Tag Archive: bono


i know what you’re thinking? What absolute clickbait, right? How could Brett “Fish” Anderson possibly have stumbled on to a real and practical way to achieve peace [of the worldly variety]? Well, what if i told you right off the bat that one of those ways involves flourless pancakes? Exactly. Your mocking is not needed here, chaps. [Nor yours, chapesses although i doubt you’d stoop to that level – you’re just naturally better at some things].

But back to the most serious matter at hand, which was, of course:

WORLD PEACE

Everyone wants it. Most of us fight daily to wrestle back the hopelessness that easily pervades and fills us with such underpowering phrases as “It is only going to get worse”, “There is no hope” or “I can’t believe Telkom still hasn’t sorted out our internet, maybe this week”.

But, as previously, clickbai..um mentioned, i have found two definitive ways of achieving said goal [i don’t want to come across as arrogant and pretend these are the only ways to achieve World Peace cos none of these contain any reference to melted Lindt balls, all night Settlers of Catan sessions or a movie starring Chris Pratt, Kristen Wiig, Paul Rudd AND Johnny Depp, so clearly there may be others…] and here they are:

FLOURLESS PANCAKES 

That is NOT a typo. Actual pancake type things with no flour in them. Not to be confused with the flourless brownies i made from Nicky Lloyd’s mouth-watering recipe that one time when i somehow accidentally managed to omit the entire bag of flour or whatever it was and somehow they still magically and mysteriously tasted flippin amazing [you can leave out the flour, Nicky!]. And what is more we are talking only two ingredients. Three if you count the second egg.

Two eggs and a banana

And look how happy it is…

So to test the power of the internet and whether everything on it can be believed or not, i ventured forth just half an hour ago to test run something i saw but could barely believe. Two eggs and a banana = pancakes. i couldn’t believe it a lot more once i’d chopped my banana into slices like in the picture and added the eggs and had it mixed into a chunky liquidy mess that looked nothing like their i’m-pretty-sure-they-substituted-a-picture-of-actual-flour-filled-pancake-batter pic. So i dived back onto the internet to read, “First mash up the banana completely and then add the eggs.” [They used a lying picture – thankx a lot flourless egg pancake consortium! You have betrayed my trust already, but fortunately i am too far in and so will have to continue].

Then i grabbed a hand whisk and tried my best to get it looking like the fake picture they had submitted which was suspiciously flour-coloured and didn’t look much like the bitty goop i was trying to tease into something more nourishing looking. When i stick my concoction in the frying pan it didn’t look much better and kinda resembled the mess that happens when you’ve finished making your french toast and throw the rest of the egg batter into the pan for a horrendous omelette type creation that NEVER tastes nice.

And then suddenly it happened…

A minute or so i looked back into the pan nervously and an amazing metamorphosis had taken place. Where my squiggly messy omelette flops had been floundering, were now some legitimate looking pancake types and i started to get really excited and hopeful. Like when there is news of a new Star Wars movie happening at the end of the year. But still quite nervousful. Like when there is news of a new Star Wars movie happening at the end of the year. Cos, you know, Jar Jar.

pancakes

But they worked and they were amazing and you should totally try them and if everyone in the world who was fighting or doing bad things to other people in the world just stopped for five minutes and made themselves a batch of two-eggs-and-a-banana flourless pancakes, then at least for those five minutes, the world would be a more peaceful place. Mission very much accomplished. [But seriously, try them and come back and report how amazing they taste!]

EXCHANGE BAGS OF MONEY

i see some of you are still a little skeptical about my Definitive and Practical Ways of achieving World Peace, and if that is you, then handing over bags of money is sure to win you over. Because money, right? Well, at the risk of losing the ‘But what about all the poor people with no bags of money?’ people, bear with me three more minutes [and by that i don’t mean have my children] and take a read of this.

I have been reading this book whose cover is below that i’m sure you can read the title of, and really finding it enlightening.

book

i am still very much quite new in the trying-to-understand-what-is-going-on-in-the-whole-Israel-vs-Palestine-conflict thing and have people [well, a person] telling me this book is more than likely evil [because the internet told him] but i have found it a really interesting read and have learnt a lot about life and nonviolence and perspective along the way. But this morning’s story felt like a must share and if we could harness the heart out of this one, then surely actual World Peace cannot be too much further away:

‘Four thousand years ago, two brothers lived near each other on a hill by Jerusalem. They each had their own farm, but they shared a threshing floor. Every year they would bring in the harvest and divide it equally between them. They they would take the grain to their farms and sell it in the market place.

