Category: friends and enemas


anec

So my friend Kevin Smuts [who has been one of my biggest cheerleaders in general life matters over the last three years while we were in Americaland in particular – side note: very encouraging to have cheerleaders! who are you a cheerleader to?] is part of an a capella band that he started called AnecNote [which is an amazing name altho i feel like i contributed at least 87 viable alternatives when they were going through their name-finding phase… so close… i helped weed out the bad ones, perhaps.

Anyways, being Kevin i suspected they would be good. He is a super talented muso and hoping to make movie music some day [pay attention Hans Zimmer!] and i’ve heard his stuff and i never doubted for a second music-wise it would be any good.

But an a capella band? Apart from Graham and Christine Weir’s most incredible Not the Midnight Mass who i got to see live on a few occasions back in the day, what other a capella groups spring to mind? That’s right. None. So talent evenings or school shows perhaps, but that’s about it.

Anyways, tbV and i got to go to a show on Sunday night after a day of Improv workshopping for me and house-warming for us both and by the time it came to ‘going out to social event with a bunch of people we would probably kind of know but mostly not really’ we were not super amped. But i did want to see Kev and support the band and so that clinched it i think.

[cue tbV and brett fish being blown away]

Because basically that is what happened. Not only are they musically fit, but they brought the funnest vibe you can imagine and it was a completely insanely amazing evening. Comprising five very different but extremely talented individuals, currently going by the names of Leah Adams, Emma de Goede, Morné Kahts, beatboxer supremo Daniel Nambassi and my main main Kevin Smuts, they rocked the house. If you’re in Cape Town, you need to make a plan to see them – having already played at TEDx, Kirstenbosch, 5FM and a bunch of other places.

anec2

i have some video clips [and you can find more on their site and on the You Tube] to give you an idea of their talent and diversity, but these really don’t do their live performance justice – fun, frivolous, a little bit cheeky and adventurous as they basically finished off the evening pretty much half making up a song and just giving it complete wings.

Here they are covering Titanium by David Guetta ft. Sia:

Then they took a dab at Taylor Swift’s Shake It Off:

And finally Problem by Ariana Grande ft. Iggy Azalea

Don’t you just want to pick them up and eat them? Well you can’t, so stoppit! They have a strict non-cannibalism policy when it comes to themselves as band members. You can however find out a whole lot more about them though…

You can stalk them at their web page over here, on the Tube of Youing over here, on that most Instant of Grams by clicking here, or on the Twitterer as @AnecNote and you can even get hold of an original never-before-worn AnecNote t-shirt to display yourself as a true Groupie or AnecNotie as they are not called. 

Have you ever heard AnecNote live? How would YOU describe their gig?

duncshower

This is my buddy Dunc, who is my best friend from school and who tbV and i are currently staying with while we try find a place to live [as well as his wife Megan and sons Connor and Ryan].

Three times a week he intentionally causes me a lot of pain…

…and it’s great!

Wounds from a friend can be trusted,
    but an enemy multiplies kisses.

Well, to be more accurate he ensures that i am in the place of pain.

i usually use that verse from Proverbs 27.6 in the Bible to talk about accountability and someone who is not scared to love you well by telling you when you are doing something foolish or hurtful. But in this case it’s slightly different, although i guess still a form of accountability, as Duncan is my 100 push-ups partner.

When i was in Stellenbosch i did this before about four years ago, and i think both of us are quite skeptical as to how i could have finished it back then, but Dunc was doing it when we moved in and so i joined him.

It is a six week program that you can find at hundredpushups.com although the reality is that if you don’t complete a week you do it again and so we are on week ten or something but in week 5 of the program. Today we attempted sets of 20, 20, 24, 24, 20, 20, 22 and then as many as you can with a minimum of 50. All with 45 second intervals in between.

i use the word ‘attempted’ as mine looked a lot more like 20, 20, 24, 24, 13, 13, 13, 18 which as you can see is far off the mark.

But it is also 145 pushups in about 15 minutes, which is not such a bad thing. Especially as we go on to do five different arm muscle builders with some hand weights.

What makes it easier though, and far more enjoyable, is that i have a good buddy doing it with me. And even more than that, no matter how crap i am, he is constantly cheering me on and telling me how good i’m doing. He nailed all of them except the last one and i was short on four of the sets [having given blood yesterday, as he kept telling me, may have had some small effect] and yet he keeps on shouting out, “Good work, buddy. You’re doing great.”

pushups

We’re probably a couple of weeks away from bottles though.

