Tag Archive: Deborah Dowlath

this is something that my friend Deborah Dowlath reminded me in her simple blog post, A Drop in the Ocean which included this line:

I wish that followers of Christ would be as vocal about the injustices that occur on a daily basis as they are about the progress of their favourite team.

and this passage:

Romans 12:2

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

i think what strikes me the most is that i hadn’t thought of it this World Cup yet until i read her post.

it is something that has bothered me a lot.

and maybe, for a moment – which has passed, thankfully – i gave up on being bummed by it, because what is the point…


# when a new Star Wars movie comes out, people line the blocks for miles sleeping outside, sometimes for days, to get a ticket.

# when your favourite band is in town, you will pay an exhorbitant amount of money for a ticket to a live show.

# last night my mind wandered to the place of trying to imagine – i had no chance – just how much money was spent on fireworks in the Oakland area alone, let alone the United States of Americaland or the world… hm, let me see if Uncle Google has anything on that… [according to Eric Dye over here, it is over $600 million spent on one day’s entertainment although with the conscience-easing quote of ‘You wouldn’t ask Michelangelo how many buckets of paint he used to paint the Sistene Chapel, would you?’ but ending with the more provocative question:

With a nation in debt and a world full of needs, it makes you question the wisdom of burning-up $600 million in one day, doesn’t it?

# don’t get me started on how i get ‘attacked’ on social media [usually by christian friends] for daring to suggest how ridiculous it is to me that football/soccer players are paid millions of dollars in transfer fees [which you can translate to $20 million for an actor to star in a movie or whatever it is singers, politicians, business owners take home]


i totally believe there is a moral question in here for everyone to be asking, and if we are looking at redressing the balance of the world where [small percentage] of the people own [ludicrous] percentage of the stuff, this would be a good place to start.

but specifically for people claiming to follow the ways of Jesus, this feels like an even deeper, more pertinent question not too many people seem to be asking, or answering.

i remember a few years ago when i helped organise a New Year’s Worship event at a megachurch building in Cape Town where we were hoping to have thousands of Christ followers from around the city coming together to worship God into the new year – and we did. i was purposeful about letting the countdown into the new year take back stage [or no stage at all if i’d had my way] so that we could focus on what really mattered. but somehow it still happened and i remember being broken by the fact that 2 to 3 thousand people seemed more excited about counting backwards from 10 than they were about worshiping the Creator of the Universe and Saviour of their lives.

one of the main reasons we were not allowed to use the same church the following year and the only complaint we received from the church leadership [most, if not all, who had not been at the event] was that we didn’t give the New Year’s countdown a big enough focus. It is clearly important that people are given the best opportunity available to count backwards from ten.


then surely this picture would look different.

if we truly believed that there is a God, who created the Universe in a moment [or a million years of moments] who came down to earth and lived among us to save us from ourselves and that this God desired to have intimate and profound world-transoforming relationship with us and involve us in the redeeming of this planet and this people, then surely we would be inspired to do a little bit more than simply attend a meeting once a week and throw the excess money we have in our wallet into the bowl out of guilt as it passes us by.

if we love God more than the Football World Cup.

if we love God more than Star Wars.

if we love God more than U2 or Mumford or The Smashing Pumpkins or One Direction or Beyonce.

if we love God more than J.K.Rowling or Johnny Depp or Lionel Messi or Manchester United.

if we love God more than fireworks and Christmas presents and turkey and chocolate eggs and bunnies.

if we love God more than Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, You Tube or Pinterest.

then surely, surely, SURELY, things would look different. things would be different.

because clearly we are so much more excited about SO MUCH OTHER STUFF.

does that mean we don’t really believe?

or that we simply see the God part of our lives as significantly less of a priority and focus than a bunch of other things?

