Posted in Music

My 5 (favourite) songs of 2018

I (bracketed) favourite because I am not sure… exactly how to define these songs. Some are older. Some are not from 2018. But they made an impact this year. Some are not even the audio version of the song but rather the live performance. But with no further adieu, in no particular order here is my list:

1) Fix You – Coldplay

Just look at how much passion Chris Martin has (again) in this song?
It’s like he is singing the song for the first time. So much conviction!
And then see the crowd singing along. An anthem of some sorts. So beautiful!
“Lights will guide you home…”

2) In the End – Mike Shinoda

An ode to the late Chester. This live version of a Linkin Park gives me tears in my eyes. See how the crowd sing Chester’s part:

Even Mike Shinoda is moved. Then notice the stunning sky! It’s like God is tuning into the moment too…

3) Life on earth – Snow Patrol

Warning! This is a darker song. But I like it. Because it’s Gary saying it simply and honestly. He went through a tough time. And this whole album (Wildness) is he looking at the tough times and fragility and beauty of life.

This song carried me through my divorce earlier this year. (That dreaded D word!)

4) Do you remember – Dave Matthews Band

This is the first song that grabbed me on the latest Dave Matthews Band album!
“It’s always good to remember the beautiful things” Dave

This is your new summer song…
Your new song of nostalgia…

5) Caught in the Middle – Paramore

Again Hayley and the boys taking an honest look at life…
Pop makes it all sound better. 😉
In fact the whole After Laughter album is great!

Hard Times needs mention and also Forgiveness

Bonus song) No longer a slave – Bethel

I had to add this song.  I don’t really listen to worship music – because too often – it feels like an industry – more than heartfelt – However, every now and then there is a song that tugs at my heart.  This is one of them:

But my most favourite memory of this song is from tour 1 at the end of the production: TORN, when the PNEUMATIX students came on… one by one singing the song acapella…

Beautiful!

What is your list for 2018?

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Posted in Faith & Church, Inspirational & Observations from Life, People

And in the morning (we will remember them)

Today was Remembrance Day here in England. These are some of my musings:

Just down the road from a church (just over 200 metres) there is a war memorial.
So this morning at 11am on 11th day of the 11th month, over 2000 people gathered to remember the fallen. (it has been a 100 years since the ending of WW1.)

Then after the service, we invited the community to come for free coffee (or tea) and cake that would be served in the old church building. We also invited them to come and see some of the war graves in our churchyard.

The people streamed in. It was great to be part of.
To see community and church together.
Our church service this morning was exactly that – the remembrance day service around the war memorial. (Why on earth, would we want to do a separate service?)

Coming from South Africa, we don’t celebrate Remembrance Day as much as in England. (Understandably, so.)
However, I felt honoured, to be part of the remembering.
People from all walks of life gathered together to remember. To pay tribute.
There were scout groups, girl guides, bikers, air cadets – all sorts.

She kissed him goodbye
See you again, my love
Her last words said to him
As the bombs fell from above

I pin this poppy on my collar
Thankful for your sacrifice
So that I can live out my dreams
What dream did you have before you took that bullet?

I can hear my heartbeat
Beating faster than usual
As I sit here among the mud and limbs
Oh God, I am scared

The noises don’t stop
I lie awake for hours
Hearing their screams
God, how did humans become so unkind?

I live in a new day.
I will remember.
I won’t forget…
To be grateful.

There have been dark nights.
In their lives, our lives.

And now in the morning (we will remember them)

(Darrel Hofland)

Posted in Inspirational & Observations from Life

Remember Two Things…

Every now and then I ponder things and then share them in a blog post.  (This Of Colours and Discovery, has been quiet for some time.)

Just “borrowing” the title from a dave matthews band album:

220px-Dave_Matthews_Band_-_Remember_Two_Things

Click HERE to go check out that older album.

These may not be big things to you but I’m going to share them anyway.

I was reminded at church tonight about Jesus being the fulcrum in human history.
Basically, whatever you believe… your calendar is based on the life (or death) of Jesus. We follow the Roman calendar and the Roman Empire gave us BC time and AD time.
Whether you’re an atheist, or believe in another religion… you have to subscribe to the fact that we’re all living in AD 2018.
A date that has it’s basis in the life of Jesus. Interesting hey?

The second thing that I have mulling over the last few weeks…
The times we find ourselves in, makes me marvel in wonder!!!
How smart the world is becoming!
I am referring to all the technological advancements around us:

Mobile technology,
Amazon robots doing deliveries
Charging cars
Google glasses
Smart watches
Virtual Reality
Fibre optics

It’s all so amazing! Rattles my brain (in a good way) at times.

