One always feels extra special on their birthday – getting shout outs etc.
To return the favour, I want to share all the inspiration I received. And share it right back at ya. (say that with a gangsta accent)
These are either verses or quotes that came across my path on my birthday, the winter solstice (Southern Hemisphere): 21 June 2018.
May it bless you in some way:
“Time management is not about clock-watching, it’s about making the most of the time we have.”
John 6:31 ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’
– The Bible tells that we are not supposed to live on physical bread alone.
– There is something of the divine and the eternal that needs to be part of our lives.
“Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.” (Psalm 34: 8) – I like this. Use your senses to connect with God…
“Come, my children, listen to me;
I will teach you the fear of the Lord.
12 Whoever of you loves life
and desires to see many good days,
13 keep your tongue from evil
and your lips from telling lies.
14 Turn from evil and do good;
seek peace and pursue it.”
I am always amazed at how practical and relevant the scriptures are. They always have been, and they’re still are…
Then CLICK HERE or over HERE to check out Psalm 145.
Take a moment, to soak in every line of that Psalm. Don’t rush it!
I also got sent some rad “memes” or posters, whatever they call them these days:
With two years till I’m 40… I am in an odd place.
I still don’t feel old.
I don’t feel young.
But thankfully, I still feel. 🙂
“You’re never too old” is an old adage that has been around for years.
But I don’t feel like that expression entirely fits me… maybe because it seems to be spoken on the defensive… of being old?
I guess, it’s because I mostly answer when asked about my age; I reply with: “I am 38 years young!”
(Hope that’s not a statement of denial… rather just another perspective to life!)
Anyway, this is what this blog is actually about:
In no particular order, I have compiled a list of 38 things I have learnt over the years. Some are what were you said to me. Some are my own observations.
1) People matter. People before programme and policy.
2) This is one of my favourite songs ever: Last Hope by Paramore
3) Once she said to me “Your soul is evergreen.” Loved that compliment.
4) Live well. Live inspired!
5) A run along the beachfront is always good for you.
6) Listen to listen. Don’t listen to respond.
7) “You don’t need to attend every argument, you are invited to.” Choose your battles!
8) Don’t get worked up about everything!
9) Spend time in the garden.
10) Wanderlust won’t leave me
11) You are a human being, not a human doing.
12) Encourage one another. Just in case you didn’t get that. Encourage one another!
13) Read books. It relaxes you. It takes you places. It educates you.
14) Use words wisely.
15) God isn’t Someone who needs to be solved. Just enjoy Him.
16) Stop hating and complaining about the church! Rather, see how you can help it. And be part of it’s community.
17) It’s okay to say “I don’t know.” You don’t need to have all the answers.
18) Acts 17: 28 “For in Him we live and move and have our being.”
19) Life takes time.
20) I hope to see the Northern Lights before I turn 40.
21) I enjoy my bicycle. Seeing life and hearing it from those two wheels is a great perspective!
22) I am thankful for CS Lewis.
23) A glass of wine, a few nights a week, is good for you. But keep to one glass.
24) Naps are good. Don’t feel guilty to have one.
25) Observe more. A lot is happening around us all the time.
26) So thankful for my brother. (He always fights for me!)
27) “What you look for you will find.” (Rob Bell)
28) Taking Back Sunday – one of my favourite band names. And the band is rad too!
29) I dislike pessimism.
30) I like South Africa (my home country.) But it’s backwardness and brokenness is often so frustrating for me! 😦 (Maybe I should revert to point 29 – haha!)
31) I enjoy sitting in a pub, watching Chelsea play, and having a pint.
32) I quite enjoyed being a DJ (radio presenter) on Link Fm a few years back.
33) Going through a divorce sucked! Pretty crappy thing to deal with! 😦
34) One of the best things about my life – are all the cool people I have met. So many to mention by name!
35) I still want to have a book published.
36) What two things are you grateful for? (Ask and answer that question often.)
37) Creating all the various birds – is one of God’s best ideas! 🙂
38) Thank you God for all these years You have given me thus far!
He had an idea. That He would share with His first followers; and hoping they would grasp it (as with the others to follow Him.)
The smallest of seeds. Could make a big impact. If planted well and nurtured it would become the largest of all the garden plants.
And in it’s lush branches, the birds of the air could perch there. As well as other creatures… they too could find solace among the leaves.
These seeds would be acts of kindness. Words and deeds of grace. A warm welcome. You and I and everyone are invited in.
Question is, years later:
What seeds are you planting?
(based on Mark 4:32)
I had to double take as I looked over my shoulder
To the other end of the pub.
