Posted in Church, Faith, Inspirational, Uncategorized

A sort of hide and seek…

So arriving here in Somerset West, I am looking for a new church community (spiritual home) to be part of.

There is a sort of joy and freedom in that search.

It feels like I am playing a sort of spiritual hide and seek with God.
(Of course the search, will be more exciting and fulfilling when Catherine is here – that way we found our “home” together.)
One that “fits” us both.

In the meantime, the church hopping is fun.
It’s nice to sit in a church and not be committed to it.
(Don’t stress, I am still committed to God, behind all these churches. Or at the foundation of them, I hope.)

Among the huge fancy auditoriums,
the loud music,
the “pretty” stage lights
the loud preaching
the crowds
the trendy, the hype…

the quieter
the noisier
the conservative
the liberal

God is there. And we can seek Him, hear from Him and connect with Him.

This morning I heard some great quotes and stories from/about CS Lewis, John Wesley and God’s word itself.

In this sort of hide and seek… I am reminded of this verse:

“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13

Each day, whether in church, or just in communion with God in the quiet of your home, we can learn, we can be challenged and we can be encouraged. From this morning’s message I got:

“Good works come from the LOVE you have already received. The response to His love.”

“We are pilgrims making our way home…”

So that’s another rambling from me…
(Thanks for popping in… if you did)

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Posted in Beauty, Church, Inspirational

What drives your religion / belief?

I read a blog this week by an atheist who suggested that most people are driven to religion because of fear. 

Fear of some eternal punishment?

Or fear of upsetting their God…

They may have a point…

But i thought about what drives my belief? And i found the answer with this word:

WONDER

Wonder motivates me.

I wonder at His grace. Wonder at His  handiwork. (Have you seen the wonder in the world we live in?) Wonder at the wisdom gone before me from previous generations.
Wonders keeps me journeying to God…

Posted in Church, Faith, Inspirational, People

Is there an Afrikaans equivalent of CS Lewis? (The limitations of language)

I’ve been thinking about the limitations of language recently.

Sometimes words can get in the way.
And sometimes they are just not enough.

As an English speaking person i have had the privilege of growing up / being enlightened profoundly by the works of CS Lewis.

In the UK, i even visited his grave and the famous Eagle and Child in Oxford.

I know God doesn’t haven’t favourites.. but still i think CS Lewis would be near the top of that list. (Although the man himself would be mad at me suggesting that. Oops!)

But his books have connected me incredibly to God.
His quotes have made their way into many a sermon for years.

Last year in Secunda, i wanted to do a series with my youth on Chronicles of Narnia.
Those teens were clueless!
They didn’t know who he was.
But i also; that being Afrikaans… that would never have been children reading for them.

(Most people discover Narnia when they are kids)

Then i wondered are their any prolific Afrikaans writers?
Maybe, i don’t know…

But then i thought in terms of the African languages we have in South Africa.

Is there profound wisdom hiding in languages we don’t know?

Posted in Blast to the Past, Church, Humour, People

Job is a brat! (They didn’t tell us that…)

Catherine has been reading through the book of JOB for her recent quiet times and we have had some interesting discussions around the character of Job.

Job is whining idiot!  (Yes, you just read that correctly!)

IN THE OLD DAYS:

– I heard many a sermon preach on how faithful JOB was to God.
– Are they serious, the preachers who preached that message?
– Job, is pitiful.
– He moans and feels sorry for himself and curses the very day he was born.
– And we were told. Be like Job.

(Did preachers, really believe – that was the message?!)

– I was taught, his friends who were babbling fools giving insensitive advice.

BUT WHAT IS THE ACTUAL LESSON:

– The friends, actually, speak wisdom to Job. They call it as it is. (We all need friends like that.

– Maybe, the lesson from the book is – do not whine like JOB? Seriously, when last have you read that BOOK? It’s painful to hear all his sulking.

– The best part of that book is when God speaks to Job in chapter 38 with a serious of questions. That simply puts things in perspective.

– God is God. His ways are higher than ours.

Question – How will you respond when the poo hits the fan?

Job – he didn’t too well. But how would you and I respond?