So friends who push you to be the best you can be, who hold you accountable, who challenge you three times a week to do something that will stretch you and cause you a fair deal of pain but which will have good results in the end… you can’t buy these with money.

And i truly do have some of the best friends in the world…

Who hurts you? i would LOVE to hear about someone in the comments section who is your Duncan… tell us a story!

And of course, who are YOU Duncan to?

rob

From Chapter 20 of ‘Robert Sobukwe: How Can Man Die Better’ by Benjamin Pogrund:

‘We [Robert and Benjamin] had three days of incessant talking and sharing emotions and thoughts. My dominant sense about him was his optimism about himself and South Africa. It helped him to endure the experience of being plunged back into the reality of everyday apartheid living. We also went through the details of a brotherly pact. I would continue to do whatever my means allowed to help him and the family, whether financially or otherwise; there would be a minimum of thank yous. In due course, if our roles were ever reversed and I landed up in need of help, he would help me to the best of his ability – and again, with a minimum of thank yous. Both of us would be frank in stating our needs and what each of us could do for the other. As Sobukwe was to say in a later letter, ‘the truth between us; that is our bargain.’ 

Short and to the point, but this paragraph stood out to me. Both for the strength of the brotherly pact between two, on the surface, very different looking men, and for the slogan of honesty. We will say what we need and we will do what we are able to and with a minimum of thankx. The realisation is always that if i am in your shoes the same thing will happen. What a strong bond and a challenge to us in our friendships. I can list many names of people in my life who have been this for me or done this with me. I’m not giving to you so that one day you will give to me. I am giving to you. One day you may give to me. Whoever can meet the need, does. Love it.

[For the next part on being the bigger man, click here]

Continuing sharing some thoughts and extracts from the really great book i just finished, ‘Robert Sobukwe: How Can Man Die Better’ by Benjamin Pogrund and if you missed the first ones, you can catch up over here.

Who better to kick us off on the topic of criticism, than my good friend Jack Handey:

jack

This extract is from Chapter 20 and this is Benjamin, the author, speaking:

We had to delay our first meeting. I could only get away from Johannesburg and the trial over weekends, and he [Robert Sobukwe] was available for only part of the time because of his house arrest restriction. It was a tough period in the trial, I told him, as the prosecution was summing up its case ‘with a flood of abuse flung at Gandar and me and our attorney [Kelsey Stuart, who had four years earlier, cleared my reports on jails for publication in the Mail]. Had it been justified and related to facts one could not and would not mind. But it has all been entirely unrelated either to actual events or to our evidence, so I have found it sick-making… and at an extraordinarily low intellectual level.’

Sobukwe was now following the trial day by day as the Rand Daily Mail reached Kimberley by lunchtime on the day of publication. Once more he stepped in to give comfort, at the same time reflecting his own ability to retain tranquility in the face of the poisonous attacks on him over the years: ‘Yes,’ he said, ‘the prosecution had a field day: a real stryddag [an Afrikaner party political rally]. But what my attitude has always been, Benjie, that what matters is what my friends think of me. It bothers me not a damn what my enemies think of me or say of me. They would not be normal if they showered me with compliments.’ 

i feel like there is some good wisdom there in terms of being comforted and encouraged by those who know you [and like you] – it can be helpful to listen to those who think differently from you for sure, as that is often how we learn – listen and weigh up and hold on to the good and let go of the bad – but not to take everything your detractors say about you on board [yes, i imagine this includes faceless comment trolls!]

[For the next part looking at a brotherly pact, click here]

Lisavd

10 years ago, I was never going to get married. I was a single mom, had my own house, my own business and my own car. I had the freedom to do what I wanted, when I wanted, and with whom I wanted.

I was happy. Until one day I wasn’t.

I had broken up with a man whom I thought I loved, and I was just so tired of hurting and fighting. Frustrated I ran into my garden and started shouting up at the clouds. My neighbour must have thought I was deranged, shouting out loud and shaking my fists. I told God, as I supposed that was who was up there, that if he thought marriage was so fabulous, and such a great idea, then he should choose a man for me. My exact words were “please mail him to me, because I sure as feathers (actually I used a rather less delicate phrase), wasn’t leaving my house to look for him”. I stomped back into my house, poured myself some coffee and burst into tears.

A few weeks later at a total loss about my life, I asked a friend to take me to church. One of the nights, I went to a meet and greet at church, and I sat looking around. I spotted Cobus and smiled at him. I hadn’t said a word to him, but as I looked at this man, God told me that this was my husband. I thought I had lost my mind and left.