One of the brothers was wealthy but had no family; the other had a family but was poor. One night after the harvest had been divided into equal measures and taken to each brother’s home, the wealthy brother lay awake in his bed, thinking, “I need just enough grain to pay for my food and servants. But my poor brother, he has so many mouths to feed. He needs the money more than I do.’ He rose up out of his bed and went down to his granary. He lifted up as many sacks as he could carry and started to walk toward his brother’s farm. Just around that time, the poor brother was lying in his bed, unable to sleep: “I have a wife and children who will take care of me and the farm if anything happens to me. But my poor brother – if something happens to him, he will have to pay to be cared for. He needs the money more than I do.” Quietly, so as not to disturb his wife and children, he rose up out of his bed and tiptoed down to his granary.

He lifted up as many sacks as he could carry and walked toward his brother’s farm. The two brothers met midway between their farms, their arms laden with the sacks of grain they were carrying to each other. The full moon shone down upon them as they dropped their bundles and ran to embrace each other. And God looked down and smiled.’

According to legend, on this site Jerusalem was built. With this kind of a spirit, Palestinians and Israelis can move together toward a just peace.

Yeah? World Peace anyone? Bags of grain, bags of money, a loaf of bread, an invitation to a meal round our table, learning the language of ‘the other’, hearing each others stories, giving to people rather than projects… so many streams leading downwards towards this river of World Peace.

Well, there you have it. i guess the irony of Flourless Pancakes followed by a story all about Grain which is used to make flour. i hear the strains of Bono in the distant background crooning out the words, “With or Without Flour…” and maybe something else about “And you give yourself away” or something…

[If you’re a parent, or know one, ‘How To Raise Your Children as World Changers’ might resonate]

so by now you have heard of the #neknomination phenomenon sweeping the world [this week at least]

apparently [and i say that because i haven’t actually seen any of the original versioned clips] it started out as a drinking challenge video clip game where someone downs a beer and then challenges his/her mates to up the ante and passes it forward

so stupid that two people in Ireland died from participating [this never happened with ‘Planking’ or so i thought until i read someone’s Facebook comment troll and apparently someone did die while ‘Planking’]

and then it hit South Africa and got turned ON ITS HEAD [yay us!] as first Brent Lindeque [and then every other SA #neknomination video i have seen] decided to use his for good and so instead of drinking alcohol, gave some food to a homeless guy and encouraged South Africans to show that we can do it better and use our #Neknominations for good.

pretty soon after that my friend Howie came to the party doing an impromptu visit and singalong and photo take at an old age home, spreading some cheer and good vibes, and it wasn’t too long before another mate Jono van Deventer was paying for some stranger’s shopping in the supermarket and serenading her in Spanish.

and nominating me!

48 hours before i leave the country – so my last two days in SA – did i mention #Neknominations have a 24 hour time limit in which they need to be filmed? Nice one, Jono. Oh and on a day where i was pretty much busy til 2pm and was cooking dinner for my mates at 6pm and my nomination arrived at 8 in the morning… game on.

THE MOST FRUSTRATING FRANTIC DAY OF MY LIFE?

so while driving in between meetings i am furiously trying to come up with a cool idea to expand on this new craze and then desperately text the people who might help me out [my TheatreSports improv crew who are all busy except Megan Furniss who is super amped but on a bit of  time constraint] and once we have the who then i can start working on the what, only to find out, with Megan’s time furiously ticking away that performing improv in the children’s hospital is not going to work because you can’t take photos of the children there for safety reasons…

same story at Marsh Memorial home… completely understandable but also pretty frustrating…

while speaking at Rondebosch Boy’s High School in between all this, i manage to film them shouting “Let’s nominate this in the neck” cos it seemed like it might be a little something i could slot into the video later as my mind whirls around to try and find a plan B.

Megan suggests dancing around in the traffic with signs inviting people to chill and smile and relax and laugh but we don’t have sign-making materials or much time and eventually i lose Megan…

down to me and now MJ, my other mate who has taken time off work to help me film nothing. oh dear.

