Posted in Inspirational & Observations from Life, People

Technology and tiredness

I had this little thought earlier today.
Spending time with my students; I see that they are often tired.
I wondered why that is?

Yes, I think good sleep is necessary.
And definitely a healthy diet adds to healthy living.

But I think this is also the signs of the times that we’re in – with the advance of technology there is constantly a lot of “info overload”.

And there is a general life fatigue among people.

So perhaps, like this well known quote suggests:

“Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.” Anne Lamott

Maybe we need to do just that:

Take a walk along the beach. Leave your phone behind (no need to take another sunset over the ocean picture.)
Take your dog for a walk. Leave your phone at home (no need to update your status about walking your dog. We don’t care!)
Have a nap. (better still; lie on a blanket in your yard)
Go sit in the garden. Just sit. (Again, leave that darn phone behind)
Go sit in a coffee shop: with just you and the mug. (No, you don’t need to instagram what your coffee looks like. We’ve seen hundreds of those already.)
Go have a beer. Talk to strangers. or just sit there and watch the world go by.

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Posted in Inspirational & Observations from Life, People

Speed kills (Can one be too driven?)

Met this barista on the weekend:

Coupled with a conversation with him and also some thoughts that have been swimming in my head for the past while… I thought of this:

(And weirdly, I think I have blogged something similar in the last few months. Just can’t recall exactly when…)

To have drive / to be driven is good.
But can one be too driven?

And could one mistake drive for passion?

(I don’t think they’re always the same thing.)

I guess, the word “driven” can carry negative connotations.

To be too driven could lead to:

seeing people as projects
seeing people as rungs to step upon
seeing people as a means to money

We push the whole “driven” thing too much in Christianity too:

are you be profitable for the kingdom?
are you winning souls for Jesus?
are you changing the world?


So this barista had a term he offered: “I don’t just offer coffee, I offer a lifestyle.”

I like that.

You see, after a bit of conversation, you’d know that this guy has own (and managed) six restaurants previously in Franschoek and other posh places.

Now he serves coffee from the back of his van in a town called Kleinmond.
He has a few tables in a parking lot.
People come for coffee and conversation.

I was so inspired.
He loves what he does. How he lives.
Nothing flashy… but his words were so life-giving.
And his coffee very good too.


Hear me out, to not be driven, doesn’t mean one must be lazy.

One should still work hard.
One should still show commitment to the task at hand.
Being passionate about requires of you to give your best too.

In Christianity we give young adults a complex after their teen years where we throw the “driven gospel” too much at them:

They are wrapped in guilt when they reach their mid twenties – wondering what good they have been for God?
Then we life involves work, dating or being married, focusing on kids – they feel guilty because they’re not “winning people for Jesus”

Stop it!

Christianity is relationship with Jesus.
Be passionate about that.

And that is simply loving well.
Living inspired and with wonder.
Helping your immediate circle of family and friends.
Being a good employee.
A kind friend.
A loving husband or wife.
An aware human being. Aware of the world around us: nature and people.

That’s my thoughts for now.

Posted in People

Two Dances…

clipart-tango-4

The First Dance

Oh, how we have been stepping out of time for so long
I stub your toe
You do the same to me
We’ve been listening to different melodies for awhile now

When I took your hand
Hoping to lead this sweet move
How we got it all wrong
The swirl, the collision
I must have two left feet?

Where fingers once entwined
We now dance further than arms lengths away
These feet and more ache
So it’s time we took off these blue (was it red?) suede shoes?

The Second Dance

Dance, was Your idea all along
I come to You, head bowed
Sacred that I do it wrong,
Kicking Your shins

I look down, there is only one set of feet beneath me.
Am I dancing alone?
Would You put me on this floor to embarrass me?
NO!
You whisper: “Look down again”

My feet are not touching the ground.
I am standing on Your feet.
You’re leading me into a new dance.
Into a new song.

You hold me close.
I hear Your heartbeat.
Oh, how You love me.
Thank You for this dance.

Posted in Faith & Church, Inspirational & Observations from Life, People, Wonder and Beauty

Little Tidbits

A set of thoughts put together:

The Shack (the movie)
On Good Friday, I thought watching this movie would be fitting. (I have read the book many years ago.)
Meeting Papa again was so good.
Watching the movie, reminded me of things. Helped me “let go” some things in my life now. I even had tears.
The picture this movie portrays of the relational God is so heart-warming.
(If people would take time to hear and see that God, how things for them would change. A whole new world and way of life.)

People on the mountain

As I was walking down Lion’s Head yesterday, a guy named Ben, said to me “oh you, again.”
I had clearly passed him earlier on the ascent. We got chatting. He introduced me to his husband. They’re both from Los Angeles visiting South Africa for the first time. They had come from Kruger and were in Cape Town for a few days doing the sites.
We chatted for a few hundred metres, then I bid him farewell.
A pleasant exchange among strangers. I doubt I will ever see he and his husband again. But it was great to experience a brief moment of community.
And then I ran off, down the rest of the mountain. To my next activity for the day.
(The funny thing, about this little thought is that there are probably some judgemental people stuck on the phrase: “he and his husband.”)

