Tag Archive: bruce collins


So, the brett “Fish” anderson written book, ‘i, church’ is coming soon and the teasers and pre-show snacks will continue to drop to hopefully give you all a taste and make you excited for what is to come…

i was hoping for an end Feb release, but in the interests of not rushing it and having the perfect launch i am now looking at the end of March and hoping this is the final date shift. Still some small mistakes to be fixed like an horrendous one you might find in this book cover pic, but otherwise we are good and ready to go.

Hopefully launch details will follow soon – definitely be a big party in Cape Town once i can figure out the venue and possibly an intimate one in Stellenbosch/Somerset West and then if i can find a not-too-crazy-expensive way to get to Durban, a launch there and ditto for Joburg/Pretoria…

i showed the cover pic last week which still has some tiny tweakage to be done, as does this back cover, but this is largely what it is going to look like, come release day.

kirstensimscover2

i am super stoked for the work of my team [Heather Bailey and Linda Martindale with a class cameo performance by Kirsten Sims on Cover Design and big help from tbV with the wording] and something that was ‘pretty decent and ready to go’ even just a month ago feels like it is heading towards ‘Really great looking and feeling and can’t wait to release this on the masses.’ Which, as the author, is obviously a great feeling.

Does this look like something you’d be up to reading? Coming soon to a coffee-serving place near you…

Bruce Collins is one of my best friends in the category of ‘people i have hardly spent any time with at all’ – our spirits seem to connect strongly when it comes to God and life and relationships and things and i just love his passion and wrestling and honesty… he has a great gift for writing too which is why i am reblogging this post of his which feels like something i could have written… so much doubt and wrestling combined with so much of knowing…

i believe… help me overcome my unbelief…

Barista Bruce's Brews

I’ve read so much lately that challenges the central tenets of what I believe: mostly articles and posts ranging from the horrors perpetuated in the name of “Christianity” to the rational short falling of what we hold to be true a followers of Jesus.

I must contextualise this post a little, too: on a purely cerebral level, there are many things that potentially bother me about faith in Jesus. There are many “so-called logical” arguments that challenge Christianity that seem to make perfect sense to me; when viewed in isolation, of course. Furthermore, I don’t believe that the church has always allowed us to engage with our doubt. Doubt, in my experience, has always been frowned upon. Guilt has ensued. I think, however, that doubt is an integral part of authentic belief.

I digress.

Despite all this, I believe now more than ever before in the reality of Jesus: God…

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DAY 28

So great to see my good mate Bruce Collins blog-posting again [so great i couldn’t help but dive in and steal what he wrote] and so i hope you enjoy this prayer to meditate on from his Thanksgiving Series post 1 and i really hope you will head across to his page and subscribe so you can follow the rest of them.

Task: Read and reflect on this prayer which is definitely so relevant and resonative for me right now:

Jesus,

Thank you for being in control; for being God. I desire to desire you. I desire to be in a place of awe and renewed understanding of your greatness. I desire to live for you and not the affection of man. Your power and your glory overwhelm. And your love? What is that love? Where does it come from? I cannot fathom it or even understand why you would want to love me. But, thank you. Our world understands fickle, fleeting, changing affection but your love is called steadfast. What reassurance. What peace comes from that? I desire to love you as you love me. I desire to love you so much that my life doesn’t even matter. I fear I have prioritised so many things above you that I’ve lost my comprehension of how deep and sacrificial your love for me really is. WHAT you do for and in us flows out of WHO you are.

I am grateful that you are I AM; God.

I desire for my life to bless you; to bring glory to you.

Amen

Don’t rush it – the point is not ‘getting through another post’ – take time on it, read it again, go line by line, focus on individual words and phrases if necessary. If you don’t mean it right now, then let your prayer be one of asking God to make that prayer real for you right now. Enjoy.

[For the next Lent observance post in this series, click here]

 

 

i am participating in NaBloPoMo which is known as National Blog Posting Month in which the invitation or challenge is to post a blog every day [except on day 2 of the month when you are camping in a place with no internet signal even for your cute little hotspot device!] and for this one i decided to take up one of the prompts they provided:

Do you have a mentor? Tell us about him or her. Are you a mentor to someone else? Tell us what that relationship has added to your life.

mentori wouldn’t say i have a mentor. in fact the only story i tell of having a mentor is one i had for literally five minutes. a great pastory guy by the name of Craig Duvel who i have grown to respect in leaps and bounds over the years but who always lived in a province far away from mine [and since he moved to my province, i moved country so that didn’t help a lot]. i remember sitting with him at a camp and i think it was related to my struggles with pornography/masturbation at the time but his advice was, ‘Keep a Short Account with God’ and i have used that and shared that many times since then. He told a story of how one morning at 3am he was woken up and remembered some unconfessed sin in his life and how he went to the lounge and fell facedown before God and made it right with God… the idea being that you start a new day with a fresh slate not being burdened or judged by your brokenness or any recent mess you may have been the cause of. And it works. When we allow sin to build up, it is like building a tab at a bar – it gets to the point where it is more natural to say, “Stick it on my tab” than it is to really be grieved by it or want to deal with it. So any time you become aware of sin in your life, or anything breaking intimate relationship with Him then right there and then, or as soon as possible, deal with it, make right and if you need to make right with people too, then do it as soon as you can.

so only 5 minutes of mentoring, but it was completely helpful.

