Tag Archive: barefoot


bare feet church

i was busy painting my block for the uThando leNkosi wall painting project as part of our 67 minutes and a bit for Mandela Day yesterday when things got a little interesting.

A lady i had just met, assuming i guess, that we were a bunch of christians helping out with this project, decided to break some ice, by turning to those closest to her and asking, ‘What church do you go to?’

My friend Megan, one of my fellow improvisers, who had jumped at the chance to get involved, proudly exclaimed, “i am an enthusiastic atheist!” or something to that effect.

Not wanting to appear completely thrown by that little speed bump, my fellow painter declared, “Well that sounds like fun.” Again, my day-after-the-effect paraphrase. Painting resumed.

wall2

TAKE TWO

A while later Megan had moved on to another part of the wall and my new friend decided to try again and so i started to explain the most recent dynamic of visiting a bunch of churches since returning to Cape Town as opposed to particularly committing to any one. The conversation moved to the fact that she had Catholic roots and what did i feel about the Catholic church? i explained that i believe that the rest of the church has a lot to learn from the Catholic church in terms of holiness and respect and awe for God with the tendency of more modern day churches to adopt more of a Jesus-is-my-buddy approach.

She seemed to resonate with this and said that the one thing she couldn’t stand about a lot of the other churches she had visited was the lack of respect. “I really can’t stand it when people don’t wear shoes for example.”

“I was a pastor for six years in a Vineyard church and i never wore shoes,” i quickly and gently responded.

By way of back-peddling, i guess, she said something about the need for honouring the space and the occasion, like for example, weddings.

“I have conducted three weddings and did each of them barefoot,” i responded.

i went on to explain how i did it intentionally, using the story of Moses and the burning bush and the idea of taking off your sandals, for you are standing on holy ground. The picture of a marriage being something that God sees as holy ground, despite how the world has typically done what it can to reduce the idea to something more me-focused and consumerist.

i can’t remember what happened next, but i don’t remember continuing that conversation and so she very well might have found another part of the wall that needed urgent attention.

barefoot in church

TRUTH OR TRADITION OR BOTH?

For those of us who are part of the church, i believe it is so important to regularly take a step back and look at the things we do [and possibly also the things we like and appreciate about what we do]

Are there things we do which are simply tradition, done because everyone always did them since that time the first person did them, but not necessarily biblical or Godly things? And should we perhaps stop doing some of those?

Are there things we don’t do that might be things that are really good to do according to God and the bible and the history of the church?

Are there some that maybe fall kinda in the middle – fun and good things to do but not particularly called for by God or the Bible and we are free to make a choice as to whether we want to keep doing them or not?

Do we question? Do we critique? Do we regularly test the things we do? What affect might they have on outsiders, on visitors? Do we take time to explain some of the weird stuff and traditions when people are visiting?

Does what happens on a Sunday [if that is when we meet together as church] strengthen, encourage, equip and empower us for the work of being the church for the rest of the week as we work, as we family, as we sport and as we relationship?

If so, let’s keep on with it… happy churching!

well i could blog five hundred posts and i could blog five hundred more, just to be the man who blogged a thousand posts… something something dreadlock mike…

but i won’t, cos who would read them. in fact this is a me post so it doesn’t really matter but suffice it to say yesterday’s wedding between michael richard strauss and nancy leigh enslin at the secret garden resort in kzn was incredible.

really triply amped i got to fly up two days early and hang with dreadlock mike who is one of my favourite people in the world and we had some good fun times – from the doo-do doo-do doo-do do-do doooo of plants vz zombies that he greeted me with huge skepticism with but then got thoroughly addicted to (cue one 2am morning of play and me making sure he didn’t touch it pre-wedding nite so he’d write his speech and vows and sleep before the big day) to cucumber moments to coffee to chatting, we vibed completely and it was rad – and i continue to ask God to let us (me, tbV, nancy and dm) find an opportunity to be in the same region, ministering and living alongside each other at least for a season

then i got the double priviledge of doing the wedding ceremony (the preach and all other non-legal entities – their pastor hilton greig from harvest was brilliant slipping in and out with the legal stuff with complete flow and vibe) and master of ceremonyising the reception (cos the guy they asked couldn’t or didn’t want to and i was first sub or something – ha!) and on the one hand it was a complete vibe but it also meant i felt quite responsible for all things wedding most of the day

got to preach barefoot and relate it to moses and the burning bush and holy ground and how marriage is holy ground cos God views it as an important and incredible thing and how we (world and church) have tragically undermined it a lot of the time or viewed/treated it as a lot less than that…

second point was Joshua’s choose this day who you will serve but relating it to the new testament picture of marriage which is each person lifting up the other one and considering thier needs above yours – chief killer of marriage is selfishness while on the other hand if you can nurture selflessness you will have the foundations for a solid long-lasting marriage