THERE’S ALWAYS A PLAN B

so i come up with the almost-but-not-quite-AS-great idea of taking a bunch of donuts to a police station at night [yes, yes, always on the prowl for irony and with a bunch of mates coming over for dinner, i figure i can get them into the mix – in and out in twenty minutes – happy donut-filled police, video done and dusted]

one quick phone call later and it turns out you can’t just give donuts [or anything, according to the station manager i spoke to on the phone, “although call the Colonel tomorrow and see if you can set it up” – no sir, i don’t think you understand the time-constrainted motivation behind me popping over to fatten you up…] to the police… so donuts AND bacon was probably out on that count too and also for the risks of  overwhelming ironic encounter.

so no hospitals or kids homes and no police stations – this day is conspiring against me, and i need to go and start preparing supper for 11 people…

ONE QUICKLY PREPARED SUPPER FOR 11 PEOPLE LATER…

so day gone, time rushing away at a speed of knots, and my man Howard ‘Edit-Thru-The-Night’ Fyvie ready from 10.30pm to edit the video i don’t have… what’s a guy to do?

well, armed with donuts and some mixed video footage from throughout the day and a chance [invited] visit from my mate Richard Bolland who had been expressing some reservations about this whole ‘random act of charity’ thing, we did what we could and so i present to you [and to Bono and Joss Whedon who my #neknomination goes out to] my #Neknomination:

If you are on the Twitterer then please copy and paste this link [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SA8vaRX6xmc] and tweet it at @Paul_Hewson [Bono] and @josswhedon [Joss Whedon] and challenge them to take this challenge on… just imagine the effect this will have when they do…

jordi

Chatting to Jordi van Dyk, up and coming musician from KZN in South Africa and recent winner of  the recent Converse ‘Get out of the Garage’ competition [in which he won the chance to record an EP and perform overseas with his band]  i got the chance to dig a little deeper into who he is and what he is hoping to achieve…

[1] To start off, Jordi, tell us a little bit about yourself – you’re writing the inside cover of your autobiography, what kind of info and fun facts will appear there? 

I like to think that I’m very spontaneous, music and the thought there of consumes my everyday. The fact that music could create a special moment between me  and a complete stranger  blows my mind. Perhaps it would also state that I love pasta and ice-cream  way too much haha. 

 
[2] You are about to head into the studio to record your debut EP, ‘An Ocean of Clouds’ – something like that does not just happen overnight. Tell me, is ‘being a musician’ something that has always been in your blood or was it a bit of an acquired taste?

I grew up in a very musical family. My dad a guitarist/artist and my mom a pianist. My mother always says I could sing before I could talk…but I don’t think that’s possible. I think music is a little gift my father left behind for me to remember him. 

[3] When was the moment you realised that this was bigger than just something that you really enjoyed doing and that there was perhaps the possibility of doing this full-time and making music a career?

Music is all I’ve ever wanted to do but the defined  moment was once I had moved out of my mothers house and away from the little  luxury it had to offer. I found myself in a tough situation having to live off the bare minimal but yet I was still very happy ,doing my music, although it wasn’t financially rewarding just yet. I found that if I could still be happy in such a tough situation/environment then surly this is what I should be doing.

 
[4] What would you say is the influence for the music you write, both in terms of lyric and style?

I guess it’s a combination of the music I listen to, people I’m inspired by, the ups and downs of life and relationship. 

 
[5] Do you have a ‘guilty pleasure’ of band or singer whose music you love listening to but who is completely outside of what others might expect or be okay with?

yeah! Haha Dire-straits, Simon and Garfunkel, Katy Perry….these are just a few. I’m just a lover of good Songwriters and story tellers. 

 
[6] Some artists like to tell stories through their music, some simply choose to paint pictures for the listener and others prefer to lead the listener on their own journey of experience that there may not easily be words to describe – which of these three do you feel your music comes closest to doing and is it something you intentionally set out to do?

I love to take people on a journey but then at the same time convey some sort of story. I don’t intentionally do this…it’s so weird, it just happens. 

 
[7] How do you envision your music career going forwards? Do you have some kind of end goal of three grammies and a Disney soundtrack hit or more of a ‘Let’s just do this and see what happens approach?’

