker, start a business/organization, have a successful political career, drive a classy car, own a resplendent home and travel around the world.
O what lie the above passage was! I didn't sit down to write those goals as I pointed out. On the contrary, I was a confused young man that time I was leaving Starehe. And assuming I had been that focussed, I would be a much more successful person right now; I wouldn't still be living with my parents as I am doing now.

To tell you the truth, I just wrote down those goals later on in 2010 after reading the autobiography of Bill Clinton which inspired me to have a vision for my life. And I basically copied Clinton's goals, then I added several more which prompted a few friends to criticize me that the goals were too many. Even my brother Bob advised me to choose one goal and pursue it.

Anyway, talking of this re-branded website of mine, I have successfully managed to get rid of all lies, exaggeration and plagiarism. Like whenever I am in doubt of something, I usually turn to Google for clarification. I can assure you that all the stories in this website are 98.67% true.

My new mission of writing the stories in this website is: tell the truth, only the truth and nothing but the truth. And that's what makes me think that this website will endure for many years to come even after I die. So help me God.


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