(I could expound more on the book of Job, but right now, it’s late, and my day is full tomorrow.  Good Night world!)

Posted in Church, People, South Africa

Dear Secunda,

When they left for AUS, Lee had mentioned in one of her statuses on FB; “it’s the people not the place that make a place” (something to that effect)

That has stayed with me. There is some truth in that. Wherever you are it’s the people that matter.  That make a place for you.

Secunda, has been a good chapter.  A short one, but it has been full.

Here are some of my observations of things, in no particular order:

(Why am I writing? It’s thing I do. I like to take stock of my life. Count my blessings, if you will.  Read on if you like. If you don’t,  it doesn’t matter.)

Of recycling:
I started a recycling project in Secunda last year. It’s still an “infant” in its life span. But my prayer is that it won’t remain a project. That implies it has a start and an end.
Recycling is a lifestyle.
I hope the people at St Peters live differently and think green. The recycling can expand further. I’d be stoked if that happens!

Of love and wedding:
A lot of people move to Secunda for Sasol. A job there. I moved here for love. And what an incredible journey that has been.
Our venue was a quaint coffee shop. If you ever visit Secunda go check out #EataLot
And the day of the wedding was in the windy month of August… but on the 8th… there was no wind. It was a glorious day!
And I married the lady who stole my heart. ♡

Of studying:
Because life has been quieter and the urge in me was growing stronger I started studying through #Unisa again last year June. 3 semesters down. 10 subjects passed. I’m on my way to getting a general management degree in Business. Excited about this journey.

Of football and soccer club:
One of my highlights of Secunda is meeting the guys through field and indoor soccer.
For a few months we got to play on Sundays at the sasol club. On their fields. Was good fun! (Until the greed of management kicked us out. Pun not intended.) Greed always ruins things.

The soccer club is a brilliant little bar/pub with cheap beers and amazing football memorabilia strewn across the walls and the ceiling. On match day the vibe would be great in there as various premier league fans gathered to watch the screening game.

Of children’s ministry:
Most of ministry has involved teens (in the previous years). in Secunda I had only three or four teens.
So I had to focus more on the children in the Sunday School. A different focus for me but I enjoyed it. Kids are often keen!

Of exiting the church:
I’m excited to be leaving the church. For the first time in 15 years I won’t be a paid staff member of the church.

I can visit a church with Catherine not being known by anyone. And not “being paid to be there” (not that my relationship with Jesus was dependent on a salary… but I’m sure those who have been on ministry understand what I mean.)

Of Sasol and the “fresh air”:
I can’t wait to not see thr pollution of Sasol anymore.
My new view from our new home will be that of a sea view (estate agent sea view) and a mountain. And some vineyards too.
To breathe is fresh air is gonna be a “breath of fresh air” 😉

Then I always I didn’t understand how to residents of Secunda never got cheaper petrol prices. The residents have to suck in Sasol’s pollution . The least they can do is give cheaper petrol.

Of St Peters and people:
Meeting with the folk from St Peters at church or a social is like one big family gathering.
There is the one uncle with the jokes.
There is the one grandfather with the long stories.
There are the cute children running around.
There is the nosey aunt.
The grumpy. The joyful.
The committed.
St Peters has it all.
Hospitality is this church’s strength.
I’m thankful to have been part of the ‘family’ and with leaving… I still feel part of the family. Just at a distance.

I’ve made some friends along the way here. Jannie, Reinier and a few others.
Thanks everyone!

Of tourism and green spaces:
When they designed this town the planned many “green belts” – I liked that. With paths and benches.
A very good idea. (Obviously in SA, crime ruins the safe feeling of those spaces. But TIA, right?)


Soooo… whenever you live in a town you should be able to promote it as a tourguide. Well, that’s one of my philosophies.

If you ever pop into Secunda.

Eish! On the waterfront is a brilliant spot. A good South African feeling restaurant. On Secundas waterfront. (Inland style. Haha ;))
In fact there are a few places to eat at at the waterfront. Or to just ‘keuer’ (don’t know how to spell that.)
Also playing adventure golf along the water edge is pretty cool.