WHERE HAVE ALL THE MENTORS GONE?

for me it has usually been a story of either not recognising any older men in the contexts i am in who i respect in the sense that i would want them mentoring me, or that those people who i have seen with those things  just seeming so incredibly busy with so much other stuff that they would not be suitable candidates. i definitely had a mentor in my earliest youth leading role in terms of helping me lead and grow in confidence and maturity in a lot of leadership related areas, but i think to some extent we had a difference of vision and ethos and so it didn’t feel like the kind of mentoring i imagine, but i am completely grateful for his presence in my life back then and owe a lot to him.

but in the absence physical mentors in terms of men who are older than me pouring into my life it has become a combination of literary mentors [so the influence of passionate men of God like Keith Green and John Wimber and others who spoke into my life through the pages of books], peer mentors [so being co-mentored by good friends of a more similar age or even younger like Sean Du Toit, Bruce Collins, Rob Lloyd, Andy Pitt and i could go on] and also through men like Paul and Peter, David and Moses, and of course Jesus Christ. none of these were formal mentoring relationships, but through watching and listening and late night conversations and hearing stories of and from, these people spoke [and continue to speak] loudly into my life.

‘Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.’ [Proverbs 27.6]

i have absolutely loved this verse and i stand by it. if you do not have people in your life who have the invitation to speak honestly [and cause something that feels like a wound cos who likes rebuke ever?] then you are doing yourself an absolute disservice. Rob Lloyd has been one of those voices in my life [his description of me as reminding him of Paul – “passionate yet tactless” – is one that stands strong in my memory] and i have so much love and appreciation towards him for that and taking a quick look over myself, all of those bruises have healed in such a way that i can’t even remember where they were [but the lessons have stuck!]

so be mentored! it is so important – any fool who thinks they can walk this life well by themselves is one. and a good way to start is by asking – is there a man/woman you deeply respect or feel you can learn something from? Ask them if they will have coffee with you once a week, once a month. [hint: pay for it! This is completely something worth investing in – for the price of a regular cup of coffee or breakfast you can have your life revolutionised? seems about right] The worst they can do is say no. [Well, i guess the worst they can do is whip out a swordfish and carve their initials in your face but if that happens it is an indication that they were possibly not the right person to be mentoring you?]

and if you can’t find someone to ask then do what i did in terms of finding mentors and role models elsewhere. be careful not to pedestalise them – the closer you get to those ‘perfect’ people who are so close to God and so good at life, the more flawed you will see them to be, so stay grounded in admiring the Jesus in them and learning from that.

try and be mentored by a diverse crowd. if you are a white male [as i am] and only invite white males to mentor you [through the books you read, music you listen to, preaches you hear] then you are missing out on a whole lot of good life lessoning. invite someone from a different race or culture than your own. from a different gender. from a very different generation. and start with stories – listen to their life, hear lessons they have learned, obstacles they have overcome, failures they have endured and successes they have witnessed and been a part of.

it may not look like you want it to look. but if you are not being mentored it is largely your own fault. do something about it.

and perhaps a great way to start is to find someone who you can mentor, meet with regularly, intentionally pour into… but more of that in my next post…

[And if you have a moment to comment, I would LOVE to hear some stories of people who have mentored you in a way you found helpful]

[To continue to the next part on being a MENTOR, click here]

Their voices matter. 

collinses

I have 3 daughters. All beautiful. All unique.

All noisy.

There are many donkeys missing hind legs because of their incessant talking. It’s the easiest thing to tune this out. Their voices can so easily become white noise, punctuated by my “ums” and “aahs”, tricking them into believing that I’m actually listening.

That’s not how it works, though. Kids have built in “parents-are-ignoring-me” sensors. Either they’ll shout louder in order to be heard or, sadly, they’ll walk away, learning time after time that they have no voice and their opinions don’t matter. 

That’s why my wife, Yolanda, and I have decided to be intentional about listening. We make time in our manic existence (that’s usually around a meal or in the lull before bed time) to actively listen to our girls.

What does that have to do with being a world changer?

Here’s my take on it:

When we listen to our children and ask pertinent, probing questions, we will begin to hear what is being shaped in their heart. Their life’s purpose will begin to become audible. As we listen, we earn the right to speak. We receive an invitation to be part of that heart shaping. We have an amazing opportunity to help them understand their kingdom purpose. And, if they understand that, they will change the world.

I have no idea how my girls will change the world but I do know that they already are. I can hear it as they speak of the joys and pains of every day. I hear it as they empathise. I hear it as they pray with mountain-sized faith. I hear it in their tear-filled sobs and in the things that break their hearts.

My girls must know that they have a voice. I desire with all my heart that they understand that that voice has a kingdom purpose. I desire that that voice (their voices) will change this world.