And you know what? ALL of this, didn’t catch Jesus by surprise.
It’s not like when He roamed the earth many many years ago…
AD 30 roughly; that man who was a carpenter by trade and was (is the) son of God by identity – He knew about mobile technology, google glasses etc…
None of it was a surprise.

As He used the tools of that time, He had the thoughts that no other human could even comprehend. “Just wait and see, what you people will be coming up with.”

Cars, to planes that travel across the world, to sky scrapers with over 40 floors.

That leads most people to the question: why did Jesus, chose that time to reveal Himself to humankind? (Hmmm, I don’t know… why not ask Him?)

My guess, is He came at the right time. (According to His plan)
And also in a time, where life was a lot less cluttered.
And people would follow Him, out of desiring a relationship with God and not chasing after another gimmick…(like a lot of the modern day person does.)

 

 

Posted in Inspirational & Observations from Life

To the last token,

This house echoes
All my things have been collected…
But a few things remain,
carefully planned
Right down to the last washing token.

Everything has its place.
All has its role to play.
The last two mugs
The few teaspoons of coffee waiting…

Bags packed
And contents carefully selected
Not to exceed the weight limit.
The three or four drops of dishwashing liquid await their final use…

Difficult to explain
But all things have been planned to a T.

Thank You for the skill you have bestowed upon me.
thank You for the journey You are taking me on.

Uncanny things are signs that We are on the right track.

Peace greets.
Adventure beckons
The new chapter has already begun…
and soon the Scenery will change too..

Posted in Faith & Church, Inspirational & Observations from Life, People

I took away the word “JUST” …

Earlier this year I read a book. There was this part:

take out the word JUST blog

The author was speaking about a guy who asked him a question on one of his speaking tours. The guy with the question started with: “I’m just a doctor…” and then asked the question.

The author then wrote about his opening line. And he asked:
“Would you want “just a doctor” to work on you?
Or do you want a doctor to work on you?”

Brilliant hey? A lot of people have been using the word: JUST.

I have been that person too. And when I read this above piece, I vowed to drop the word JUST.

When I was asked in the past about what I did; I would reply: “I am just a youth pastor.”

Oh that negative word: just.

Youth ministry matters.
What I do matters.

So as I head into my next youth worker position, I go with that confidence. That excitement. Wiser. Full of creativity, contemplation, life lessons and love.

But this applies to you too: How often have you used the word: JUST ??

Stop it!

We don’t want just a teacher teaching our kids…
Or just a policeman protecting us
Or just an accountant doing our books.
Or just an engineer building our bridges…

Posted in Inspirational & Observations from Life

What I learnt from handing out Flyers

During the early hours of the morning, our gap year students and I volunteered to hand out flyers for a launch of an Online TV app. We handed our flyers at five different locations around Cape Town. Between the hours of 6am and 8am; this is what we learnt from doing such a menial job:

i) It’s a humbling job to hand out flyers.
ii) Teaches one to appreciate those who do that.
iii) A lot of people are on their phones will driving. 😦
iv) Some people are not morning people.
v) Younger folk are first open their windows to take the flyers. Older people are more grumpy.
vi) People, when not interested to take a flyer “act all busy” and avoid eye contact.
vii) If two drivers in a row take a flyer, the third, fourth, etc drivers feel obliged to also take… they don’t want to break the chain…
viii) It would be nice if there were less cars in the world…
ix) And a final thought – never underestimate the power of a flyer. The “advert” or the “message” on that flyer… may open the world of someone… to a life changing idea, or a life changing message…

Posted in Inspirational & Observations from Life, People

Between the Tin (I wonder what it’s like)

This morning we took our PNEUMATIX students to do some serving in a local community: Asanda Village.

We went to clean up litter, remove some rubble and clear weeds at a local Methodist church and school.

In the township / location, as we picked up the rubbish, I wondered what life is like there:

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Monday morning. From a nearby house, we here some music playing. The mellow sounds fill the streets.
Litter is everywhere. What is life like there? My imagination is limited.

On the up side: there is community. There is connectivity. There is a joy for the simple things of life.

And on the flip side? Are people afraid? Is there despair? There is poverty. Has hope moved out of those streets?

There were promises (by a new government) for better housing. And yet the people still live among tin: corrugated iron sheets.

What is the solution? I wonder…

Definitions:
i) Location: an area where black South Africans were obliged by apartheid laws to live, usually on the outskirts of a town or city. The term was later replaced by township.

ii) Township: (in South Africa) a suburb or city of predominantly black occupation, formerly officially designated for black occupation by apartheid legislation.

