Tag Archive: enGAGE


at our enGAGE gathering last nite, MJ reminded us of this vineyard song where the chorus goes something like:

Bring me back to the place where i love the cross

Bring me back to the place where i’m on my knees

Bring me back to an undivided heart

Oh Jesus, bring me back to You

it’s a fantastic reminder of a phenomenally good place to return to regularly

five centimeters…

from a huge upset and a big chance of Bafana Bafana progressing to the second round of the world cup which no white person predicted (let’s be honest) – oh wait i mean expected cos i spent the whole week predicting a Bafana Bafana 2-1 win over Mexico and it was that close – just sent-to-meet-her’s past the post to deny what would have been an incredible victory

we decided to go watch in Kayamandi township where i used to live and found a restaurant (which was Amazink, no i mean that’s the name of it – it was pretty good though) and arrived early for the opening ceremony to find we were in a room slash courtyard/amphitheatre full of black-people wannabes (hey at least i lived there. ha ha. nah guilty as charged). and very few black people and were super bummed but fortunately we decided to stick it out and whe  the game started at 4 there was a brilliant mix of local (black and white) and foreign

and that’s how you gotta watch Bafana Bafana play. i remember watching England take on Germany in a pub in a London which is the way to do it, but for Bafana Bafana, that was the place – bunch of us from enGAGE (church) some with shirts, some (including me) with faces painted and many with vuvuzellas and just a complete vibe\

and when we scored! aw man. priceless. noise and chanting and singing and shouting and hugging and for the next twenty minutes absolute celebration (til they scored – man we came so close to holding them out – still think we gifted them that goal though by trying for offsides press – ai dangerous stuff, apparently) and it was really phenomenal

i would imagine the fan park would be number one prize (if you can’t make the actual game) but the thought of hours of travel and waiting and then hours of travel back does not do a lot for me – easy access toilet and drinks and a bunch of friends and new friends and a 5 minute trip home – i’ll take that

but ja, i think there is a lot more expectation now, especially watching how useless uruguay were against a not-much-better france – but sadly we will be in namibia namrocking and road tripping and so will probably have to come back to hear the results unless we can find a tv on the way… go team, you made us proud

last nite at enGAGE (our sunday evening vineyard church congregation weekly gathering) we held an open mic vibe

not after ‘church’, not on a different day to ‘church’, not instead of ‘church’, but as church, and it was great

it was a celebration of some of the talents and giftings that God has placed in different people in our group and so we sat around tables and munched on chips and sweets and spinach and feta rolls (as one does) we watched some Flight of the Conchords (a band parodying a parody band and they nailed it!) and heard some songs and saxophone and watched some magically illusioned tricks performed by the Roy (who also excellently mc’d the event) and some photos on the big screen and some poetry (in two different languages) and hung out and gave God thankx and vibed

and then everyone pretty much got involved in the cleaning (you know, all the smashed piggy banks and burnt cards on the floor curtesy of the Roy) and setting up of the hall and a bunch of us headed off to our weekly hangout at Ginos for some drinks and to hang out with American Phil just before he heads back home

some people, a lot of people, would not call what happened last night ‘church’ cos we didn’t read out of the bible or have an official worship team leading us in worship or have a thirty minute preach or any of that…

but we had biblical stuff happening, and we welcomed and celebrated and called on God and He was definitely there in the midst of us, we had some words on celebrating community and if you really wanted to you would find reference to all of it in Corinthians 12, and we definitely had some worship going on courtesy of Megs ‘mountain’ and other songs and Phil’s worship songs and the photos we got to witness and all the living in and celebrating of community we did…

i love being part of a church where that’s seen as ok, no more than ok, where that’s seen as church

i’m not saying that what happens on a Sunday week after week in traditional churches is not church, cos it is, or a part of it anyways, but i am definitely saying that other expressions, other celebrations, other gatherings, other instances can also be church as well

as one pastory type guy made a few congregations and gatherings awkwardly try join him in the past in singing this refrain to a Fall Out Boy parody chorus – “Church is the people, it is, not, the, place”

let’s break that box. let’s do church.

so last year sometime the beautiful Valerie and myself decided to take a day out of the week and make it meat-free – and so we chose a Thursday for reasons i can’t remember

[no that doesn’t mean on Thursdays we run down the streets giving away packs of bacon to people altho i can’t see how they wouldn’t appreciate it – the people i mean, not the bacons]

and we encouraged people in our community (our church congregation enGAGE and my weekly thort for the week community) to consider doing likewise

and then after talking about it for a long time we decided to start some recycling as well (and by that i don’t mean we would go out on our bikes somewhere and then repeat the route – oh wait, we don’t have bikes, who were those people?) and so we put some crates outside our place and now have space for glass and tins and cardboard and plastic

then after a while – and big piles of stuff outside our window – we actually discovered where we can take that stuff and so we started actually recycling [altho we are still needing to figure out what to do with the cardboard cos the BP does not have a bin for that] and last nite we told the guy who stays in the flat next to us and he has already started putting his empty bottles with out

and we wrote an email to the complex we stay in and they sounded positive and said they would bring it up at the next meeting and so hopefully it will become an official part of where we stay

my point is that as easy as it is to bury your head in the sand and pretend the situation is so overwhelming (which it seems to be at times) that why bother doing anything… or you can start somewhere – one couple not eating meat and doing a bit of recycling is not going to change the world, but one couple and their next door neighbour man? well who knows?

what are you doing for your planet? and the next generation?

