Showing posts from October, 2019

Happy Endings

Image Source:  Jason Blackeye All of our favourite stories have happy endings. However, just because a story has a happy ending, does not necessarily ensure that it is a good story. The greatest storytellers understand that stories need to have lows as well as highs, anti-climax as well as climax, conflict as well as resolution. Try to imagine a story that never had any moments of conflict or struggle. The protagonist is born into a loving, wealthy family, she never fails at anything and she dies rich at an old age having achieved all of her dreams. First, the entertainment value of this story is not very high. I don't think there would be any major film studios battling for the rights to turn it into a movie. Second, I don't think that the protagonist in this story would appreciate their wealth and success because they had never experienced a life without it. A happy ending in and of itself does not make a good story unless there were serious moments of conflict that

Where Our Story Really Begins

Image Source:  Kelly Sikkema In his podcast titled "What to do with your ambition?" Rob Bell mentions how often we claim that our story as Christians begins with the fall of man, where Adam and Eve disobey God and separate themselves from God's plan for their lives. However, while this is an important part of the whole, it is not where our story begins. The story of the fall of man is found in Genesis 3. The Bible begins with another story in Genesis 1: A story where God creates the Earth and all that is in it and sees it as good. A story where God creates humans and calls them very good.  This is where our story begins: as God's sacred creations, not as sinful beings. Not only does our story begin with God creating humans as inherently good beings, but our story also does not end with death and despair, it concludes with the good news of resurrection and the restoration of all creation. Richard Rohr, in his latest book The Universal Christ,  claims that t

Beauty in Diversity

Image Source:  Markus Spiske When I was younger, I was only aware of common colours: red, blue, green, yellow, etc. But as I grew up, I encountered a much larger variety of colours that I had no idea even existed: cyan, magenta, turquoise, azure, fuchsia, etc. It is only once we learn about these new colours that our appreciation for the full spectrum of colour really grows. I have noticed how most post-apocalyptic stories (that aim to portray life after everything has fallen apart) are full of bland colours... The landscape is a dusty brown, the clothes are washed-out greys and the lighting is dull. In contrast, stories that describe paradise are often filled with lush green fields, clear blue oceans, yellow sandy beaches and bright sunny days. All we have to do to observe this phenomenon is to look at the impact of a rainbow. Often during rainy, overcast days, the mood of those around us matches the dreary colours of the day. But when the skies clear and the multicoloured

The Taylors are moving to Bethlehem!

This past year has been filled with anxiety and uncertainty about our future. Mel and I knew that we would be moving away from Pietermaritzburg at the end of 2019, but we had no idea where our destination would be. We recently received the news that I have been placed in Bethlehem in the Free State. We will be moving there near the end of this year where I will be ministering to the Central Methodist Church's congregation in Bethlehem. The stationing process has been stressful, with little to no information shared with us until the very last minute. This meant that we could not do anything to plan for our future until very recently. Although I have served in churches in various capacities over the past couple of years, this will be my first official placement to serve as a reverend in the Methodist Church of Southern Africa. Mel and I were invited to visit our new church and home this past weekend. We were both nervous, but equally as excited as we left Pietermaritzburg

A Lesson learnt from the Comrades Marathon

The time has long since come and gone for me to write about my Comrades Marathon experience. On the 8th of June this year, I ran this gruelling race for the first time. It is called the Ultimate Human Race for a reason. I don't think anything could have fully prepared me for the intense pain and emotion that I experienced during that day. While I learnt many physical lessons about fitness and race management, I learnt some valuable spiritual lessons as well. People have since joked with me, saying that I must have felt really close to God along the route because I had a lot of time to pray. I jokingly respond by saying that I certainly had some choice words with God along the way, but perhaps not ones that you would hear in a church anytime soon. I was certainly trusting in the hope that God was with me and would get me through the day, but there were many moments along the route where I did not believe that I would make it through the day. In fact, I felt more akin to the m