Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Fruitful Work

As a child I used to hear the phrase, “an idle mind is the devil’s workshop”. It was a daily reminder that work is good for us! And yet, there is something in all of us that loves to eat, sleep and play. The BBC reported this month that a man in New Zealand recent quit his job to play Pokemon Go full-time. Tom Currie worked at a seaside restaurant, but has decided to pack it all in to find digital creatures on his phone instead. He says he is relying on friends and family to help him out. His story has gone viral and now he is very famous for quitting work and just playing Pokemon Go.


Paul writing to the church at Ephesus reminds that rather than just stealing and Facebooking all day we must work: “Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need” (Ephesians 4:28). Work according to Paul is “doing something useful with [our] own hands”. In other words, doing something that adds value or is fruitful!

Monday, 25 July 2016

Honest Living

Earlier this year, the American musician Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson was summoned before a Judge in the US to explain his lifestyle. The reason for the Court summon is that last year 50 Cent filed for bankruptcy saying he couldn’t afford to pay debts of between $10m and $50m. 


The only problem is that a cursory look at his Instagram feed reveals a very different impression of his life. In one photo, 50 Cent is photographed buried under $100 notes, presumably struggling to find his feet. In another photo he has stocked his refrigerator with bundles of dollars. This naturally baffled his creditors. How can 50 Cent claim to be bankrupt when his  Instagram profile shows that he is  drowning in money?

Saturday, 16 July 2016

Picking and Mixing


A brother in the church wrote this book. He passed on a copy for me to read. I have enjoyed reading it. The final chapter on neo-Pentecostalism  is very strong.

The general conclusion the author makes is that syncretism is not bad in of itself. It is the degree, nature and purpose of syncretism that is problematic. In particular it is important that syncretism is subject to the Bible as the final authority.

I would have liked to have seen more reflection on neo-Pentecostalism with a more detailed look at its various perverse manifestations. The final chapter' main quotes related to American exponents. We don't get proper quotes from Nigerian exponents. But even when quotes of Nigerian exponents are given these are usually "anonymised". I also felt that the book could have addressed the relationship between the "regulative principle" and syncretism. Also biblical examples of "acceptable syncretism would have been helpful". 

Otherwise, apart from those small quibbles, it is a good read! Would certainly be fascinating to see a wider African wide treatment of the subject.

Copyright © Chola Mukanga 2016

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Mister & Pete's Shared Shame

I have always enjoyed watching movies portraying life in African American ghettos. This is despite the fact that though the movies are always engaging (and often humorous) they tend to be poorly directed. George Tillman’s Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete is an excellent break with the mold. It tells the story of 13 year old Mister (Skylan Brooks) raised by a single mom Gloria (Jennifer Hudson) who is struggling to keep her family together as she battles prostitution and drugs.

The tough home environment has left Mister struggling in school with his hope now firmly anchored on becoming an actor, thanks to the heavy dose of DVDs and video games that have become a form of escape from the horrors of real life. The situation is acerbated when Gloria is apprehended by the police, leaving Mister and 9 year old Pete (Ethan Dizon), the son of Gloria’s friend,  fighting for survival as they forage for food while dodging child protective services and ghetto bullies.

Sunday, 8 May 2016

Flesh in the Mirror

I was blaming Satan and the world for my spiritual state of health,
Until I checked out flesh in the mirror and spelt “S.E.L.F”
as the prime suspect and culprit.
Preaching from the highest pulpit
but in the prayer room I’m claustrophobic.
I know its deep,
I know I’m weak,
You know me forever gossiping
But when its time for witnessing, I’m slow to speak.
When its time to pray, I go to sleep.
Time to fast, I go and eat.
Time to stand and praise,
I’d rather hold a seat.
Back row, act low, hoping nobody notice me
Because it ain’t hard to see I’m not what I’m supposed to be.
But I don’t want to hear no lecture