Posted in Inspirational & Observations from Life

The real recycling reason (… what I learnt?)

Yesterday, my (partly) naive world was awakened!
(I am not actually a naive guy, but in this case, perhaps?)

Part of the career exposure / information part of the GAP YEAR PROGRAMME I have been running – I take the students to various places.

Yesterday, I took the students to Kraaifontein Waste Management Centre.
I wanted to show them – where the recycling that we do on campus – goes to.

Here are some pictures:

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To not make this post too long winded: I learnt a lot from that visit.
It’s great to know most items can be recycled and then are put back into the industry to make other things.

I learnt that a lot of our recycling is exported to China, Japan and India.

But I think what WOKE ME UP (or saddened me) was the MOTIVE of it all:

The reasons why people recycle:
1) People recycle, because there is money involved in it.
2) Also (in the case if businesses) one cannot dump at the local landfill sites – there are restriction fines / costs involved.

Hmm, (as one of the students remarked) “money does make the world go around”

DOES ANYONE RECYCLE BECAUSE THEY CARE FOR THE EARTH?

That’s always been my motive!

Whatever you believe, this world, needs us to care for it!
For sustainability sake (the new buzz word in business)…
For our children’s sake…

In the scriptures there is this verse: “The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it.” (Psalm 24: 1) – That’s ample motivation for me! I go green because I care!

There is this row of trees…

In Winston Park (near Hillcrest, KZN, South Africa)
The trees stand tall and proud on both sides of the road entering Winston Park.
What I like about those trees is this – the people who planted them many years ago – are probably dead (have passed on).

They never got to see how stunning the trees look in their adulthood.
But they PLANTED those trees anyway.
For the future generation.

They did something selfless for others…

So in conclusion:
I recycle, because I care for the world.

Posted in Faith & Church, Inspirational & Observations from Life

You can take a horse to the water…

…but you cannot make it drink (that water).

Horse.jpg

I’ve been thinking about that recently.
And my approach to introducing people to the life and love of God.

I’m not about shoving people’s heads into the water to drink.
I just want to take them to the watering hole.

And hopefully they LOOK UP and see how beautiful that watering hole is!
I don’t care what colour horse you are.
I don’t care if you are a cussing horse.
Or a stubborn one. (stubborn mule, ey?)
Or a doubting one.
Or a unbelieving one. (“I swear I am a unicorn.“)

Whatever “horse” you are…
I just want you to come on a little journey with me.
Come see the watering hole for yourself.

Your heart will be filled with wonder
Your heart will be filled with joy
With love
With perspective
With hope
With understanding

When you are ready… taste the water…
It’s oh so sweet!
And life giving!

After all

“But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.” Jesus (John 4: 14)

Posted in Inspirational & Observations from Life, People

A story of grace and words and small moments leading to larger things (as if this title could be any longer?)

Earlier this week, I took my students to visit MOVEFLOWGLOW You see, Gabriela Charlotte was one of the youth girls in my church, about 10 years ago.
(I was her youth pastor, and she went through Confirmation Classes with me.)

We had connected recently and I heard here story and I wanted my GAP YEAR students to meet with her and learn about the FASHION WORLD* and hear the life lessons Gabi learnt along the way.

(* Part of the gap year programme I have been running is to give the students exposure to various careers.)

As she was engaging with the students I just smiled at the fact that our paths had crossed again. I smiled at how Gabi is living out her passion.

As a youth pastor, I have the extreme privilege to see how the youth who I got to journey with – grow up – and become all sorts of things. To see how their lives turn out. A lot of them are doing so well – travelling and exploring. Finishing off their studies. Successful in the work place. Happily married and wonderful parents. Basically – living life fully! 🙂

So as Gabi was sharing her love for designing and creating things, I remembered how she had made me a hoodie that I really liked. All those years back.
And then she shared with me; how when we were designing confirmation t-shirts – how her design was selected and how that meant the world to her and how something like that – a seemingly small moment – launched her further forward – in following her heart…

And that got me thinking. Life is full of moments. Small ones and bigger ones. And sometimes they’re connected.
We need to pay attention to that.
And to pay attention to how we speak to others. Do we offer words of life?
Do the things we say and do spur them on into something positive?

So there you have it. 😉

gabi and i

(Not sure why I am looking so bashful standing next to her)

And just to end off with one of my favourite songs at the moment; here is the Dave Matthews Band with Do you Remember?