I went home that night and in pure shock, blocked Cobus out of my thoughts, and forgot about him. A while after this I was saved, and had a quiet conversation with God and told him that I was ready for him to change my life. Months after I was saved, a friend emailed a group of us inviting us to a function and I replied to “all”. Cobus was on that list, and he took the opportunity to email me and invite me out for coffee. That date became dinner and a year and a half after that, we were married. (Remember how I had told God to mail a man to me!).

The point in sharing this story with you, is that I want to tell you what I believe you as a single person should consider.

God knows what is good for you, what is right for you and especially what you need. It is not that you are not thin, rich, good looking or available enough. The problem is that you are trying to do Gods job. You are enough but you don’t know what makes another person function. You don’t know their pains, their dreams or their beliefs. These are things that you only learn after you meet someone. God knows these things about each and every one of us. So surely it stands to reason then, that he should know who would be good for you, better than you would.

I have not walked an easy path, and my childhood left me broken, angry and making really bad decisions. However, the moment I let go and asked Him to guide me, I made good choices and the best of these was allowing my husband into my life.

It’s not an easy thing to do, which is why you need God’s grace. You sit on my couch and tell me how you were meant to be alone, and that is why you have your sport/ job/pets/ friends which keep you busy and leave no time for romance. I don’t believe that. God made us to love one another, and be in community with one another. How then can you say that you are meant to be alone?

I believe that God is my Father in heaven, and that he wants the very best for me. I know this, because I as a parent, want the same for my children. I cannot force them to trust my judgement, my experience and my love, but the moment they ask me for help and allow me in, I will be there for them. I know that God is the same.

I’m not saying settle and be with anyone so that you are not alone; I am saying trust in the Almighty to choose the very best for you, because that is what He wants for you and what you deserve.

Yours in being blissfully married, 7 years on.

Lees. x

[For more stories of what Married Friends would like their Single Friends to hear, think about, and know, click here]

chrisjacobs

Where do you even begin to describe the real challenges associated with singleness vs. marriage? I run the risk of making myself incredibly vulnerable by the detail I share in this post, but to most of your readers I am a “relative stranger”, so whilst there may be some risk, I believe sharing may benefit some and in turn out-weight the associated risk.

I’ve been reading through your, and everybody else’s posts and have found myself literally laughing out loud! This is not because I think anyone here is a joke, it’s because I’ve been in exactly the same place as all these people, and reading the common response from our family and friends is genuinely humorous! It’s a kind of mix between christianease and self-help mantras from Oprah or Dr Phil! Sure, these things are expressed with a well-meaning heart, but that never guarantees how they will be received. Allow me, however, to share my own thoughts and experiences…

For some context, I’m a 30 year old man, single, never been married either. I’ve had a couple of long-term relationships (18 months – 4.5 years) and have desired to be married for a long time now. Now I know what some of you are already thinking, “Buddy, you’re only 30…” To help you understand my position, this is coming from the guy who wanted to be married from as early as 21!! So sure, I don’t fit the typical male stereotype in that I actually wanted to be married, but that is just who I am. To give you more context, I come off the back of a 4.5 year relationship where I believed we were going to get married, but didn’t. Since then I’ve tried twice to date again, and both times failed dismally…but that’s another story for another time.

Things that I wish my married friends would hear or know, well there’s a lot. I think the overarching idea that married people need to know first is this; trite little answers do more harm than you would begin to imagine. I’m not second guessing my family and friends’ genuineness, but you have to take into consideration that we’ve (singles) probably already heard it all before, and we all know what is said about familiarity breeding contempt. One of the things which most single people will have to battle with at some stage is the mental gymnastics of “am I meant to be single or have I just not found a compatible partner?” Nobody has ever even come close to giving an answer to this question, and I feel that perhaps this is either because I haven’t heard a valid answer, or because I personally have too much personal resentment with the idea of being single till the day I die, and therefore don’t care to hear the answers from anyone.

However, what I must say is this; I believe that the biggest irritation that married people cause is actually elevating the position of the single person, i.e. you’re free to do whatever you want, “I wish I was still single, there is so much I’d do!” Don’t get me wrong, freedom is great, and I love being able to do whatever I want…but for the guy who’s wanted to be married for easily that last decade, I believe life is best shared. The fact remains that we always desire the next stage of life, and that could be anything, marriage, kids, boarding school, varsity, retirement, the goal is essentially not what’s important here, it’s the state of your own heart. So elevating your singleness as something to be grateful for is a good as not making the podium at the Olympics and being told that it’s so awesome that you made it to the Olympics! The real issue is, are you content or not? Period. I don’t personally like to think this way, because most days I’m not content with where I am and that leaves me feeling pretty disillusioned with life, but on the odd occasion that I do feel content I can only thank my Creator for everything I am and have and will ever be, knowing that even if all I have is Him, then I am still doing pretty damn well!