Then the duckpond is worth checking out. Lots of space to walk the dogs, go for a run or a ride, or to have a braai. On the weekends there is a little steam train that runs on a small track. Kids love it. Mind you, adults too.

Decent coffee shops. Symphony’s and “Eat a Lot”


Secunda, it’s been real!

See you (in blog world) in 2017!

Posted in Church, People

Meet the Children (shoebox Christmas)

Last year, we at St Peters United collected shoeboxes filled with stationery and toiletries and other things. We partnered with FAMSA and blessed these children.   Here are the photo memories of the Christmas Party 2015.




Your charity. Your giving. Your kindness goes to these children.

They’re not faceless or nameless or nobodies!
THEY MATTER!

We aim for 80 gifts this year.

So please get collecting.

Deadline: last week of Nov.

Posted in Church, Faith, Film

“Jesus is coming to town” ;)

I came across this “advert” recently:

revival-hmmm

The poster / advert disturbed me a bit.

Sometimes Christianity seems like a market place.  And Jesus is the product.

The text on the white background is fine.  We all need some encouragement and impartation (is this a new Christian word? 😉 haha!)

But the text on the grey background, starting with Revival! didn’t really sit well with me.  (But this is just my opinion, my two cents)

  • It seems like a marketing slogan.  it seems like all of the work of Jesus, the “outpouring of the Spirit” rests on these two individuals.
  • And it seems like South Africa needs to wait…Jesus isn’t going to do anything until the event….9 – 11 February is only when the revival starts.
  • And… can one really put a date on Revival?  In the Christian sense of the word?

 

Ironically, this little post, is a form of advertising of this event anyway… ha!

Posted in Church, Faith, Inspirational, People

Prayer for election day:

Dear Jesus
Our land is hurting.
It needs a “plaster”
That plaster is You
Jesus our Saviour

We pray for a smooth election day with no violence.
We pray for the right leaders and parties to be elected.

We pray for peace and hope
We pray against unemployment and despair and brokenness

We put our faith in God first and foremost.
Not in a system
Not in a political party
Not in a religion
But in You

God, you changed the minds and hearts of many leaders before.
The scriptures show us that.

Do the same here and now in 2016.
Let our leaders not be swayed and led by corruption, greed, self-gain, power or any other selfish motives.

May they be led by You.
By love
By healing
By the desire to help people

God you are real.
Move among all the people of South Africa.

May we ourselves as individuals
Bring love and positive change and a helping hand to those around us.

We trust You.
In Jesus name we pray
Amen

Posted in Church, Uncategorized

the modern day church space

i just thought about this yesterday.
i wondered what’s with most modern church worship spaces…
they have NO windows…?

my wife suggested I should not read too much into it.
perhaps it’s for a practical lighting issue.
it’s difficult to read what’s on the screen when the daylight shines in.

i just thought about how I have liked the buildings (churches) I have worked in
they all have had windows looking out
to the outside world.
to God’s creation.

the biggest way for me to connect with God is through His creation
so having windows in a church is a big thing for me
I feel connected

i’d just hope that these modern churches
are not having windows because
they’re ashamed and are hiding from the world
or they’re teaching some dubious things in secret…

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Posted in Church

For the love of meetings / for the love of God

For the love of meetings / for the love of God

I’m not a fan of meetings.
I’ve been in plenty boring ones.
I’ve been in some very long ones.

Had two meetings this past weekend – However I took a different approach when attending them.

Gathered were people who love God and love the change and mission He is bringing into our local context.
God is on the move. We get to be part of that.
When there is nothing “to discuss” it could mean… the church is ineffective. It doesn’t have goals or ideas…

You see the people who meet.
– If they just like meetings for meetings sake
– Or if they “feel important”
– Or they like the sound of their own voice with their long winded speeches.

That’s not a ‘healthy’ place to be. (For lack of a better word)

But when those people who meet love God.  Then we’re talking.  Then we’re onto something good.

  • All organisations need meetings to take stock and plan to go forward.
  • Likewise in the church.
  • But let’s not waffle.
  • Let’s walk in step with God’s mission.