I would love to win a Grammy haha but I have no expectations. Someone once told me that if you have expectations you’re just setting yourself up for disappointment. I’m just enjoying the journey. I’ll do my best and see where that takes me.  

 
[8] Outside of music, what or who is important to you in life and do you find it easy to create a balance between something that is a passion and takes up so much of your time and those other things?

Outside of music,my fiancé ,family, friends and a relationship with God are very important to me. It’s not very easy to find the balance  but I’m still in the process of figuring it all out. 

 
[9] As a person who professes faith in Jesus, what place of influence does that have in your music? Is there any message you would love to give to the Christian Music market in general?

I don’t believe I  make “Christian Music”. I don’t either believe that there is such a genre. I Love Jesus Christ And therefore make Christ inspired music. My music is about life, it’s about the journey and the different situations I face from day to day. So surely if I have a day to day relationship with him it would have influence on my music. 

Bono once said-” the  worlds greatest musicians are either running from God or to God”. 

[10] You recently got engaged to the lovely Mel Armstrong. Has she been around long enough to have some kind of influence in your work and does she play any role at all when you have a finished song you are wanting some feedback on.

You have no idea how excited I am to marry this beautiful woman! She definitely plays a huge role in my life and in my music. She is always available to give me some advice and have listening session. I have written a few songs about this journey we are on together. It’s an exciting year that lies ahead. 

 
[11] Lastly, do you have any words of advice for other young musicians who are working hard at being noticed and hoping to be successful in the music business one day?

My advice would be: Just because you don’t have a desk doesn’t mean you shouldn’t work hard. It’s not the easiest career choice but if it is your passion, follow it with all your heart! Find the musicians you look up to the most and learn from their strengths and weaknesses. 

Thanks a lot Jordi. To take a listen to some of his music head on down to his website. You can also follow him on the Twitterer – @jordivandyk

Jordi’s debut EP, “An Ocean of Clouds”, should be available in March 2014!

Yes, he was just a man, and should never be seen than anything more than that [and just like all of us he was flawed and would be the first to admit it] but having said that he demonstrated with his life so much more than most men do and so he was a very special man and it is fitting that we take some time to celebrate and mourn and remember the legacy that MUST cause us to examine ourselves and see where each of us can live better.

Some images of some of the different aspects of Nelson Mandela’s life to remind us of his smile, his charisma, his life and humility…

Followed by some testimony from U2 lead singer Bono who in this article gives tribute to Nelson Mandela, specifically to his focus on poverty:

Mandela saw extreme poverty as a manifestation of the same struggle. “Millions of people … are trapped in the prison of poverty. It is time to set them free,” he said in 2005. “Like slavery and apartheid, poverty is not natural. It is man-made and it can be overcome … Sometimes it falls on a generation to be great. You can be that great generation.” It certainly fell to Mandela to be great. His role in the movement against extreme poverty was critical. He worked for a deeper debt cancellation, for a doubling of international assistance across sub-Saharan Africa, for trade and private investment and transparency to fight corruption. Without his leadership, would the world over the past decade have increased the number of people on AIDS medication to 9.7 million and decreased child deaths by 2.7 million a year? Without Mandela, would Africa be experiencing its best decade of growth and poverty reduction? His indispensability can’t be proved with math and metrics, but I know what I believe …

Reminding us of his humour and humility:

He had humor and humility in his bearing, and he was smarter and funnier than the parade of world leaders who flocked to see him. He would bait his guests: “What would a powerful man like you want with an old revolutionary like me?”

He finishes off the article by explaining why Nelson Mandela was the man who could not cry:

Laughter, not tears, was Madiba’s preferred way—-except on one occasion when I saw him almost choke up. It was on Robben Island, in the courtyard outside the cell in which he had spent 18 of his 27 years in prison. He was explaining why he’d decided to use his inmate’s number, 46664, to rally a response to the AIDS pandemic claiming so many African lives. One of his cellmates told me that the price Mandela paid for working in the limestone mine was not bitterness or even the blindness that can result from being around the bright white reflection day after day. Mandela could still see, but the dust damage to his tear ducts had left him unable to cry. For all this man’s farsightedness and vision, he could not produce tears in a moment of self-doubt or grief.

He had surgery in 1994 to put this right. Now, he could cry.

Today, we can.

