The winter of the soul (and Secunda)

I sit here on this WET winter morning.
Finally! This town has been overdue some rain.
It’s been a while since, a dreary day has been so welcome!

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the winter of Secunda and the winter of the soul.
That phrase reminds me of the dark night of the soul

candle in the dark

I observe how dry and brown and lifeless the grass here is.
I see the the leafless trees alongside the road crying out for Spring.
And even the trees that have some leaves remaining. Even those, brown and shriveled look as if they’re struggling to hold on.
The land looks thirsty.
It’s full of despair.

But we know, from our life experience:
That Spring is on her way.
The other day, I came across a photo I took in the summer at the local duck pond.
The grass was green and lush and full of life.

What a contrast!

Sometimes we may even experience that “winter” in our souls.
Life seems dry.
We seem to go from one hurdle to another…
Our lives, our passion feels “cold”

And you know what, that’s okay.
Because we know… the warmth is coming…
The growth is coming…

As Isaiah so cleverly explained it here:

“Forget the former things;
do not dwell on the past.
See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland.”

Isn’t that good news?
So, hang on my friends…

Our lives have seasons.
And each season comes with it joy and difficulties.

But you’ll be okay!

A little shove…

Perhaps one of the roles of a pastor is to give someone a little a shove:

In a little clothing store, tucked away from the public eye; she sat watching Series on her laptop, as the hours dragged by. She was bored. But she was unsure when a bigger job offer came along. I encouraged her to spread her wings and take the opportunity. That next job opened up so much more to her. She then headed to the fashion capital of Cape Town; where she is doing so well. Stoked!

He and I would sit at the Keg and sip on beers and I would hear how he hated his work here. He told me how he missed Canada and would love to go back. I encouraged to go. And so earlier this year, him and his girlfriend went. They’re having a real cool time. So glad.

It’s so great to see (even if it’s via Facebook) how the people I have been blessed to know and serve and help and be friends with; how they are doing very well! They have found their niche. They have taken a leap of faith! So proud of them.

And perhaps God used me and a some others… to help them on that journey.
If that is my role in some people’s lives, then I am super honoured! :)

The 67 minute ‘guilt trap’…

So on the 18th of July is Nelson Mandela day:

Mandela-Day

And sadly the “perfect” Christians come out swinging with statements like:
“We should serve others every day, not just on Mandela Day.”

Why do that?
Why do they throw out statements like that?

The hype around doing 67 minutes… is a great thing!

Because truth is, for the rest of the year “life gets in the way” for some and they simply just don’t do things for others. So if for ONE day… they do 67 minutes… awesome!

Who knows, maybe the hype and helping will be contagious… and they may begin serving on the 19th, 20th.. and so on…

Are you with me?
Stop the guilt trip!

Sometimes people like to be part of something BIGGER “67 minutes on Mandela Day”

We must celebrate that!
And just think. For 67 minutes x (multiply) a whole lot of people doing something… that’s a big impact.

And perhaps as one throws a rock in a pond, the ripples created, go out far…

so maybe Mandela day… has the same effect!

Rend your… (There is just something about the scriptures)

joel2-13

“Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the LORD your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love,” Joel 2: 13

Christianity, the church and Christians often seem to be in the “limelight” and often it’s not good.
In a world of critical thinkers; sometimes we’ve become too critical
In a world, where at the click of a button, we can send “news” across the world…
The news of Jesus; seems to be more about marketing than a genuine mission of love…

But sometimes, there is just something about the scriptures… that move me.
That draw me in.
I want to know the God behind these words.

I want to rend my heart, I think something beautiful would happen…

What does this picture say for you?

I took this picture on the way back to Secunda recently.  It’s taken on the way out of Vrede:

20150701_172829

There is just something about this picture.  I took it and kept re-looking at it.  It’s speaks of various wealth for me.  The poverty of the shanty town is covered by a “wealth” of that full moon.
Those people living under that moonlight; they are loved. They have lives, even if they are simpler ones.
And that moonlight; it hangs over all sorts of people.

I can’t really put into words; but this picture made a profound impression on me…

There is art in the Lego Brick

I went to the Art of the Brick in Johannesburg this past Saturday.
It was incredible!

The artwork was magnificent!
This is NOT my work. I just want to share inspiring things:

Nathan Sawaya is the legend behind this art. I tried my best capturing some of it on my little digital:

IMG_3478 (Medium)

“You can’t play on broken strings
You can’t feel anything that your heart don’t want to feel” James Morrison

IMG_3479 (Medium)

“I know I know for sure
That life is beautiful around the world” RHCP

IMG_3482 (Medium)

“My heart and my soul
I give you control
Consume me from the inside out” Hillsong

IMG_3484 (Medium)

IMG_3486 (Medium)

IMG_3493 (Medium)

“Riding high amongst the waves
O I can feel like I
Have a soul that has been saved” Pearl Jam

IMG_3497 (Medium)

IMG_3500 (Medium)

“Standing in line to
See the show tonight
And there’s a light on
Heavy glow” RHCP

IMG_3506 (Medium)

IMG_3507 (Medium)

“Kiss me like you wanna be loved” Ed Sheeran

IMG_3510 (Medium)

“I can change the world
With my own two hands” Ben Harper

IMG_3512 (Medium)

“Off with your head
Dance ’til you’re dead
Heads will roll” Yeah Yeah Yeahs

IMG_3513 (Medium)

“Defined by your skin
Forget we share kin
We’re torn apart
It feels as though we’re sinking” Enter Shikari

IMG_3522 (Medium)

IMG_3527 (Medium)

Brandenburg Gate…

Back in December 2010, I got to explore Berlin with my good friend, Darren.

On a very cold winter night we got to stand before the iconic Brandenburg Gate.

DSC_0398 (Medium)

DSC_0408 (Medium)

Then, last weekend for my Birthday, Darren bought me an awesome LEGO replica of that Bridge.
Last night, I got to create it.

There is a lot of fun and therapy in building LEGO.

20150622_221416

And then I realised why I was busy constructing, I was listening to the Switchfoot – Vice Verses album. An album that has actually meant a lot for both of us. Uncanny timing. (I seriously didn’t plan it.)

I am so grateful for my rad friend.
For all the countries I have been to so far.
The sights I have seen.

“I am restless, looking for You.” (Switchfoot)