Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Monday, June 09, 2008

New home for my blog

I’ve just made the move from Blogger to WordPress, which may come as a surprise to those of you who know where I work. However, WordPress had an available domain for my new blog (Here I Am To Worship) that Blogger - due to its enormous popularity - did not.

This blog will continue at Wordpress under the same name i.e. http://talischris.wordpress.com See you on the other side.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Please Pray For My Grandma

Some of you might know that my grandmother (and lone surviving grandparent) was diagnosed with early stage dementia last year. This morning we received word from my uncle that her condition is deteriorating. When my sister called her this morning to check on her, it took her a few minutes to recognize her name. She is also having trouble with her digestive system.

Grandma has lived by herself in the same house in California for all these years since my mom and uncle left home in the 70's. It is therefore very difficult for her to accept any alternative living situation in spite of her health condition. She would like for mom to go and care for her for a while, but that is not a very practical solution. Please join me in praying for my grandma's health situation, and for wisdom among family members as to how best to care for her during this time.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Back to blogging

I would like to thank those of you who have gently nudged me back into blogging - Rosy for the occasional virtual shoulder tap, Paul for your consistent posts that remind me I should be doing the same, and Salome for recently encouraging me and getting me over the hump, so to speak.

So today I resume my blogging with a stream of parallel posts - one retroactive and one current - in order to accelerate the catching up process. Thanks for reading. :)

Monday, August 13, 2007

Sister symmetry: sad and happy bookends

There are only two people in my life that have ever become so endeared to me to the point of gaining sibling status, so to speak. Eva Nyanjau is my big sis who anchored my high school years, and was tragically killed in the US embassy bomb blast on 7th August, 1998 in Nairobi. That was perhaps the saddest day of my life thus far, and after 18 years of living in Kenya, I flew out to the US on the day after the funeral to begin the next phase of my life.

Thaala Montsi (pictured above) is my small sis who blessed my life during my college years. On 11th August, 2007 she authored perhaps the happiest day of my life as I got to witness her marriage to Jesse Loper (I love you, bro) in the most beautiful, colourful, joyous, laughter-saturated, family-oriented, Christ-exalting wedding ceremony (on a golf course, no less!) that I have ever been a part of. Thaala, I love you! And then get this - after 9 years of living in the US, I flew back to Nairobi on the day after the wedding to begin the next phase of my life.

Folks, all of these dates were set independent of each other. In 1998, I had bought my ticket to the US long before Eva passed away, let alone before a funeral date was set. And then this year, Thaala had her wedding date set long before I even knew that there would be a Google office in Nairobi, let alone that I would be moving back home to take on an indefinite assignment to that office. This is not just "cool" or "nifty" or "lucky" or "funny-how-that-worked-out." Only God can orchestrate these sorts of timings, and it is great fuel for my faith in His perfect will and timing in the days to come.

I'm reminded of the story of Naomi in the book of Ruth. She left home (Bethlehem) happy and headed off for a foreign country, only to return home bitter several years later. My testimony is the opposite: I left home sad (indeed crushed) and after several years, through God's grace and healing, I have returned rejoicing. Thank you Eva. Thank you Thaala. Thank you Jesus.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

08/08/08 arrives a year early!

Those of you who know me well know that I have always been a numbers guy. So it should come as no surprise that during my lengthy sojourn in the US, I wound up setting a "target" date for when I would like to return to Kenya. I left home in August 1998 to pursue further studies with the stated goal of returning "when it made sense." Following a bachelor's and master's degree, I had student loans to pay, and by God's grace I landed a great job with Google that allowed me to pay them off in short order. The question of "when it made sense" to return thus became an open-ended one, and at some point I settled on 08/08/08 as the target date.

In God's providential timing, He orchestrated a chain of events that led to me leaving the US on 2 weeks' notice for an indefinite assignment to Google's new office in Nairobi. And the clincher - I flew out of San Francisco airport on 08/08/07, exactly a year early!

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Christian Essentials

What are the essentials of the Christian faith? Listening to Alistair Begg on the 4th of July, he gave an outline that I found concise and useful:
  • the authority of the Bible
  • the centrality of the cross
  • the necessity of second birth
  • the priority of holiness in living
  • the reality of Grace
Hopefully, I'll be able to spend some time expounding on these in the near future.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Meeting (a) Legend

Today I got to meet a legend - quite literally. One of the perks of working at Google is being able to meet well-known figures from various spheres of life on a regular basis.

John Legend came and did a unique gig just for Google employees, highlighted by an impromptu one-time-only duet with one of my co-workers, which you can see here.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Kevin, I salute you

During my stay in Florida, I had the great privilege of getting to know Lance Corporal Kevin Waruinge, a member of our small tightly-knit group of Kenyan students. Kevin had already served one tour of duty in Iraq in 2003 before enrolling in college the same semester that I enrolled in seminary. As it turned out, my final semester was his final one too; I graduated and moved back to California, while Kevin volunteered to return to Iraq on a second tour of duty. Kevin worked as a mechanic on amphibious assault vehicles. He was attached to the Marine Corps Reserve's 4th Assault Amphibian Battalion, 4th Marine Division. He was among 14 troops and a civilian interpreter killed Aug. 3 when a roadside bomb exploded near the city of Haditha. It was one of the deadliest single attacks on U.S. forces in Iraq.

Kevin was the same age as my sister (born within 2 days of each other). He grew up in Nairobi, Kenya, just like I did, and moved to the US with his family the same year that I moved. He died as an American hero, sacrificing his life for his adopted country. He had highlighted the following verses in his King James Bible:

Philippians 2:13-15 says: "For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of (his) good pleasure. Do all things without murmurings and disputings: That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world."

What a testimony! Till we meet again on the other shore, well done Kevin, I salute you.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Google Moon

Some of you heard about our recent launch of Google Earth (if you haven't, stop reading this and go check it out).

However, many of you may have missed our near-simultaneous launch of Google Moon - http://moon.google.com/ - and no, it's not an April Fool's joke, although if you zoom in too close ...

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

In Memory of Dr. Geoffrey W. Griffin

June 28th, 2005 was a terribly sad day for me, as I received the news of the passing away of a man that I consider a hero and a father-figure to me as a Starehe Old Boy. Dr. Griffin - more affectionately referred to as "Boss" - succumbed to colon cancer after roughly one and a half years of poor health. He was 72.

As the founder and director of my high school, Starehe Boys' Centre, he is largely responsible for the man that I became under his leadership during those critical high school years in boarding school. He dedicated his entire life and gave everything he had to build a school that has produced a legion of young men that are making their mark in Kenya and around the world. Here are his last words to us:

My dear boys,
I have had a fruitful and happy life, and I have learnt one great lesson that I would like to share with you. I hope that Starehe will always teach this lesson – for as long as it does so, it will remain a great school.
This world is full of people who do their duty half-heartedly, grudgingly and poorly. Don’t be like them. Whatever is your duty, do it as fully and perfectly as your possibly can. And when you have finished your duty, go on to spare some time and talent in service for less fortunate people, not for any reward at all, but because it is the right thing to do.
Follow my advice in this and I promise you that your lives will be happy and successful.
May God bless you all.

When I consider that he was 26 when he founded Starehe, I ask myself the sobering question, "What am I starting right now that will leave the kind of enduring legacy he left behind, when all is said and done?"