Posts Tagged ‘Vision K’
ok, end of 2010 just totally snuck up on me. and while this time of year is supposed to be all restful and merryful and great, it just feels too busy and hectic and stressful to me.
so in order to remedy that, i have decided to look back on 2010 and count my blessing.
1. friends – thanks for putting up with me. divas – thanks for not giving up on me…y’all have helped shape who i am today, and i am grateful.
2. my job/colleagues – with the recession and people losing jobs left and right and people coming and going, i must say it was a bit of a scary year. i wasn’t really sure where i would be at the end of this year, but God proved faithful and i’m still here. and my amazing colleagues have been…well, amazing, this year. having seen them walk through health problems and come out stronger on the other side, it’s been inspirational and a reminder of what a beautiful thing family is. so grateful to be working where i work, with the people i get to work with.
3. vision k – i have so much enjoyed another year of meeting with another group of amazing grade 10′s. this year’s group was so different from last years, which made things a bit weird at first, but once i got to know them i really fell in love with this group. while last years group was super outgoing with each one of them rearing to be the leader of the group, this year was full of people who were too shy to take the lead and too insecure to burst out in a broken-english-rant, but they were so cool on a one to one basis. and awesomely, i get to work with the same group next year (happiness). yep, i’m moving to the grade 11 group next year. should be amazing – building on already established relationships.
4. enGAGE – love you guys…so thankful for each and everyone of you who have been a part of my life this year. thank you for the coffees and the hang outs and the chats and the love and acceptance and so much more. thank you to every single one for being part of this community and just being there. wouldn’t have made it through this year without y’all.
5. worship team peeps – technically you fall under enGAGE, but kinda had a special thought to share for y’all. thank you for pushing me. thank you for making me sing louder even when i don’t want to. thank you for all the encouragement. thank you for helping me battle my insecurities and helping me use my passions for Christ. thank you for all the laughs. thank you for just being an awesome group of people.
6. live music – ok so Versus The Wolf…so much love for this band, check them out. And Irvine – stealing more of my heart with every show. And Gravity Wins Again – who went into hiding for most of this year but are back again. And John Ellis – LE-GEN-DA-RY! And my new-found love for afrikaans bands. and so many other cool bands/gigs i went to this year. I don’t think I went to see any international bands this year, just local ones (oh wait, there was feeder, but i didn’t go to see them. i went to a music festival they just happened to be playing at). so it has been yet another very fulfilling musical year. i love watching live music, it makes my heart happy. and i hope there will be more show watching next year.
7. blogging – i enjoy blogging. i enjoy putting my thoughts out there for random strangers to critique. i especially love when random strangers become a community and help me in discovering who i am and helping me in this life-journey. thank you readers. thanks to the commentors – for the words of encouragement and the challenging ones too. and the lurkers. oh, and lurkers, please comment in 2011. thanks you also to anyone who has ever appeared on my reads of the week list…and to those who haven’t. the blogs i read play a major role in the thoughts in my head, so thank you for helping me think through things and learn more about myself and life.
8. God – it has been a rough ride this year. lots of bumps in our relationship…seriously. but through it all you carried me. i am thankful beyond what words can explain.
wishes for 2011
1. more growth with God – let him use me more.
2. this has probably been the worst year for me healthwise. my body really took a beating. not sure why, but i hope 2011 will be different. i hope i will enjoy health more.
I don’t know who dubbed Port Elizabeth “The Firendly City” but I’m gonna have to disagree with them. I think I prefer Gareth Cliff’s nickname – “Port Elizabeth: The armpit of South Africa”. On the other hand whoever named it the Windy City was spot on. Now Cape Town gets windy…like the kinda wind that blows you away if you don’t hold on to streetlights wind, but it’s not windy ALL THE TIME. I mean seriously, PE weather sucks!
Since my dad and sister and brother moved to PE last year, I’ve been visiting quite frequently…uhm well, more than before. The first time I spent every single day at the beach – very cool being within walking distance of the beach. The second time I spent every other day at the beach. My third visit I spent my afternoons watching the world cup, then I’d stay up till 3 or 4 in the morning stuffing my face with pop-corn and watching movies, then sleeping in till about 1pm the next day and wake up just in time for the next match. I ended up only going to the beach once – on the last day of my visit – and I was so out of shape from the couch-potatoe’ing that the walk to the beach felt like quite a workout.