that i am grappling with lately:

one of them is taking the incredible life-transforming simple-gospel stuff we are reading about in books like Shane Claiborne’s ‘The Irresistible Revolution’ and Erwin McManus ‘an unSTOPPABLE force’ and Rich Stearns ‘The Hole in the Gospel’ and even going back to the legen….dary Keith Green’s ‘No Compromise’ story and not just being excited and ‘challenged’ and ‘changed’ by it, and not just talking about it and maybe looking down on others who ‘don’t get it’ and all that and when do we actually start doing it and being transformed and changed – do we actually ‘get it’ or are we just excited by the idea? that is a tough one and i know my biggest problem is knowing the ‘how’ cos i am excited and i do think it’s great and i do want to live the simple passionate compassionate miraculous life to the full Jesus calls us to, but practically what do i need to do? question one i am grappling with.

part of question one is how do i justify the fact that i just spent R600 on an Eddie Izzard dvd boxset but don’t feel i can justify spending R700 to R900 for me and tbV to go watch him live (i guess that could be a problem with justifying both as opposed to either one of them perhaps) but then also not being able to justify someone else wanting to spend R300 on make-up for a wedding? why is mine okay and theirs not okay?

linked to that question will be that my lavish will be simple and ridiculous to Bishop’s Court residents and Saudi Arabia moguls but my simple will be wasteful and lavish and dreamed of for a typical Kayamandi shack resident – wealth and poverty can be relative to an extent.

question 2 regards being pastory type guy at enGAGE, a congregation that is part of the Vineyard church in Stellenbosch – are we really effecting change in the community or am i realistically simply just maintaining a small community of like-minded people? as in really, like what is really really happening there? cos if this year is all about just looking after 30 to 50 Christians and trying to make sure they are all still Christian at the end of the year and maybe a bit more Christian, then what the flippy flipperson? there MUST be more than this.

not needing answers (well, not from you) – just needing to ask the questions…

i have a friend called Roy (or Conrad Roy)

he is one of the new students who was in our church enGAGE this year and is now part of our leadership team for next year

i really like Roy, for a number of reasons:

he says ‘awesome’ a lot. now i don’t like it when people say ‘awesome’ a lot because i personally have reserved the word ‘awesome’ for God cos it seems a travesty when you say ‘God is awesome’ and then ‘that ice-cream is aswesome’ or ‘that hockey goal you scored last night, brett, was awesome’- it’s like you’re comparing God with an ice-cream – so for me i reserve the word ‘awesome’ for God. Roy uses it ALL the time and so it should really annoy me, but it doesn’t. because he is generally just so excited about life and everything in life that i think ‘awesome’ is his way of getting it out. and so his using the word ‘awesome’ is an expression of his zest for life and i LOVE his zest for life.

not only does Roy operate on a ‘glass half full’ way of thinking about his own life, but he will see his glass as full and overflowing and will look across and see your glass (which is smashed and lying on the floor) as half full and then offer you his. Roy has come and helped out my VOB hockey team a few times and is an amazing athlete (possible pole vault contender for next Olympicals) and i am not as good although have probly been playing the hockey of my life this last year and Roy has just been such a huge encouragement on and off the field and really helped me with my self-belief which in turn has helped me play better. in fact he set up my first of two goals i scored this season and was super stoked for me when i samessed him last nite about my second goal.

he is super animated when telling stories, especially bible stories which he starts acting out even without realising i think and is really fun to watch – again just his passion for the moment.

and he is super deep – still young and still a bit loud and can be distractive at times, BUT when he goes into the zone and starts speaking about deep stuff he has been thinking about in terms of life or God or church or sports for summer camp (which he is running – so amped to hang with him!) then he really is a deep thinker and you can see the quality of his realness.

so that’s why i like Roy (or rooi) – red spirited and highly contagious – and a definite leader in the future. And very privileged right now to get to call him my friend…

Rad day with church yesterday… twice.

So proud of my bossman Chris G yesterday morning cos after worship vibes he got up to say something and was deeply moved by what God was telling him to say but not being a hugely demonstrative person in nature he could only say he felt like hitting the lectern… angry with himself for all the crap he allows in his life (although didn’t use word ‘crap’ just in case Charis was hiding in the cry room maybe?) and just settles for and doesn’t deal with… and angry with the congregation for where they do the same… (all in the very Chris G key of not-making-anyone-feel-condemned-but-getting-them-to-think)

Then i got up to do an announcement about youth vibes for next year and a camp but before i did i got people to close their eyes and take time on what he had just spoken… and then launched into a twenty/thirty minute heart ministry/preach vibe really continuing on from where Chris left off cos he was too emotional within himself and just completely led by God speaking into the congregation and some specific situations and issues… totally unprepared…

And Chris pretty much abandoned his preach except for reading 1 Cor 12-14 from the Message and that was really cool – most proudest i’ve been of him i think (no, not proud, proud-est!) cos just a solid sense that we were led by God and did his business… and was spot on for where our church is and what they need to hear…

Then in the evening, although our enGAGE services have officially ended with departure of the majority of students, we are still meeting together (the remnant) and last night there were about 15 of us maybe and we chatted around the topic of speaking life or speaking curses/death into/over people and i was a bit nervous before we started cos it really could have been the shortest service in the history or last night but okes really got engaged and involved in and with the topic and it was really great. And we kicked bum in the cricket. But it felt like we kicked bigger bum just hanging out as Jesus followers. And that is a good thing.

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