In paradise, surrounded by trash

I liked experiencing Lions Head.
Although overly commercial. I’m not good with judging the size of crowds but I am most certain there were over 500 people on the mountain either going up or coming down.
This hike is like the “McDonald’s of Takeaways”
What detracted from the whole experience, for me, was the litter on the top of the mountain. You can stand on top of Lion’s Head and take in a 360 degree view of your surroundings. It’s breathtaking! It’s a glimpse of paradise…

BUT, all alongside the view point at the top are plastic bottles.
People have just tossed them!
I REALLY HATE LITTER-BUGS!
How can one stand in such a beautiful place and just toss their rubbish?
So trashy of people to do such a thing! (Yes, wear the judgement if that’s you.)

I managed to find two plastic bags and bring down some of that litter.

TOUR GUIDE REQUEST or TOURIST REQUEST: When you climb Lion’s Head… please bring a plastic bag to collect some of the rubbish up there. Thank you!

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Old people in church
In church this morning, I noticed some of the old people coming up to the rail from communion. Some walked very slowly forward. Their aging limbs make it a struggle.
But I looked upon them with admiration.
All these years, they’ve been in church. But more so. They’ve experienced God.
They carry lots of stories.
Stories of sadness, of joy, of betrayal, of faith, of humour, of struggle, of victory.
They have been grandparents, parents, a spouse to another.
They may have said goodbye to a few loved ones.
They may even feel lonely at times. Or frustrated. The new “fast world” can be exhausting for them.
But I look upon them with admiration.
In all of it, they have journeying with God.
Holding onto Him.

Holy Communion

There were quite a few people in church this morning. (Probably, that whole “It’s Easter – we should make an appearance in church sort of thing”) But regardless – all are welcome. 🙂
The point is; when the elements were being served for communion. And the ushers were leading us forward to the rail – the whole time of communion because “lengthy”.
BUT I PUT THAT in “inverted commas” on purpose.

Was it really lengthy?
NO!
Again I say: NO!

I thought of this image I have inserted below. Two people spending time together.
Sometimes the space between is filled with words. And sometimes there is just silence there.

Can that not be the same for you and God?
I like that.
After we have had the bread and wine and return to our seats…
Why do we let our minds wonder?
What do we get agitated if we “have to wait too long”?
Could we shift our thoughts from wondering what is for lunch or what our wee ahead looks like and simply just talking (or sit in silence) with our Father God?
Maybe those 10 minutes are very life giving. If we allow it to be.
Pause, listen, speak to Him, or listen to Him.
But be present in those spare moments.

Because, yes the week ahead may get busy.
It may get full.
So there in church, be there, with Him.

cafe sit together

Sitting with my Aunt (travel stories)

On Thurs night my aunt stayed over and we had a good catch up.
She told me about her trip doing the famous Spanish pilgrimage: The Camino de Santiago
It was so nice to hear about it. I was inspired by what God did with her on that trip.
I just liked the moment. Sharing stories.
If we pause, listen well to people.
We’ll learn things about them.

Disarmed

We were sons of insurrection, doomed to face the dark alone.
‘Till vicarious perfection, dearly won, was made our own.
So where’s your landslide, where’s your victory?
Tell me now, where’s your sting?
Unassailable you waited, the great enemy of man,
’till your awful jaws were sated, and we were ransomed from your hand.
Now that you have been disarmed,
We will cross over unharmed.

How good are these lyrics by Thrice?
Perhaps fitting for Easter?
Death has no sting…

Listen to the song below:


Thanks for visiting here. Have a good week ahead!

Posted in Inspirational & Observations from Life

The end of the day…

If there is one thing I like a lot.
Is ending the day off with a cup of coffee sitting outside.

I am house sitting at this moment and I see the setting sun.
I hold this warm mug in my hands.

I know He is here. And that’s enough.

Sometimes I don’t see the wood for the trees
Sometimes I don’t see the trees for the wood
Sometimes I just need to see the One who made the trees
And that’s enough

Posted in Inspirational & Observations from Life

Cool quotes of the week (Part 1)

So instead of a 1000 status updates on FB. Here is the best of.. for the week:

Be guided, only by the healer of the sick, the raiser of the dead, the friend of all who were afflicted and forlorn, the patient Master who shed tears of compassion for our infirmities. We cannot but be right when we put all the rest away, and do everything in remembrance of Him…There can be no confusion in following Him, and seeking for no other footsteps, I am certain! (Charles Dickens)