This last visit I was determined to not let that happen again so I planned to do lots of exciting things. Then I got there and remembered that there really aren’t any exciting things to do in PE. I had planned on going to see my cousin’s band (New AfroTeens) at the boardwalk, but it was so cold and windy I decided to stay indoors instead. The only thing I really did the whole trip was hit the mall (3 days in a row, same mall), go out to dinner for my brother’s bday and then a couple of days later for my sister’s bday, and take a walk to a mini-shopping center they call a mall…sadness! Didn’t see the beach once…felt like too much effort for such crappy weather. There was one day of good weather though, and the siblings and I decided to go swimming – which was cool.
The unfriendlyness was from every store cashier that I dealt with. Seriously, EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM. At some point I had to go check in the mirror to make sure I wasn’t wearing a “Please be rude to me” sign on my forehead or something. Then there’s the people from NMMU…such rudeness…really? I don’t know if they can’t read or what but I was basically yelled at for something that was their fault – sheesh! I’ll be so happy when my dad finally buys a house and we move from the NMMU campus housing.
And then there was the monumental fight I had with my dad, but that’s another story for another day.
The trip was only saved by the fact that I got to spend time with my siblings and laugh like there’s no tomorrow. Funny people, those two.
On my return to Stellenbosch Saturday morning I got off the greyhound bus at 10, and on the way to my flat I ran into two of the girlies from my first year of Vision K who are now in Matric (12th grade). They had just finished writting their entrance exam for University for next year and I was so amped for them. It just kinda hit me that 2 of my girlies are in matric (there might have been some jumping up and down and clapping and singing “yay, y’all are in matric” on my part and a bit of embarrassment on their part) and it was seriously one of the proudest moments of my life.
Anyway, I got back to my flat at 10:20, and went downstairs at 10:30 to catch my lift. Me and 6 other people took the 12 kiddies from the Vineyard House out to Butterfly World to see butterflies and then had a picnic lunch with them. Very Fun! Very Rewarding! Very Funny seeing little kids running away from butterflies cos they were afraid of them, but then they don’t run away from the snakes…odd!
By the time I got back to my flat I was so very tired, but I didn’t want to sleep just yet cos I figured I if I did I wouldn’t be able to sleep at night. So I went online, downloaded some new music and had a one man dance party. At some point I think I just passed out – don’t actually remember going to bed…fun!
On Sunday I went to church and had a very serious massive God-moment…which was really cool – been missing those. And then again in the evening service (enGAGE). Just super freakin’ blessed. Afterwards a bunch of us went to Gino’s for dinner and there were so many laughs…my stomach hurt so bad when I left there.
All that to say, the two days I spent back here in Stellies far outweighed the 7 days I spent in PE. I have decided that I could NEVER move to PE…EVER. Now all I need to do is find a way to get my sister and brother to move back to the Western Cape so that I can see them more often.
To be honest, I was very nervous about this tour as soon as I found out that I would be meeting people like Dave Duarte, Justin Stanford, Herman Heunis, etc – names that I’d read about all over the net, but as soon as Justin introduced himself to me and I met the rest of the “tourists” who were already there, I was put at ease – great group to tour with.
First thing I saw as I stepped out of the elevator at the FireId office was the basketball hoops in the canteen, and I thought “awesome”. The FireId offices are pretty much what you would expect from a Silicon Valley Start-up company – think google/facebook – except it’s in the Silicon Cape. Boardshorts/casual slacks, t-shirts, and barefeet seem to be the uniform. The place just has a very relaxed atmosphere about it, from hammocks in the team offices to little quotes on the entrances to each developer decorating their own space to the use of lava lamps for their test/release cycle management – which I imagine fosters lots of creativity.
So about the company: FireId is a mobile two-factor authentication company. Yea, I had no idea what that meant either until I went on the tour. Basically, you know how when you do your banking online, as soon as you enter in your username/password you get an sms with an OTP (one time password)? Yea, that’s what they do, except the whole thing happens on your mobile phone instead of online, and you don’t get an sms – which is really handy when there’s no network service – the app itself generates the password, and because it’s offline fraud is reduced. They are not limited to online banking only though, “it is applicable anywhere individual authentication is required” as their website says.