[Bruce Collins is a close friend of mine and he loves Jesus, his wife Yolanda and three girls, coffee and then other stuff. He has a blog he seldom posts on, but when he does it is usually transforming and life provoking stuff which you can check out here]

[For more creative parenting ideas, take a look at this post by my United Kingdom cousin David Fee]

i am continuing this series which i feel has gone so much further than the initial email that got it started and has provided some valuable insights which needed a springboard to launch from. so am daily becoming more grateful for it as it has helped me share what i feel have been some helpful ideas about living life to the full.

what i am wanting to look at today is something that i have found immensely helpful in my relationship with tbV [altho still definitely have a long way to go] and in some of the conflicts i have been involved in in recent times [who, me argue?] and i imagine that the more i get this right, the more effective i am going to be in terms of challenge and even rebuke…

the concept is very simple: receive the rebuke/challenge/word of wisdom you are about to give… so using the email i received, let me for a moment assume that i had written it – i am ready to send it, but before i do, let me put myself in the place of the person hearing it and see what they receive…

rebuke

Brett, let’s be honest: your youtube videos suck. Big time. And I don’t even see the purpose in it.

hm, okay if i am receiving that particular sentence, is it going to make me open to hearing the message, or is it likely to make me angry or sad or antagonistic and make me react rather than respond to the heart of what i was trying to say?

i think it becomes quite easy once you make the time and effort to do that. that line is an easy one but sometimes we do need to deliver tough Truth to people we Love and it is not going to be an easy one to hear. by becoming that person hearing the message i will more than likely find a better way to deliver the message.

how would i receive a message that my videos are a waste of time? the word ‘suck’ followed by ‘big time’ is probably not going to be the best way, right? and as i mentioned yesterday, by changing a strong statement into a question, maybe i can ease towards a time when i am able to share that, ‘well honestly, i don’t think they’re a great use of your time.’ i know that as a person who regularly has to do a stock take on how i use my time [cos i do tend towards getting caught up in addictive things altho often very silly and time-wasting ones] i am aware that that can become an issue and so i am likely to listen to the message and take it to heart if it is presented well.

on the other hand i don’t want to water down the message so much [if it is a strong message that really does need to be heard] that the point of it is lost completely. but i think this is where relationship comes in – i try to be accountable to everyone – as someone with an audience, as a Christian leader in different areas, i am aware that that is a crucial thing to do. but at the same time it is the people who i have specifically invited to speak into my life – people like Regan Didloff, Rob Lloyd and Bruce Collins, people like Mike dreadlock Strauss and Mandy Hunt and of course my wife Valerie [and a bunch of others] who get a much stronger invitation to speak more directly and harshly where necessary. Val will be able to tell you i don’t often take it well in the moment [does anyone like to be told they are wrong?] but that i will take the criticism to heart and more often than not think about it for a while and then make a response to it later.

a clue i can share with you is that accusations such as “you always” or “you never” don’t go down well in arguments or even received emails – questions are good as well as “i feel that…” or “i think…” statements which allow space for you to be possibly wrong instead of just loading something on to the person you are speaking to…

so i encourage you next time you are about to write an email or have a conversation with someone that requires you to share a tough Truth [in Love] to take a moment and try and receive it in the way you are about to give it, and see how you would respond and whether it is worth taking another minute or two to figure out a way that you would receive that particular message well. i believe this will help give your message a much needed boost and possibility of getting through to the person you are engaging with.

let me know how it goes…

[to continue to part V: a glimpse into the why, click here]

People.

I love people. That is how I am wired. I want to be with people. I want to love people. I desire to be deeply immersed in living life with others in way that hands get dirty and hearts get broken.

I don’t always get it right but do feel that God has enabled me to do these things: to love unconditionally, to embrace without judgement, to listen, to discern ways out or ways in and to walk in the mud and mire with others, holding their hands, taking them to the Rock.

This love for people, though, can so easily become an addiction. My desire to love, embrace, listen, discern, walk in mud, hold hands and point people to Jesus can so easily turn into a popularity drive with me in the lead vehicle.

You see, I want to please you. I want you to like me. More than anything, I want your approval. I want you to see me. I want to be your saviour. Yes, you read correctly. It’s that bad. See how easily that strength can become a twisted, self-seeking monster that does not bring glory to Jesus?

These days, it’s less of a battle than it used to be. For more than 20 years now, I have engaged this colossus, eye to eye and sword to sword. I have learned to find my worth in Jesus and to listen only to the safe people who love me enough to encourage AND admonish me. I have learnt to run from false humility, saying thank you for valid and sincere compliments. I have learnt to love myself and I have learnt that your opinion doesn’t really matter. While you might be a great person, all humanity is fickle. There is only one constant and that is Jesus. He loves me: completely; unconditionally; sufficiently.

This realisation frees me up, once again, to love, embrace, listen, discern, walk in mud, hold hands and point people to Jesus.

catch more of this blogmaestro at his main blogging spot here or his father and daughters one here. [They are both worth the weight of a really heavy thing, in gold]

to read about my friend Lara and her Strength Weakness of SENSITIVITY go here

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