“let the person who has no sin cast the first stone.”

i definitely am not without sin here. i HAVE to start this question by asking it to myself. and it is one i wrestle with.

having just returned from a week of speaking to young people about Jesus on houseboats on Lake Shasta, i can definitely say with no doubt that speaking to people about Jesus and writing about Him is one of the things that gives me the greatest joy and feeling of life in life. so passion for God and the things of God is definitely up there.

but there are definitely many areas where my excitement and passion for other things is out of sync and definitely a lot of time spent on things that could be spent on better things. definitely a lot in my life needing to be wrestled with and some changes to be made.

one question i am hoping to better figure out after our next transition [coming August 6th] when we move back to South Africa is which of the ‘least of these’ i should be engaging more with. that feels like a call that has been placed on all of us and something most of us could be more intentional about.

what about you? i would LOVE to hear some feedback on this one based on what you see when you look into the mirror. are you doing well? is this an area that needs some more attention from you? what is your response to the idea that we tend to give so many other things so much more focus, attention and out-of-control passionate support and celebration?

and what does this verse mean to you?

Romans 12:2

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.



Here are simply a collection of stories from people who have lived in countries or areas of diversity and have a race theme to a part of their story which they have so graciously decided to share with us:

Meet Deborah Dowlath [Trinidad and Tobago]

Meet Kevin Lloyd James Lok [South Africa]

Meet Caley Daniels [South Africa]

Meet Susan Hayden [reblog of ‘Disco Pants & a Mountain’ post]


The country where I was born.

The ethnic composition of my parents.

My gender.

What do these things have in common? None of them are sufficient to describe who I am.

As human beings, made in God’s image and likeness, we consist of body, soul and spirit. Being a Trinidadian born female whose parents have Indian, Portuguese, Chinese, Spanish and Caucasian ancestors are all factors which impact my body, but not my soul and spirit, which is what really defines my identity.

As a child growing up in an ethnically and culturally diverse country (Trinidad and Tobago) I never noticed the race of my friends, or even my own. I remember the first time I realised that I was different from the majority of my friends. I was fifteen years old, and our country had elected its first Prime Minister of East Indian decent. Talk of it being “our turn now” made me realise that people had voted based on race, rather than issues of governance. It also opened my eyes to the fact that I had East Indian heritage, whereas the majority of my friends were of African descent.

It was amazing to me, because I never chose my friends based on their ethnic background. My closest friends were those whom I connected with, because we shared the same core beliefs and values. There was an attraction at the level of the soul and spirit, which had nothing to do with our physical appearance. These are people who, like me, are citizens of the kingdom of God. We live according to kingdom principles, and this is what creates the bonds between us.

It is sad to me when society has so corrupted our understanding of identity that all we see is what is on the outside. It is one thing when I visit a remote tribe in Kenya that has never met a foreigner, to be surrounded by children who rub my skin to see if it will come off. It is a totally different thing for my 5-year old god-daughter to ask me, “Aunty Debbie, how can you be a Indian AND a Christian?”

The media has put far too much emphasis on the body. Our bodies are merely shells for who we really are on the inside. We have a responsibility to teach our children to look beyond what they can see, so that they can recognise people for who they really are.

[For more ideas, thoughts and stories on different aspects of Race, click here]

When my friend Deborah’s post on ‘What my Single Friends would like their Married Friends to know’ hit 1000 views, i figured that people were interested in what she had to say and so it would be worth seeing if she was up to writing a piece for the Taboo Topic on Singleness and turns out, she was…


Stages of Singleness

When I was 18 years old, I attended my very first Singles Camp. Contrary to the name, the purpose of the camp was not to ‘hook up’ single people. Rather, it was designed to help single people deal with issues that are peculiar to unmarried persons. There were a range of sessions, some designed to help persons prepare for marriage, others geared towards helping persons deal with some of the challenges of singleness like loneliness. I attended this camp for years, until I realised that some of the ‘little’ children whom I had counselled at our church camp were now attending Singles Camp; I had officially become an Older Single person!

I recognise that being single in my 30s is a whole different dynamic than being single in my 20s. If I am still single in my 40s, I imagine that will again be a totally unique experience. I would like to share the stages of singleness that I went through. Maybe you can identify with one of these stages, or maybe it will give you some insight about how the single persons in your circles may be feeling.

Studious Stage

From a young age we heard the mantra “Boys and books don’t mix”. I had seen first hand the devastation of my classmates who suffered their first heart-break, so I knew that I didn’t want to experience this. As a result, I engulfed myself fully in my studies, and the results paid off – graduating with First Class Honors as Valedictorian of my faculty at university. I was single by choice.