We were given a bit of background info on where FireId started (in a Stellenbosch University dormroom), where it is currently, and where they see the company in the future by the CTO and founder, Malan Joubert, with a bit of help from Justin Stanford (one of the FireId Directors) and Jenny Dugmore (the “very useful” CEO) on explaining the more technical side to the non-techies in the group. It was also great watching the interaction between them, and seeing their passion for the company.
With lots in store (such as thier cloud services), expect to see the FireId name more often in the near future.
Our second stop was at the MXit offices. We were greeted by a very enthusiastic group in the lobby, then urshered into the boardroom where the CEO, Herman Heunis, gave a brief presentation on MXit. First thing I checked when Herman started his presentation was whether he was wearing shoes, and indeed he was, but not the nice, leather, business-type shoes you’d expect from your traditional CEO, instead he was wearing Ed Hardy’s – so cool. Anyway, it was yet another inspiring story – seeing how MXit has gone from a simple Instant Messaging platform, to a full multi-media, social-networking platform. And there’s still so much more to come. We also learned that MXit was originally named “kajumba”, which is a swahili word for a hut or home, displaying MXit’s value of community. One thing that stood out for me in the presentation is how passionate Herman is about using MXit for social development – he talked passionately about social-networking platforms’ responsibility towards its users reagarding education and social upliftment…Community!
After the presentation and the tour of the office we were treated by MXit to lunch at Gino’s restaurant – and as I said on my mxit/facebook statuses, I have probably spent more time at that particular restaurant than I have in my flat…seriously! The lunch was great – got to talk more with the group from MXit – among them their Technical Director, Marketing Manager, M-Cormmerce Executive and others – and we also got to know the other tourists in the group as well.
All in all, a successful tour indeed, and a reminder of the creativity, talent, and inspiring stories that are increasingly coming out of South Africa. Thank you for your hospitality FireId and MXit, and to Dave Duarte for organising the event.
On Tuesdays I have VisionK in the evenings, and when I told my small group of learners that I had been to the mxit offices earlier that day, they were so impressed – all of them are on mxit, and i’ve already gotten a few friend requests from them. I think I have a shot at being the coolest leader this year (hee hee…)
When i started with visionk i was pretty much thrown into the deep end. i didn’t really know what to do or what it was about…just rocked up for the first session and went with it. I knew we would be working with youth from Kayamandi and teaching them life skills, but that doesn’t really say much. Over the last couple of years I got to see first hand what the programme was about and i got to see the heart behind it…and during that time i also heard about how it started and why it started.
starting this year there will also be vision v, which will happen in Vlottenburg – a farming community just outside stellenbosch. so the head-people of visionk thought it would be a good idea to have a training weekend to prepare new (and old) leaders for the year to come.
Ah…Pringle Bay. Beach-house. Ocean. Fresh Air. Sitting indoors learning about how VisionK started, what it’s about, how we are going to be running things this year, etc while listening to people enjoying the beach…(well, that just got a little sarcastic). Ok, on a more serious note, we stayed at a beach-house in Pringle Bay one sand dune away from a private beach with water so clear, blue and so beautifully inviting yet so cold you prefered to watch the waves rather than go in. We did get some time to swim, and play games like 30 seconds and balderdash and tell ghost stories and past mischief-making, and watch sunsets…but we were there for vision k/v training and there was a lot of that in there.
When we talked about the values of Vision K/V, we each decided that the best way to remember these values and grow into them was for each leader to pick a value they felt they needed to work on and make that their life-value for the year, then at each meeting on Tuesdays we will have a “report-back” type thing were we will discuss how we’ve seen said value displayed or not displayed in ourselves and each other that night or whatever. That way we are all keeping each other accountable of those values we say we want to uphold in Vision K/V.
I chose the value “stewardship”. My definition of it is “realizing that all that I have (money, skills, passions, etc) are gifts from God and asking Him what I should be doing with them and then actually doing it”. So for this year I will be looking at what stewardship is, what it looks like, how i’m living it out in my life, how i’m failing to live it out in my life, and how i can live it out (better).
And with that in mind…with a mission/vission for the year, I’m even more amped for the 2010.
This post is part of a weekly worship blog carnival, so do stop by the worship community for more setlists and sermon recaps from around the world…
I was away at a VisionK leaders’ training this weekend which was so awesome – I’ll write more about that on Tuesday – so I wasn’t at the morning service today.