Practically speaking, married people shouldn’t handle us singles with a 10-foot barge pole with a bar of soap on the end, nor with kid-gloves. We’re still the same people who will sometimes accept and sometimes decline to attend social gatherings. We understand that your time will be more scarce because you are married, and sometimes even more so if you have kids, but what’s important is if you make even just the occasional effort. Include us in your life, and in the spirit of any good salesman, don’t make up my mind for me!

You know, this doesn’t even take into account that some single people just plain choose to be single, and if that’s their choice, then leave them be! They shouldn’t be looked down upon or pitied, that’s what they want and that’s ok.

One particular thing which I believe most marrieds don’t get is probably the most painful of the lot. speaking out of my own context, the vast majority of marrieds I know and associate with, if not all of them, have never had to deal with the rejection associated with a failed relationship like that of mine. i.e. 4.5 years. I genuinely believe that the world we live in today has a different way of viewing relationships and commitment, and so to hear of people giving up on relationships, whether dating, engaged or married, is not uncommon. So for the married people who have found a friend who became the spouse, and are still trucking along together, you have no idea of the challenge associated with finding somebody who will chose you and chose to stick with you. The reason why I say this, is because the older you get, the higher the likelihood the pool of singles you associate with (and date) are in the same boat as you, i.e. broken-hearted in a state of repair as you begin to trust another person with your heart. I’ll be the first to say, two slightly broken-hearted individuals do not make a whole!! The point I wish to make here, is really about the way in which marrieds don’t understand this, and they don’t understand that we will probably never find some “pure, spotless and untainted individual” like they did because life in the western world has a fantastic way of hardening and callousing the hearts of those who have to “go it alone”. (Wow I’m starting to hear my own angst here…)

There’s no recipe or sure-fire approach to dealing with singles as a married couple, but at least if all you married people can hear this stuff you’ll understand our hearts a little better.

[For other thoughts Single People have wanted their Married Friends to know, click here]

[For some thoughts from Married People on what they would love their Single Friends to know click here]

friends

So it kind of took me by surprise today when i wandered through the Relationships tab on my blog and realised there was no tab for Friendship.

Which is one of the most important relationships one can have. Family is family but you get to choose your friends, and all that.

i am so super grateful for the hundreds [and this is no exaggeration, i feel quite confident i could rattle off a list of 100 great friends, not just acquaintances either] of friends i have who add so much to my life. and really hope that i in some small measure do the same for them.

i do honestly believe that God has given me an increased capacity for loving a lot of people [maybe it’s just a pastoring gift, i don’t know] but when i look at the quality of people in and around my life, then it is also fairly obvious to me how easy most of these people are to love.

So this blog is in need of posts about Friendship and stories of Friends and we are going to put that right, right now.

But i did a search through my archives and found that i have at least written some Friendship-related pieces, which i will add here:

What Kind Of A Friend Are You, Anyway? This post pretty much asks that question, and gives some examples of possible answers.

The Friend Test – Another What Kind Of Friend Are You question, but this one focusing on what happens if a good friend hurts you badly?

I am Thanx-Filled for my friends – This Thanksgiving inspired piece that i wrote in the States, naming some of my friends and inviting you to do the same.

The Art of Holding a Friend’s Head Under the Water – you know, as one does. But actually the life-giving experience of getting to baptise a friend.

Cheering Section: The Art of Mentoring – I believe there can be a huge overlap between mentorship and friendship and especially the principle of ‘Wounds from a Friend’

More Friendship posts are on the way, but in the meantime i hope you will find something helpful in there.

And in the meantime, there is always a clip or two of my funniest moments in the hit sitcom ‘Friends’ to keep you going:

Funniest Friends Clip ever - My favourite Friends clip

Funniester Friends Clip ever – Just kidding, it’s this one!

What i am looking for is posts from people who name [cos let’s face it, we have enough name and shame to go around] a friend of theirs and share one of the things that really stands out for them about this person’s friendship… if you would be interested in contributing, drop me an email with a glimpse of what theme your post will be on… for a series titled, ‘One thing about my friend…’

 

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 606 other followers

%d bloggers like this: