Showing posts from March, 2018

Little Resurrections

As we encounter Easter, we can't help but consider the topic of resurrection.
Most Christians believe in the physical resurrection of Jesus Christ, 3 days after his death on the cross at Calvary. 
However, for many Christians, Jesus' resurrection is merely a historical fact, much like the fact that Jan van Riebeck arrived in the Cape of Southern Africa in 1652 or the fact that Nelson Mandela was released from prison in 1990.
The problem with merely thinking of the resurrection as an historical fact is that it has no significance in our lives today.
However, just like the arrival of van Riebeck and the release of Mandela had long-lasting implications for the Nation of South Africa, so the resurrection of Christ also has long-lasting implications in the lives of believers today.
What difference does the Resurrection make in your life?
I believe that still today, Christ is bringing little resurrections to our lives. A little resurrection is a moment where God brings life to dead…

Selfie Talk

We are living in the 'selfie' generation.

It is not strange to experience multitudes of people pulling out their phones, sticking their arms far up in the air and taking photos of themselves with their friends or a landmark in the background.

Often, one selfie is not enough. One can often hear the comments: "Take another one, that was my bad side" or "My hair looks bad in that one, don't you dare put it on Instagram!"

I am not taking a dig at the selfie generation. I am often one of the biggest perpetrators. 

However, one thing that this craze has shown me is how obsessed we are with ourselves and the image that we have of ourselves - which is often a negative one.

Our view of ourselves is important because it affects how we interact with God, ourselves and others.

If we have a bad self-image, we often show resentment towards God, jealousy towards others and shame towards ourselves.

I believe that our negative self-image is because we focus more on the world&…

The Rainbow Church

Peter Storey, a former bishop of the Methodist Church in Southern Africa, makes the bold claim that Christians who can't worship together, can't be together.

This realization raises a number of important questions:

If our churches want to be a true unified community of believers, can achieve that if there are certain groups of people who do not feel comfortable worshiping with us?

If old and young people can't feel comfortable worshiping together, can they do church together? What about black and white people? Hetero and homosexuals? Foreigners and locals? Women and men?

Sometimes our churches can be exclusive when we gather for worship. We are often set in our ways and so comfortable with our own methods of doing corporate worship that if people don't relate to what we are offering, we are happy to send them away to find a new church somewhere else that might cater to their needs better than we do.

To me, this just seems to promote disunity in our churches. Rather th…

A New Song

I recently listened to a writing podcast by a group of my favourite authors. They spoke about ways to generate new ideas for writing future stories.

The authors encouraged listeners to look at stories already in existence as well as everyday things happening all around them and then either use these existing stories to come up with new ideas or expand on the ideas in new and exciting ways.

This made me think of what I have been learning to do by writing my blog.

I am learning to see God's grace all around me in new and exciting ways. I believe that this is something that we can all learn to do.

"I do not at all understand the mystery of grace - only that it meets us where we are but does not leave us where it found us." - Anne Lamott
This quote sums up my experience of God's grace. It is barely ever the same for everyone. It meets us where we are.

Does God want us to all experience grace in exactly the same way? I don't think so... God is too vast to put in a neat…

The Creed

At Wesley Methodist Church, we have been studying the Apostle's Creed during the Lenten period, breaking down each line of the creed in detail each week leading up to Easter Sunday.
The Apostle's Creed is a statement of Christian belief, based on what the apostles of Jesus Christ taught.

At our Sunday worship services at the Seminary we sing or recite a Zulu version of the Apostle’s Creed. This is a practice that is common in most African churches as well as many Western churches.

The danger with reciting these creeds so regularly is that they can become familiar to us, losing their ultimate meaning in the process.

I wonder whether we sometimes recite these church creeds without thinking about the words that we are saying. I know that personally I am often guilty of this.

Hillsong Music wrote a song titled This I Believe (The Creed) which is their personal adaptation of the Apostle's Creed.

Here are the words of the Chorus:

I believe in God our Father I believe in Christ th…

Leap of Faith

I recently did the Lake Eland Extreme Zip-line with some of my friends from Pietermaritzburg.

The zip-line is 1 100 meters long and reaches max speeds of up to 160km's per hour. All that is keeping you from falling hundreds of meters to an inevitable death is 2 cables and a harness that my hysterical brain was telling me would not have been out of place as a car's seat-belt.

We arrived early and waited for half an hour as we contemplated our life choices up to this point. Eventually we were all kitted up and ready to go.

While I wouldn't say that I have Acrophobia - an extreme fear of heights - as I looked out over the gorge that we would be flying through, breaking the national speed-limit in the process, it is fair to say that my stomach started churning and my legs turned to jelly.

It was at this point that I'm sure many of us were trying to think of any reasonable excuse that would get us out of this jump without seeming like a coward. One of the things that encou…

The Cost of Non-Discipleship

"If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters - yes, even their own life - such a person cannot be my disciple. And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple... In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples." - Jesus in Luke 14:25-26,33
In Luke 14, Jesus lays down conditions for those who want to follow him. He says that "we need to love our family members less than we love him, bear our crosses and renounce all that we have." 
It seems like an extreme response, but Jesus knew that his followers would face trials and would need to be willing to count their costs and persevere.
This was not an isolated incident in Jesus' ministry. In Luke 9, Jesus tells 3 prospective followers that they could expect homelessness if they became his disciples and that they would have to abandon their families without even getting an opportunity to say an…

Our Story

I love reading and I love a good story. Epic fantasies are my favourite. I love the richness of the world-building, the complex magic systems and the strengths and flaws of the wide variety of characters.

I often like to think of my life and the life of the world as an epic story.

Every story has a beginning, a middle and an ending. As we read/hear a well-told story we can only be sure of what has gone before. We do not know what twists and turns are in store for us at the conclusion, or even during the next couple of pages.

There are character developments, conflicts, climaxes and anticlimaxes.

The danger with thinking of our lives as a story though, is that we tend to take credit for the authorship of our story and the story of the world that we live in.

While we have an important part to play in our story, we shouldn't forget who is the author.

God created this world and continues to write our story.

We have an opportunity to be a part of God's story, but no matter how muc…

Church Bulletins

Exactly a month has passed since I began my blog. I would like to say a quick thank you for reading these random thoughts of mine and supporting me in this scary but exciting adventure. 
I have to leave my comfort zone every time I sit down to write a new post, but it is said that we never grow in places we feel comfortable. Thank you for challenging me to push myself.
This week I want to address the topic of church bulletins.

There are many different ways that churches deal with their notices and announcements. In this current age of technology, it is easy to add church notices to a website or an app for easy viewing. 
Some churches prefer to stick to the classic hard copy church bulletins that are handed out before a service. Others display a slideshow of their notices as the congregation enters. 
Still others are coming up with innovative new ways to do their announcements, like my friend Rev. Zole Mlombi's church in Bedfordview which you can view on YouTube here: BMC NEWS and…