You alone can rescue (Matt Redman)
How great is our God (Chris Tomlin)
Lord, let your glory fall (Matt Redman)
Lord you are worthy (Brad Klynsmith) – so loving this song right now
God is great (Marty Sampson)
Sing to the king (Billy Foote)
Kevin was leading today, but Ronel and Abi both chose and led a couple of songs each.
Today’s preach was entitled “An Extreme God Worthy of Extreme Worship”. We sang the first 2 songs, then Brett did the preach, then we had a praise party after that.
The preach was about how God did the extreme (created Earth, wanted to wipe it out, came to Earth as a human, etc) and demands the extreme (told Abraham to kill his only son, sell all your possessions and give them to the poor, etc), but is worthy of extreme praise for what he’s done (while we were sinners Christ died for us, Father forgive them for they know not what they do, He did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, etc).
Verses used: Genesis 1: 1; Genesis 2: 15 – 23; Genesis 3: 21; Genesis 6: 5 – 7; Genesis 9: 12 – 17; Genesis 22: 1 -2, 9 – 18; Philippians 2: 5 – 8; Romans 5: 6 – 8; Mark 10: 21; Luke 23: 34
So I was trying to remember 2009 so that my last post of the year chould be a review of sorts…but I really couldn’t remember anything.
So then I went through my facebook photo albums and the ones that stand out the most are (in no particular order):
1. day in the park/beach – in Jan, Brett decided that for his birthday celebrations he was going to help out with a take-the-kids-from-an-orphanage-out-for-the-day-to-the-beach-and-love-them-day thing…and he invited people to go and help out, and i went, and it was awesomtastic. then in april and again in november some people from our church organised a take-the-kids-from-an-orphanage-out-for-the-day-to-the-park-and-love-them-day thing and once again i decided to join in. and again it was awesomtastic. i’m not the most kid-friendly person in the world…like, i would suck at being a kindergarten teacher, but i really do enjoy spending time with kids and just loving on them and making them feel wanted and loved and adored and listened to and whatever, even if it was for one day atleast they got to feel special.
2. vision k/youth/scripture union camp – as i said, i would suck at being a kindergarten teacher. and i would probably suck at being a middle/high school teacher as well, but if i had to choose, i would go for the middle/high school age group. so i’ve talked a bit about my exploits with vision k this year, and i may have mentioned the scripture union leadership camp as well – can’t remember, but yea, both of those and the youth group at my church have been highlights in my life this year. i truly do enjoy hanging out with youth and finding out where they are and if possible helping in their journey towards adulthood. i’ve been through the teenage years myself, and sometimes i still act like i’m going through them, and i remember how hard it was for me, so any help i can give someone else…
3. turning 25 – i liked turning 25. scary, yet…super cool. like i felt like i was finally an adult in a lot of ways. turning 26 is not scary, but it feels kinda sucky, don’t know if i’m going to enjoy it much.
4. namrock/baptism – so wrote a lot on namrock, and wrote about getting baptised. and definite highlights they were.
5. worship team – lots of memories. lots of laughs. lots of growing. thankfulness.
6. http://tsholo.wordpress.com/2009/10/02/worship-setlist-september-27-2009/ – i’ve been to PE quite a few times, and i always…well, i guess hate is a strong word but…well, it’s the right word. i always hated it. i was ok with like 2 days, but after that i was ready to leave. this year my dad moved to PE, then my sister also moved there. at the end of the year my lil bro is also moving there. so it will just be me and my mom in the western cape (sadness). but yea, the visit in september was so awesomtastic, i didn’t want to leave. and i’m looking forward to visiting again first week of next year…and throughout 2010. PE Love!
7. flatmating – had a super awesomtastic flatmate this year. i learned a lot from her and i totally appretiate the flatmate she was and all the talks and all the laughs and discovering “The OC” together and our late night dvd’ing and sms’ing each other from the other side of the wall and the sharing and all of it, it’s been great Lindz, will miss sharing a flat with you.
8. music and friends – the south african music scene is wow! and it’s even better when it’s live, and it’s shared with friends. new altum, flat stanley, just jinjer, aking, gravity wins again, straatligkinders, irvine, lua union, the lottery tickets, heldervue, black markets riots, 3rd world spectator, saint fearless, the rescue, tree63, the arrows, bed on bricks – just off the top of my head. memorable moments also include: being kidnapped and forced to go to the beach at 2 am when i was working the next morning, sneaking into the botanical gardens after it was closed and having a photo shoot after making a 20 minute video of us talking nonsense, TEAM AWESOMTASTIC, awesomtastic enGAGE dinners at Ginos and awesomtastic cricket watching at Ginos, SUPER inappropriate conversations and the birth of SOKs…and so much more…I really thank God for friends!
and then two more not in the photo albums, just to round it off
9. blogging – nablopomo(?) was really good for my blogging…blogging everyday for a month is not easy, totally respect those who do it year round. good and challenging. blogging has been so good for me though. it’s been a place for me to just spill what’s in my head onto something else and just get it out of my system so that it doesn’t take over. so thank you for reading.
10. God – lots of up and downs, lots of screaming and shouting, lots of late night pop-corn and cookies and ice-cream (He loves those), lots of laughing, lots of reminders, lots of fulfilled promises, lots of pouring on of LOVE, lots of us time, too much ingnoring from my side, lots of forgiveness, lots of convictions, lots of happiness and joy, more love and more reminders, lots of blessings, lots of breathe, lots of guidance, lots of mercy and grace, more love, lots of comforting, lots of more reminders for/to hope, lots of everything. Everything and LOVE!
and one more that had nothing to do with me but stands out this year was the wedding of the fish and TBV…read about it here.
I promised a post on this a while ago, then I forgot, then I was asked to write an article on it for the VK newsletter…so here’s what I wrote.
On the 30 October, 2009 we loaded up the buses once again and headed to Groot Wintershoek to another Vision K camp. Groot Wintershoek is quite a drive to get to but it’s so worth it. The campsite is on top of a mountain…no cellphone reception, no tv, no traffic…just peace and serenity. And the caretakers of the campsite were also very cool – very hippy-like and all about recycling and preserving the earth and such – and they were also extremely nice.
Anyway, we had a group of 22 learners, 4 VK facilitators, Brett – who leads k-talk, a spin-off of VK where he meets with those learners who want to once a week to talk about God, spirituality, religion, whatever – and his wife Valerie, our 2 international volunteers who help out with the admin side of VK, and of course Lizelle and Erlo helping with the meal preparations (a couple of the students actually wrote a rap song for Lizelle and Erlo to thank them for the meals…that’s how good the food was).
The topics discussed on the second camp of the year are spirituality, morality and ethics. We discuss what they are, how your morality and ethics are formed and how religion and culture influence those. Basically it’s a time for the learners to do some soul-searching and look at what they believe and why they believe the things they believe…so the point is not to tell them what to believe, but rather to get them to think through their belief systems and worldviews.
One of the highlights of the camp is that the facilitators meet with each individual learner and give them personal feedback, as in which areas we’ve seen growth throughout the year and where we think they still have some growth potential. As it’s not something i thought about through the year, when we were doing the “reviews” it was the first time i actually took a step back and thought about where the learners were at the beginning of the year and where they are now. So. Much. Growth. And that, for me, is what makes VK worth it: seeing that there has been a noticeable growth in the individuals life throughout the year.
We ended off the camp on the 1st of November by going to swim at a beautiful natural pool near the campsite…and for the learners who come from a township where there are no public pools nearby, swimming is quite a treat. So the camp ended with lots of smiles, from both the leaders and the learners…doesn’t get any better than that!
Didn’t realise this was going to be a multi-part post…oh well…
we went to go see ice age 3 last saturday and it went very well. 6 of the learners had actually seen it the day before and they asked me to ask Deane for them if we could see something else and so i kept telling them to talk to him themselves. i know it’s weird, and it is such a small insignificant thing, but i thought it was really cool that they felt like they could come talk to me and kinda ask me to be their sort-of spokesperson. i hope that when the real stuff comes up they will be able to come to me with that stuff as well. anyway, so Deane did give them a choice between that and harry potter and they ended up watching ice age 3 again and they loved it…we had a little discussion on it afterwards while we were having a picnic under the stars…in the cold! (you know a complain had to come in somewhere)
[side note: while we were having our picnic/discussion a drunk guy comes up and tries to get in on the discussion even though he hadn't seen the movie...quite funny...and irritating at the same time]
this week was the second session on peer pressure. this week was more about dealing with peer pressure where as last week was about defining it, recognising it, and classifying it (good vs bad). the leaders opened with a skit (btw, i LOVE acting even though i totally hate the spotlight…but once i’m up there on stage, just try and stop me) and then we had discussions and closed of with them doing skits for us. it was quite a good even.