Social Stage

Thanks to my success in the previous stage, I was able to get a decent job that enabled me to rent an apartment and live comfortably. I now had the time (and means) to lime! I thoroughly enjoyed this phase of singleness; being able to engage in activities without having the responsibilities of a husband or children to restrict me; having the freedom to jump on a plane and travel to wherever in the world I wanted to go (mostly visiting my sisters and friends in the States and England). I was open to relationships at this stage, but (as I found out later) some of my male friends were intimidated by my responses to them in the Studious Stage, so they never made a move. I was single by consequence.

Sulky Stage

I didn’t have a problem when my friends who were my age or older got married – I was genuinely happy for them and fully supported in whatever way I could, helping with decorations, wedding planning, the works. When it started to get difficult was when the younger ones started getting married. That is when I started to question if anything was wrong with me. If I was as nice as people said I was, why did no one want to spend the rest of their life with me? There were guys who approached, but I didn’t feel the connection although some of them were nice. And the ones I did like were not available. I was single by circumstance.

Sold out Stage

It took heartbreak at the end of a relationship for me to recognise that ultimately, what really matters is my relationship with God. For me, being at the center of His will for my life is of more value than my marital status. My priority right now is serving God and bringing pleasure to Him with my life. If I get married along the way, great! But that is not my focus. Of course there are times when I wish I had that ‘special someone’ in my life, but in the meantime, God has surrounded me with amazing family and friends who provide the social, emotional and physical support in my time of need. I am single and content.

[For more inspiring stories from some amazing people on their own journeys of Singleness, click here]


The first time I found out that one of my close friends was getting married, I cried. A lot. Like if I found out she was going to die. I was only about 13 or 14 years old, but I felt that I was losing my friend forever. As I got older, I realised that it doesn’t have to be this way – I now see it as an opportunity to gain a friend, in the person of my friend’s spouse. Now, at age 34, most of my friends are married, so I have a lot of experiences, both positive and negative, with my married friends, and I would like to share some of these with you.

I appreciate when my married friends include me on their family vacations. While it is true that I have my own family vacations that I thoroughly enjoy, there is something special about going on vacation with my friend. Just the mere fact that I have been invited on their ‘family vacation’ shows how much they value my friendship, that I am treated more like family than just a friend. Also, it allows us time to have conversations that we may not have been able to have due to the demands of our divergent daily schedules.

I appreciate when my married friends trust me with their children. I love children, but since I have none that I have birthed, I love when my friends allow me to treat their children like if they were my own. I am grateful for the opportunities to fall asleep with a baby in my arms, and to see the excitement in their eyes when they go to the zoo for the first time, and to hear their laughs when we go to the beach, and to get cards on mother’s day saying “Thank you for all that you do for me”.

I appreciate when my married friends send me texts at random times just to find out how I am doing. It shows me that, although our lives no longer run in parallel, my friend still cares about me and makes the effort to let me know that they do. Sometimes months may pass until I next hear from them, but that’s OK, because I know that the love is still there.

I appreciate when my married friends are willing to make time for me when I have one of my “I need to talk to you” moments. Most of the times, just the fact that you make the sacrifice to hear my story is all I need.

But, my married friends are humans too, and there are sometimes when they do things that unintentionally hurt.

I do not appreciate when my married friends make insensitive comments about my singleness and then say “Just joking”. To me, it is never funny.

I do not appreciate when my married friends share details of their married lives with me that should just be between them and their spouse. To me, it is too much information.

I do not appreciate when my married friends ask me when I am planning to ‘settle down’. To me, I am already settled, because I am content in my present state.

I do not appreciate when my married friends who I have not been in contact with for a long time ask me if I have a boyfriend as yet. To me, if we were that close, I would have told you, so the question is unnecessary. I also do not appreciate the ‘as yet’ part of the question, as though it is understood that my singleness is a temporary state of affairs.

The truth is, I don’t know if God’s plan for me involves marriage. But the fact is that right now, I am single, and doing my best to live out God’s purposes for me in this season of my life. The best thing my married friends can do for me is to love me as I am, and don’t try to change me.

[To read what Chris Jacobs would like his married friends to hear and know, click here]

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