Laying his hand on the shoulder of a young monk one day, St. Francis of Assisi said: “Brother, let us go down to the town and preach.” So they went forth together. They conversed as they went along their way. They walked down main streets, round the lowly alleys and lanes, on to the edge of the village beyond. Finally they turned back, and entered the monastery again. In surprise, the youth asked, “Father, when shall we begin to preach?” St. Francis looked kindly upon the young man and said: “My child, we have been preaching; we were preaching while we were walking. We have been seen- looked at; our behavior has been remarked; and so we have delivered a morning’s sermon. Ah! my son, it is of no use that we walk anywhere to preach unless we preach as we walk.” (Unknown)

How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live.” Henry David Thoreau

Why walk with the crowd if you’ll never get ahead of them???? That’s why I walk alone,to find myself in places NO ONE wil ever see!!! (From someone’s FB status.)

Posted in Inspirational & Observations from Life

MY AFRICAN THOUGHT

30 September 2012

Earlier today I was at a Hugh Masekela show.

I am still buzzing at how amazing he is as a musician.

That guy has 42 albums out! Wow!

Also was impressed with how there was such a strong connectedness through the music and the people who were watching.

I have never experienced such a thing in the “western white” music shows that I have been to.

Yes, there is a sense of connection at those shows too, don’t get me wrong.

But not like what I had experienced this afternoon. This transcended to another level.

I went on my own to the Durban Botanical Gardens (my friends had something else on / they don’t appreciate African jazz / going on my own is part of my nomadic nature.)

I was a little “apprehensive” at first, to go on my own; however I didn’t want to waste energy feeling sorry for myself, so I went anyway…

And then the music and the people pulled me in.

I have been in many a crowd and have felt really alone.

In this crowd, weirdly, I felt noticed and connected.

While I was sitting on the grass, watching Hugh Masekela I noted how a father and his two toddler kids came and sat right next to me.

Right in “my personal space” (as we westernized so often like to claim)

The little toddler’s arm occasionally bumped my arm.

But I didn’t mind.

I loved how everyone there at the show was “connected.”

There weren’t many white people at the show, maybe the only the cultured ones. (Haha!)

I then thought of this:

(Disclaimer)

And I say this as a white African.

And as a person only 32 years young

So my knowledge is limited

I write simply just listening to thoughts of my heart

(I did share my thought with our ‘black’ minister/friend at my church… he agreed with my thoughts)

I think very often “loneliness” and “suffering from loneliness” is often a predominantly “white” thing.

Thinking about the authors who have written about books about the topic of loneliness: white.

Working with young people, the ones who feel lonely: white.

I may speak a little in ignorance.

But I think there is something very insightful in the black African culture, across the 9 various African languages we have here in South Africa,

It’s the profound sense of community.

There is an African saying: Umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu

Translated means: a person is a person through (other) persons.

That is beautiful.

We belong to each other

There needs to be collectiveness about us all.

It was cool to see a black man dancing with a white woman, he was swirling her in circles as the crowd cheered them on.

I also noted… 3 friends, who typified a beautiful south Africa: a black guy, a white girl, an Indian girl and a white guy who had come together, had a picnic and danced together.

It didn’t look “put on”

It didn’t looked cliché “new south Africa”

It looked genuine.

It looked right!

Posted in Faith & Church, Inspirational & Observations from Life

What does Heaven look like?

We are doing this “difficult questions” series in church at the moment and I really liked the response from Sunday Night.  We asked people to write on the whiteboard what they thought heaven was like:

Hillcrest-20130903-00698 (Medium)

You will notice… no one mentioned the “geography” of heaven.  No one described the “place” of heaven.  What is more crucial to everyone is the state (if that’s even the right word), like what emotions will we feel.  What force will embrace us:

love, freedom, peace, family, His presence.

(Are just a few of what was jotted on the board)

Posted in Inspirational & Observations from Life

Rock Piles

YOU MAY BE BOMBARDED with the next few posts. But I discovered them sitting under my draft posts. Some of them have probably been posted before.
But I thought… what a great reminder some of them are… so I am just re-posting them…
Original date: back in 2012

This is not my picture.  (Silly me, I should have taken a picture this past weekend on the hike I did to Spectacle Cave.)

I am currently reading my newly acquired book: Like a Flowing River.  Its a collection of Paulo Coelho’s writings and stories.

Something from there jumped out at me.  These lines here:

LEARN FROM SOMEONE WHO HAS BEEN THERE BEFORE
“However unique you may think you are, there is always someone who has had the same dream before, and who will have left signs behind that will make the climb less arduous: the best place to attach a rope, trodden paths, branches broken off to make it easier to pass. It is your climb and it is your responsibility too, but never forget that other people’s experiences are always helpful.”

I really liked that. Made me think of how, on Saturday, I reminded the guys on my hike to look at the rock piles.
The rock piles tell us we are on the right track. they assure us, that all is well.

So don’t be afraid to learn from other’s stories and experiences.