we had a really bad turn-out though this week cos there is this evangelist dude in town who is holding one of those revival type things and most of the kids went to that. the ones who actually showed, well except for one, are totally anti Daddy (apparently the people of his church call the evangelist Daddy…maybe he founded the denomination or something). The kids kept saying he’s a false-prophet and they say the people of his church worship him and not God. Apparently the dude is very much into prosperity-gospel and he’s one of those “pray for you and life will be perfect” types….like, he prays over your cv and you get the job you want, or he prays for you and you get out of your wheelchair and walk, or he prays for you and even though you’ve been failing all year, you suddenly get all A’s without studying, or he prays for you and you suddenly win the lotto/lottery. the other problem the kids had with this dude is that all the people whom he prayed for that got healed were people from out of town so there was no way of knowing if there really was a problem to start with. Also they figure that God wouldn’t have you win the lotto, He’d rather give you a job and the talent to do the job well so that you can earn the money…and God wouldn’t have you pass a test without studying, He’d rather give you concentrantion and understanding so that you can understand what you are studying and be able to pass the test…etc
the one girl who was not anti-Daddy is actually a member of that denomination, so basically her stance in the discussions that night was trying to correct the rumours/myths that were going on about Daddy. She didn’t back down either, she stood her ground, which I don’t think is easy for a 16 year old when you’ve got 15 of your peers standing against you…and for that I applaud her. She unintentionally gave us a real-life example of dealing with peer-pressure which was really cool…so we ended up using that situation to explain how to deal with peer-pressure.
so all in all a very good night
living out the stuff i spew
our congregation started doing a street evangelism thing where we go out as enGAGE and pray for people/talk to people/meet people/etc on the streets of Stellenbosch. It’s been happening for two weeks now…and I have yet to go. I keep wanting to go, but then something else comes up, or I end up forgetting or I just feel so super tired cos I didn’t sleep the night before or whatever…the whole “the good I want to do I do not do, it’s the bad that I don’t want to do that I keep doing” vibe Paul talked about in Romans. I really want to do it though…I really want to be a part of what God is doing in Stellies…maybe next week…
I’ve been writing a lot lately, which is really good. Not blogging-writing but like songs, poetry, etc…I don’t put any of that stuff on here cos it’s quite personal and not good enough to be read by the general public. But I enjoy it so… I was telling my friend Isa the other day how I’ve been writing songs in my dreams lately…really cool…so she suggested that I keep paper and a pen by my bed so that I could write them down in the morning while they are still fresh in my mind…so I did…but I haven’t dreamed up new songs since then…oh well
I haven’t done much of that lately…I need to get back into it. And I dont’ know why I haven’t been reading…i’m just lazy to open a book.
faith and hope
We’ve been talking about faith and hope the last few weeks in youth (i’m one of the youth leaders in my church which is super cool…but will get into that in a few minutes). Anyway, last week we were talking about hope and how we can place our hopes and dreams in God’s hands because he really does care. We can fully have faith in him because of his unable-to-lie-ness.
I was reading Amos last night and realised that although most of the book is about how God is going to destroy Israel and surrounds, He ends it on this beautiful note of hope – to restore Israel…which just reminded me that He is our hope. You place your hope in anything else and it’s anyone’s guess what will happen…you place your hope in him and in his word and you can’t go wrong
he really does care about us and he really does want the best for us…
So as i’ve said before, I always wanted to work with youth, especially young, fatherless females and help them discover their worth and to help them learn to love themselves. I am working with youth at the moment, but not in the way I thought I would.
Firstly there’s vision k, which i have loved working with since the beginning of this year and still look forward to the meetings with anticipation every tuesday. That’s what gets me through my work every tuesday, knowing that at the end of the day vision k awaits. And I suppose the chicks from vision k are the people i wanted to work with as most of them are living the whole fatherless-generation situation.
I recently became part of the team that leads youth at my church…we only have 2 chicks though, and they both seem like they come from proper families where they know who their father is and have a relationship with their father and all’s well so not what I was going for but God has a way of changing our plans to be more in-line with his and to make them…better…so I have faith that he knows what he’s doing and I’m just going to follow as he leads
Must say though, truly enjoying both of these youth groups…the youth, the leaders, the work God’s doing…awesomeness!