third point was adam and eve in the garden – being naked in front of each other and feeling no shame – with the point being about vulnerability and intimacy – the closer you want to get to someone the more potential you have to give that person to hurt you – but that same potential allows them to love you solidly – to fully appreciate the beauty of the rose you have to risk the sharpness of the thorns – there are going to be tough and painful times in marriage but the intimacy and closeness achieved by allowing those to happen (and be resolved) is more than worth it

and then finished with a charge or challenge to the church that we are involved in their marriage – not in terms of overstepping boundaries or playing them against each other or anything like that – but in terms of prayer and accountability and friendship and finance and whatever else, we are standing up to the plate and putting our hands up and saying we will fight for this marriage alongside mike and nancy or a little bit off in the background but there if and when they need us – got everyone who said yes to the commitment to stand and we prayed for them

then the mc’ing of the reception went well – brief interludes for the tie joke and some private jokes aimed at mike and his family, largely involving cucumbers and theme tunes to plants vs zombies and just generally keeping things moving smoothly – and then totally taken down and taught a comedy lesson by his friend Phil in his Biff persona who was absolutely brilliant – and so amazing food, beautiful hot looking wife lady (always beautiful but when she straightens her hair and brings it – wow! stunning!), fun dancing vibes and a complete vibe which they couple completely enjoyed (and mike playing and singing the song he had written for nancy which was exquisite and heartfelt)

and as we were driven home by parents ‘o mike (a stunning stunning couple we have had so much fun staying with) with dj andrew in the back seat we were treated to an owl with a chicken (looked like a whole hen, was huge) swooping right across in front of the car in what seemed like slow motion – it was breathtaking…

here’s to the new Strausses and thankx so much for letting us be a part of your special day – love you guys immensely and look forward to being alongside each other sometime and doo-doo do-do doo-do…or as crazy dave would say “shraggle blurghy thruggharrgh shglarhy thslarrrrrrrrr”

or marrying the dreaded?

i am leaving in an hour or so for the airport to head for durban where on sat i will be marrying dreadlocked mike and nancy the twin (just in case there is any confusion about the nicknames i have given these two, mike has dreads and nancy is a twin… smooth.)

and i am so super amped – i have written my marriage licence test but i have yet to get the results and so i am not allowed to do the legal stuff for this wedding [which i am uber happy about cos imagine screwing that up – “hi guys, so by the way, you aren’t really married, i used a blue pen and not a black one, oops”] and this is my second time preaching at a wedding (with another one coming later this year for kleinbigfrans and michelleofprettynormalsize)

my first wedding was a young afrikaans couple who were fairly new to our church and asked me if i would do the preach and the first words out of my mouth were ‘can i preach barefoot’ [i preach at our sun evening enGAGE service barefoot normally and it was more of a joke than a serious question cos it was an afrikaans wedding and all and so i knew there was no way that] and they said yes and i couldn’t believe it, but decided to anyways and worked it into my preach (and they have been commenting very flattering stuff on my facebook statuses this week so i take it it all went pretty well)

and so when dreadlocked mike and nancy the drama student (and twin!) asked me i knew it was just a formality to ask whether i could preach barefoot and so when mike said “no” i was a little perturbed (cos after my first wedding i was ‘right, that’s going to be my thing, i will always preach barefoot at weddings!’) and surprised but they’re my friends and it’s their wedding and preaching with shoes on at their wedding was a thousand times more favourable than being barefoot in cape town while their wedding took place

mike phoned me the other nite to say they’d been discussing things and part of the vibe was they wanted to be them and they wanted me to be me and so i should preach barefoot and when i semi objected cos i really wanted nancy to be happy and have the wedding she always wanted mike almost commanded me to go commando, um i mean barefoot (that’s different hey? commando in the foot department? better.) and so i just might [but if not i will definitely be wearing my marvin the martian cartoon shoes with my black suit]

but the main point is i am so much looking forward to this wedding (yes, the title was just to hook you in to read it and look, here you are) and more importantly this marriage because of everything that it means – because mike and nancy are two of my favourite people in the world and i am really hoping a couple that we will be connected with for a decent period at some point in our lives and i am hoping for soon – and because marriage between the right people (and i really think these two are the right people) is incredible

what an opportunity to celebrate with two friends the start (or continuation) of a most amazing journey and to stand up with a group of friends and family and say “we have you on this. we have your backs. rely on us. use us. call on us. cry on our shoulders. borrow from us. invite us over” because as amazing as marriage is, it is not easy – well, sometimes, a lot of the time in fact, it really is, but you have two people each with their own crap and sin and issues and attitudes and morning or late evening personas and now they are sharing a space together always – and it is important to have a community of people who love you and will commit themselves to speak into the marriage, to leave space for it to grow, to ride shotgun for it when times are rough, to fight for it when those inside are feeling weak and tired or stressed out, to celebrate it regularly, and to draw strength from it…

here’s to mike and nancy and the start of a beautiful marriagetionship…

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