I want to close this post with a tribute sung by Johnny Clegg and Peter Gabriel at the 46664 concert and one of my favourite African songs: Asimbonanga

Mandela

bonoi like Bono. He has always been one of my go-to ‘Dinner with four famous people past or present’ people [along with Johnny Depp and then i usually take time over the other two, tbV will obviously be hosting alongside me and we’re eating bowls of bacon pretty much]

With all the criticism he has taken over the years [and i imagine he will be first in line to admit how some of it may have been deserved] he still seems to me to be a far better theologian than a lot of the people who are being  ‘followed’, quoted and gushed over these days. One of the reasons i believe this is because he generally has a very ‘what you see is what you get’ attitude – he doesn’t pretend to be anything he is not, usually highlighting his flaws and just being honest about his way of seeing Jesus and religion.

Which is why i enjoyed the book ‘Bono on Bono: Conversations with Michka Assayas’ so much and would be super keen to read it again sometime. It strongly answered the ‘Is he or isn’t he?’ question relating to Bono and being a follower of Jesus that both the church and the media had played up so much when U2 were at their height. He doesn’t leave a lot of room for doubt.

I discovered an excerpt from this book on a site called ‘The Poached Egg’ the other day and reading through it again, i was just inspired again by some of the Truth that Bono speaks in it.

In this first comment, I feel like his first statement just nails it and then simplifies it in a way a lot of people could benefit from:

Bono: My understanding of the Scriptures has been made simple by the person of Christ. Christ teaches that God is love. What does that mean? What it means for me: a study of the life of Christ. Love here describes itself as a child born in straw poverty, the most vulnerable situation of all, without honor. I don’t let my religious world get too complicated. I just kind of go: Well, I think I know what God is. God is love, and as much as I respond [sighs] in allowing myself to be transformed by that love and acting in that love, that’s my religion. Where things get complicated for me, is when I try to live this love. Now that’s not so easy.

In the book, Bono is being interviewed by a journalist named Michka Assayas who he grew in friendship with over the years as their paths crossed. In this next exchange, Bono cleverly sums up the state of much of the western church

Assayas: Speaking of bloody action movies, we were talking about South and Central America last time. The Jesuit priests arrived there with the gospel in one hand and a rifle in the other.

Bono: I know, I know. Religion can be the enemy of God. It’s often what happens when God, like Elvis, has left the building. [laughs] A list of instructions where there was once conviction; dogma where once people just did it; a congregation led by a man where once they were led by the Holy Spirit. Discipline replacing discipleship.

And finally, Bono gives some thoughts on Karma [which he had often spoken about before as the way he felt things worked] and Grace and then, reminiscent of C.S.Lewis’s madman, liar or messiah speech, really puts the focus on Jesus and how He doesn’t leave you too many options in how you view Him:

Later in the conversation:
Assayas: I think I am beginning to understand religion because I have started acting and thinking like a father. What do you make of that?

Bono: Yes, I think that’s normal. It’s a mind-blowing concept that the God who created the universe might be looking for company, a real relationship with people, but the thing that keeps me on my knees is the difference between Grace and Karma.

Assayas: I haven’t heard you talk about that.

Bono: I really believe we’ve moved out of the realm of Karma into one of Grace.

Assayas: Well, that doesn’t make it clearer for me.

Bono: You see, at the center of all religions is the idea of Karma. You know, what you put out comes back to you: an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, or in physics; in physical laws every action is met by an equal or an opposite one. It’s clear to me that Karma is at the very heart of the universe. I’m absolutely sure of it. And yet, along comes this idea called Grace to upend all that “as you reap, so you will sow” stuff. Grace defies reason and logic. Love interrupts, if you like, the consequences of your actions, which in my case is very good news indeed, because I’ve done a lot of stupid stuff.

Assayas: I’d be interested to hear that.

Bono: That’s between me and God. But I’d be in big trouble if Karma was going to finally be my judge. I’d be in deep s—. It doesn’t excuse my mistakes, but I’m holding out for Grace. I’m holding out that Jesus took my sins onto the Cross, because I know who I am, and I hope I don’t have to depend on my own religiosity.

Assayas: The Son of God who takes away the sins of the world. I wish I could believe in that.

Bono: But I love the idea of the Sacrificial Lamb. I love the idea that God says: Look, you cretins, there are certain results to the way we are, to selfishness, and there’s a mortality as part of your very sinful nature, and, let’s face it, you’re not living a very good life, are you? There are consequences to actions. The point of the death of Christ is that Christ took on the sins of the world, so that what we put out did not come back to us, and that our sinful nature does not reap the obvious death. That’s the point. It should keep us humbled . It’s not our own good works that get us through the gates of heaven.

Assayas: That’s a great idea, no denying it. Such great hope is wonderful, even though it’s close to lunacy, in my view. Christ has his rank among the world’s great thinkers. But Son of God, isn’t that far-fetched?

Bono: No, it’s not farfetched to me. Look, the secular response to the Christ story always goes like this: he was a great prophet, obviously a very interesting guy, had a lot to say along the lines of other great prophets, be they Elijah, Muhammad, Buddha, or Confucius. But actually Christ doesn’t allow you that. He doesn’t let you off that hook. Christ says: No. I’m not saying I’m a teacher, don’t call me teacher. I’m not saying I’m a prophet. I’m saying: “I’m the Messiah.” I’m saying: “I am God incarnate.” And people say: No, no, please, just be a prophet. A prophet, we can take. You’re a bit eccentric. We’ve had John the Baptist eating locusts and wild honey, we can handle that. But don’t mention the “M” word! Because, you know, we’re gonna have to crucify you. And he goes: No, no. I know you’re expecting me to come back with an army, and set you free from these creeps, but actually I am the Messiah. At this point, everyone starts staring at their shoes, and says: Oh, my God, he’s gonna keep saying this. So what you’re left with is: either Christ was who He said He was the Messiah or a complete nutcase. I mean, we’re talking nutcase on the level of Charles Manson. This man was like some of the people we’ve been talking about earlier. This man was strapping himself to a bomb, and had “King of the Jews” on his head, and, as they were putting him up on the Cross, was going: OK, martyrdom, here we go. Bring on the pain! I can take it. I’m not joking here. The idea that the entire course of civilization for over half of the globe could have its fate changed and turned upside-down by a nutcase, for me, that’s far-fetched.

Bono later says it all comes down to how we regard Jesus:

Bono: If only we could be a bit more like Him, the world would be transformed. When I look at the Cross of Christ, what I see up there is all my s— and everybody else’s. So I ask myself a question a lot of people have asked: Who is this man? And was He who He said He was, or was He just a religious nut? And there it is, and that’s the question. And no one can talk you into it or out of it.

I follow Bono on Twitter and he doesn’t tweet all that much at all. In fact the one time he retweeted me, it was the simple message of ‘Love God, Love people… all the rest is commentary’ which i obviously got from someone else, but which sounds like a very Bonoesque thing to say…

You can read the full interview here.

 

“I think the church has lost its path, you know. It is so entertainment-focused. The true place of the church is here, where Jesus would be and we are trying to bring that back. We are motivated by convictions around justice, and looking at the life of Jesus, and the book of Matthew in which we learn to love our enemies. The job of the church is to be a sign of hope for a community and the greatest weapon we have as Christians, is love. At the end of the day Christianity is about sacrifice and the cross.” [Nigel Branken from this article by Jessica Eaton titled, ‘Hope in Hillbrow: ‘If Jesus lived anywhere, it would be here.’]

branken

The Two Cents blog I help put together [conversations on the intersections between FAITH and FINANCES with some JUSTICE thrown in for good measure] recently ran a deeply challenging article by Nigel looking at the difference between minimum wage and a living wage in terms of how we pay those who work for us. So not too much surprise that I discover that him and his family are practicing what they preach having moved into one of the worst trouble spots in South Africa.

In the midst of everything that has happened around us in Americaland such as the whole Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman shooting case which brought a lot of issues of colour to the fore], this feels like a timely word and example. As church leaders, families and individuals wrestle with trying to find an appropriate response and to journey with those who would return violence for violence [understandably to an extent as this is not an isolated incident but rather one more to add to a history of fear and prejudice] the example of this middle class South Africa family might have something to say:

Nigel takes me out to the balcony overlooking Kapteijn Street and points at all the people he knows. “The best way to keep safe around here is to know as many people as you can. If you know people, they won’t hurt you.”