You looked so happy.
Talking away while your friends, listened in.
(I love that about you)
Your stories, the odd things that happened in your life.
Your view of the world (frustrated and fascinated me)
I recall a song title from Snow Patrol
I always think in lyrics…
The sorrow of the song meets me.
It made me happy to see you smiling and living and laughing.
I whispered a prayer to the heavens.
We loved, we laughed, we lived.
And the time did come, we parted ways.
I am sad to have said goodbye.
Because I lost a friend too.
But in time, maybe God would restore that, for us…
(Disclaimer. I write not for an audience. I write as therapy. In the written words, God brings me healing. If the published words help another then great. If my blog updates annoy you, “unfollow” me or “unfriend” – no bother. But please no unkind comments. You are not in “our shoes” or “our story.”)
Thousands of people run a 90km ultra marathon,
While someone is doing their laundry in the laundry room…
A group of people travelling up to Namibia to help with a youth conference,
While a group of young men are at a camp, being inspired to live honourably…
One is walking along the beach sending voice notes,
While another is lost in the pages of the novel on their lap…
“She said yes” is what he tells his family on the phone,
While they are ordering burgers…
She is swimming on the coastline of England with some friends,
While they play in the park together, mother and son…
He studies for his exam,
While he sees the pyramids for the first time.
Oh my, we live in a big big world.
Looking up at the vast night time sky
The glittering stars
Each a screaming (and silent) revelation of who You are!
I utter inaudible words of praise to You
Unsure and short of adjectives
Yet You know my heart
Millions of lights above
The enormity of it baffles me
As Brandon once sung it “The sky resembles a backlit canopy with holes punched in it.”
I draw away from the noisy people to just be
As I lay on the ground I hear the words Gary once sung:
“If i lay here would You lie here with me.”
And I know behind the stars
or in them or through them Your answer would be: Yes!
He walks in a bit late. The service has started. So he hovers at the back waiting for his chance…
As the man in front invites the others to greet one another: “holy chaos” as they have dubbed it… he quickly sneaks towards the front and slips into his (now regular) spot. The second row from the front.
(His reasoning that he wants to be part of the “action.”)
To see and hear what is being preached (taught.)
He sits down next to the same elderly lady he has sat next to for the past three or four visits. Her name is Margaret. (They don’t say much to one another. They just smile.) But that simple weekly connection is good for them both.
The familiar songs bring him to a simple and more devoted time in his life.
“The Lord is near” rings true in his heart.
How this man, and most others have “distanced their God.”
Things must change. He longs for that.
The man in front speaks of Jesus as if He right there with them.
(Seems silly, but how often most people tend to forget that truth.)
So right there, he gets to share a meal with Him. (The church calls it communion.) And how fitting that term is:
This man communes with the Counsellor.
Who comforts, who counsels, we reminds:
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14: 27
After all, He’s got the whole world in His hands:
(Picture: Salvator Mundi by Leonardo Da Vinci
The place was decided upon. The time was set. The 5 lives from 4 places gathered.
On the first floor they sipped their beers and shared their stories.
The cousins caught up with one another.
For an afternoon out of their ordinary lives they laughed and learnt.
Then as they entered; they exchanged their greetings and exited.
A good time.
The days are shortest
Darkness meets us both
I am full of faults
Endings aren’t nice
The roller-coaster of emotions
And knowing letting go is best
Tears landing in the shadows
The opinions of others
They throw their stones
We tell different stories
This was never an overnight thing
Months coupled with misunderstanding each other
Not moving forward
Did God really bring us together? (Or did we make that up?)
Till death do us part
You mentioned you felt like you were dying
We were so lonely in this
How did we get it so wrong?
From anger, to sadness, to regret, to disbelief
The cycle of grief is what we need
To go through…
A new horizon awaits
I am so sorry
But my words seem feeble
So I lift them to Him instead
Make all things new, please
And carry her far better than I ever did
Speak better to her
Thank you for the seasons we had
The chapter ended
Our life books stay open
The Author holds our pages in His hands
So gentle, He will not bruise…
As the leaves fell
When was the first time we dropped that dreaded D word?
When we sat on the floor, negotiating
Promises of getting better
We got too many opinions from outside of ourselves…
But did we ever feel natural?
Were there questions we were supposed to ask before
Saying I do?
The chill of our differences
We disagreed with everything
I didn’t listen well
We didn’t see each other well
We thought we did
But who were we kidding
You sacrificed a lot
I heard that a million times
We never resolved things
We just let it pile up
Do you remember when we lied in those leaves?
That was fun…
The days got shorter…