Just came across this band called Gravity Wins Again, and if you haven’t already, I’d recommend you check them out. They are really good and I’m sure they are going to take South Africa by storm
And I’m also loving the song Prodigal by One Republic…has me written all over it.
And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love, but the greatest of these is love
In closing, I serve a really big God
[Feeling too small for God by Jon Acuff - Stuff Christians Like]
The world is pretty big. There are a lot of countries, with millions and millions of square miles of people and land and ocean. The universe is even bigger than that. I’ve never been but from the photos I’ve seen it’s massive. Pathways of stars, belts of black holes and galaxies and planets. It’s just endless, and somewhere up there, God knows your boyfriend broke up with you.
Maybe He doesn’t. I mean, maybe He’s up there and He’s working on really big stuff. He’s healing famines and trying to bring peace to war torn lands. The greatness of His issues makes your little issues look ordinary and simple and maybe even boring.
But every now and then I come across a verse that shakes my deep belief that I am beneath God’s radar. One that I love is Psalm 56:8. Here, in what hopefully makes me look pretty smart, is the King James Version:
“Thou tellest my wanderings: put thou my tears into thy bottle: are they not in thy book?”
But maybe you’re not old school, so here’s what the New Living Translation says:
“You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.”
I think that’s beautiful. Can you imagine that? Can you picture God doing that? Taking His giant hands and tenderly picking up every single one of your tears? Knowing why they came, understanding what they mean, placing them in His bottle, so that He can comfort you.
That’s how God spends his days.
That’s how small this big universe is.
I just found out last week, and was reminded again tonight, that a couple of the Vision k leaders have been stalking me online (hi Gerrit, hi Deane) which kinda makes me tempted to hide…like not really write what I really want to write…cos that’s what I do best, hide. But as I said in the beginning I want this blog to be 100% honest so…let’s go.
The very first time I went to Vineyard, I remember this guy going up to the front, taking off his shoes and then proceeding to tell us about his adventures of getting lost in the middle of the night and driving out to a town I don’t know how far past where he was actually going,and then he ran out of petrol, and then ending up sleeping in the lobby of some hotel. Then someone else came up, read from the Afrikaans bible, then the dude came back up, read from the English bible and then went on to preach. At this point I was like “wait…what? THAT is the pastor?” I later found out that he is the youth/student pastor of vineyard (Brett).
I went back to that church for the evening service because it was so different from the other churches I’d always attended. It felt different. The people I talked to afterwards seemed like…well…Christians. At the evening service another guy came up to me and introduced himself, asked a bit about me…and he seemed cool enough. I didn’t go to the morning services a lot cos I would go to my family church in the mornings, but I still went back for the evening services. A couple months down the line I visited the morning service and found out that the cool guy who had introduced himself that first evening is the senior pastor of the church (Chris).
So this totally throws me for a spin. At every church I’ve gone to before Vineyard, you could tell from a mile away who the pastor was. Either because they have that special front row seat or because of how they dress (not in jeans and a t-shirt like Chris, or preaching barefooted like Brett). There was always something that said, “I am your pastor, I am your leader. Welcome to my church.” What I got from Chris and Brett is “I am human, I am one of you, God is just using me to speak to you.” I like that.
I sometimes think very religiously. I’ve been seeing places in my life that are very religious and I’m trying to work on them now…hence the wanting to be less of a Christian and more of a Jesus follower. I think that is one area of my life I do that…I judge people and try to put them in comfortable boxes so that they can fit my ideas of what I think they should be or how I think they should behave. Sometimes when I talk to Brett I find myself thinking “Dude, you’re a pastor…you can’t say that”. I find myself thinking “Dude, you are way too human to be a pastor”. But that’s what pastors are right? Human beings that God has called to teach/explain/preach/whatever, same as the rest of us…we are all instruments that God is using to reach someone else.
So yea, another area I need to work on…seeing people as people and not pre-judging them or trying to box them into some predefined notion of how *I* think they should be.
Off to Namibia on Friday – apparently leaving at 3 am. So stoked. Can’t wait. Really need the time off from work and really wanting God to use me in someone’s life during the “mission-trip” and really expecting him to work big time in my heart and mind over the camp weekend.
Yay – just a few more days.