This all sounds too familiar to my own journey of reading Acts 2 and 3 and looking at the early church and sensing something different from what it has become and the line about church being entertainment-focused does not sound too far from the truth for a large number of them at least. Having moved into Kayamandi township for 18 months and then spent some time at the Simple Way in Philadelphia, although I didn’t quite find the answers and resonance I was searching for there I certainly was introduced to some of the deeper questions and made connection with a variety of different people who are seeking out this Truth in very different contexts and ways.

Like Bono, I still haven’t found what I’m looking for, but I feel like I’m getting closer. Looking at Nigel’s motivation there are some similiar echoes and a call for me to head back to Matthew:

“I had been going through a bit of a journey myself … now obviously we are doing this as a result of our Christian faith and we looked at Matthew 5,6 and 7, huge scriptures for us, all about Jesus’s beatitudes and the same text that inspired Mother Theresa, Gandhi, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Martin Luther King and all of those significant leaders.

“They have all looked at those teachings of Jesus and have felt that their lives were totally different from how we live our Christian faith. And when I looked at those scriptures again five years ago, I was shocked because I realised my Christianity looked nothing like it.

So take the time to read this article and try and hear and see the sounds and smells of Jesus in their story and ask the difficult questions about your own life, the church you are part of, the mission Jesus really called us to. And if there is something that needs to change, then be bold enough to step out – start small if you must, but do something, because this status quo is starting to smell…

so one of my favourite funny people in life is a guy called Jack Handey who used to write one liners that were used on SNL such as:

“Whenever you read a good book, it’s like the author is right there, in the room, talking to you, which is why I don’t like to read good books.” [Jack Handey]

and:

“Laurie got offended that I used the word “puke.” But to me, that’s what her dinner tasted like.”
[Jack Handey]

or even:

“It’s too bad that whole families have to be torn apart by something as simple as wild dogs.” [Jack Handey]

some random, some funny, some randomly funny, some just clever and i really dig most of them. So much so that i decided that it is time for me to reach deep within my misdirected randomised humour machine and see if there is anything lurking there that might make people smile or gently laugh and hopefully even one day create a legitimate laughing out loud experience [milk or coke out the nose and i’ll have arrived!]

so i’ve started writing some brett [my first name] andy’s [shortened form of my last name, to avoid being sued] and i’m keen to have some feedback… this is my second list of brett andy’s to assess and i would appreciate it if you could read through them and highlight which ones you think really work and which your funniest one or two are [one of them i think is really horrible but overall i think as a whole they’re better than my first list]

“I wonder if Bono would have mixed reactions today if he stumbled upon that misplaced item from the past because, yes, I finally have found it after all these years, but the song has gotten pretty big.” [brett andy]

“It really messes with my mind that I’ve got memories of the last time I had amnesia.” [brett andy]

“Slinkies, the series ‘Friends’, Facebook, Terry Pratchett, microwaved chocolate, Johnny Depp, tall wild mochas, Survivor, polaroid sunglasses and astro hockey have all come into existence since the initial dividing up of our bread into toastable pieces. All I’m saying is, it’s high time we update that saying.” [brett andy]

“I sometimes wonder if the very first accident actually involved an axe and the groove that was formed in some surface due to the mindlessly casual swinging thereof.” [brett andy]

“I don’t understand why I have so much bellybutton fluff. I guess I’ve just been incredibly lucky cos I only really started collecting seriously a couple of months ago.” [brett andy]

“I really hate how Coffee keeps me up every night. Why my neighbour had to call his german shepherd that, I don’t think I’ll ever understand.” [brett andy]

“I wonder who the first person was who said, “Hey, why don’t we push a stick through a marshmallow and hold it over the flames and then eat it once it’s melted in the middle,” because that didn’t turn out so badly, did it?” [brett andy]

“I did a search for Spiderman on the web the other day.” [brett andy]

“A mare is simply an adult female horse. I’m just not sure why seeing them after the sun has gone down is so scary.” [brett andy]

“Walking underneath a ladder, after breaking a mirror, is considered to bring you extreme bad luck, especially when there are vicious snarling black cats, that haven’t been fed for a week, standing on every single one of the steps of that ladder. Oh, and also you’re a mouse.” [brett andy]

and another guest Mjandey from MJ:

“The problem with having female tribal leaders is that everyone would always try and make a pun out of Ms. Chief.” [Mjandey]

[to go straight to next page of brett andy’s click here]

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