11 Nov FEARLESS!
When I was about eleven years old I stumbled upon my first “grown-up” novel – a thriller titled The Naked Face, by acclaimed author Sidney Sheldon. The book was hugely popular at the time – a veritable bestseller – and is still available on Amazon to date. Here’s a summary of the plot:
“Judd Stevens is a psychoanalyst faced with the most critical case of his life. If he does not penetrate the mind of a murderer, he will find himself arrested for murder or murdered himself…”
The fact that this was not the most suitable fare for an 11-year-old was quite lost on me. I was captivated, and by the time I finished reading, I was determined to become a psychoanalyst, just like my new hero Dr Judd. So, five years later, in my final year of high school, I took the first step and wrote out my future business card:
“Dr Mugure Kabugua, Psychologist,” it read.
But then I shared my dream with my Mum.
“Uikarage na aguruki?!” Being a psychologist meant hanging out with mad men all day, she warned.
So after Uni, I tried my hand at all kinds of business ventures; I borrowed my parents’ pick-up and hawked bales of rice; opened a real estate company and peddled property; I even dabbled in events for a while. I did all manner of things, until I finally found my sweet spot and established a business in I.T.
But then I gave my life to Christ.
And as soon as I did, the Lord began to speak to me about His purpose for my life – and made it quite clear that it wasn’t in I.T. Or rice.
So I became a Labourer, duly employed in the Lord’s Vineyard. And have been toiling here ever since.
Early this year, I sensed the Lord’s leading to take a course in leadership – to sharpen my chops in toiling, I suspect. So I signed up for a year-long training offered by the Fearless Institute at Mavuno Church – a course that aims to turn ordinary labourers, like yours truly, into effective kingdom leaders. And gather an even more bounteous harvest, I suspect!
So I check into the first class on January 26th this year, a day after my 25th birthday. (Ok, add one and a half generous helpings of VAT and tuck the eyeballs back in); and the Institute’s boss, Pastor Muriithi Wanjau, begins to speak to us about what is required of students:
“All students will be required to publish a book by the end of this year,” he begins. I look up, startled. I can’t believe my luck. One of my goals for this year is to publish a book! This is going to be great. And as I sit there listening, the Lord begins to minister to me.
“See all those blog articles you’ve written?” He says. “Put them together and compile them into a book. This will be your first publication.”
Oh wow! Why haven’t I ever thought of this? But the Lord continues to speak, painting a picture of how this book will be. He even helps me come up with a name for it.
“The title is right there, deep within your spirit,” I hear Him say. And it immediately bubbles up in my heart:
“Let Me Testify! The Lord Has been Good..”
Indeed He has. He has been more than good. He has been Precious. And that spontaneous expression of my heartfelt gratitude to Him becomes the title of my book.
So I immediately begin working on it, and five months later, on Saturday 18th May, I’m delighted to release it to friends and family. Actually giddy with excitement, is more like it. And the title says everything I need to say.
But because the book is a compilation of already-published work, I suspect it will not satisfy Pastor M’s requirements. So I continue to hammer out another work that has been simmering in my heart – a light-hearted take on the monarchs who ruled the kingdom of Israel in ancient biblical times.
Initially, my plan is to pick a handful and focus on them, but their stories are so captivating, I end up writing about all forty-two of the monarchs. One brief, memorable and sometimes humorous story on each of them. Believe me, the biblical account of some of their shenanigans shock me to the core as I write. But I enjoy every moment of it.
And, much to my delight, the Lord has faithfully revealed the book’s title to me once again:
“KINGS,” He has said. “That will be the title of this book.”
And that title has been seared, in capital letters, right into my spirit. I can see it clearly as I write, as if I were looking at the book with my physical eyes. And so, eventually, Pastor M gets his book. On the front cover is the word “KINGS” – in large, capital letters – exactly as I have seen it in my spirit.
So, thanks to the Fearless Institute, this year has turned out to be one of the most rewarding in my life.
I have sat at the feet of great men and women, every last Saturday of the month, and been schooled on the tenets of effective Christian leadership.
I have toiled through challenging monthly assignments; read through numerous volumes – and in the process perfected the secret art of speed-reading, revered for centuries among academicians far and wide. (I hope my lecturers are not reading this!)
I have combed diligently through biblical leadership principles from all possible angles – servant leadership, compassionate leadership, courageous leadership, group leadership, communicative leadership, visionary leadership – eish.
Been gob-smacked at how kingdom leadership can look in real life, when, during a visit to Yatta, my class-mates and I witnessed first-hand how one man single-handedly transformed a community from desperate poverty to wealth and abundance, simply by following God’s principles.
And later, had a fabulous time at a power-packed leadership forum themed “Transform”, in neighbouring Uganda, where my classmates and I were spoiled rotten by our hosts. And hopefully came out appropriately transformed as well.
Through all this I’ve met wonderful people and made great new friends, and I look forward to walking this journey together with them, as we continue to discover God’s ultimate purpose for our labours.
It’s been quite a challenging boot-camp, this inaugural class at the Fearless Institute. But I wouldn’t have traded the one hour a day, five hours a week, twenty hours a month, totaling two hundred and forty hours of fearless training, for anything else this year.
As far as I can see, brethren, there will be no career in criminal psychology for me 😊.
How to buy my books:
Let Me Testify! The Lord Has Been Good..
(Physical book, delivered to your doorstep)
Price: Kshs 500
A free copy in PDF format is still available for download here: http://www.pauliemugo.com/complimentary-book/
KINGS: A Fascinating Look at the Rulers of Ancient Israel
(Physical book, delivered to your doorstep)
Launch price: Kshs 950
Price: USD 9.99
You can also get a free PDF sample here:
(This is a sample of the first four chapters only)