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..

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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?

Posted in People

Crossed my mind

“Our song” played on the car stereo.
Made me think of how we were
I see the number plates of the cars on the road,
and remember the game we used to play…

There are days,
when I miss you,
I guess that is expected.

Still can’t believe we are no more.
That dreaded D word
Navigating this new normal

Better days will come.
And yes, we had some brilliant times
But the bitter parts were true too.
And hurt like hell

I seriously and sincerely wish you well
And hope your new chapter of your new story
Will be far better
Than the words and lines we tripped over so often

Leaving us pages apart

We loved
We’re not failures
We tried
But we’re just not meant to be

At war with one another
Losing one another’s essence
Sorry…

Posted in Inspirational & Observations from Life

Another holy moment

Last night the Pneumatix students and I were hosting a youth group evening and we ended off the evening with two songs by the campfire:

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Last night's campfire moment was a holy moment. 🙂

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See the song at that link.

Sometimes there are moments that one just wants to capture and hold onto forever.

People there were singing those words with sincere conviction.

A holy moment indeed…

Posted in Music

A holy moment…

Last week when I was with the students of Pneumatix in Middelburg.

There was a moment in the bus when we were driving from one school to another when the song: “I won’t let you go” by Switchfoot played on the car stereo.

At that moment all the conversations ceased as the lyrics of the song drew all of us in. As if we all realized: God was singing that song over us…

It was a holy moment. Set apart.

Here is the song: