Tag Archive: fifa


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…

WHAT’S YOU DRUG OF CHOICE?

# 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]

THE IMPORTANCE OF COUNTING BACKWARDS FROM TEN

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.

IF WE BELIEVED WHAT WE SAY WE BELIEVE…

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.

Fireworks

2010 world cup standings

the world cup rankings have been released by FIFA and we came 20th out of 32 – not bad for a team that wouldn’t have even qualified for the event if we were not hosting it – hopefully inspire us on to greater things – note the previous world champs down in 26th – go bafana!

Fifa 2010 World Cup standings:

1 Spain, 2 Netherlands, 3 Germany, 4 Uruguay, 5 Argentina, 6 Brazil, 7 Ghana, 8 Paraguay

9 Japan, 10 Chile, 11 Portugal, 12 United States, 13 England, 14 Mexico, 15 South Korea, 16 Slovakia

17 Ivory Coast, 18 Slovenia, 19 Switzerland, 20 South Africa, 21 Australia, 22 New Zealand, 23 Serbia, 24 Denmark

25 Greece, 26 Italy, 27 Nigeria, 28 Algeria, 29 France, 30 Honduras, 31 Cameroon, 32 North Korea

[http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/world_cup_2010/8814195.stm]

so the other knight i had a way too intense discussion with a friend of mine on whether things like the Henry hand ball goal, the Maradona ‘hand of God’ goal, nicking behind and not walking in cricket etc etc are cheating or just incidents of luck and it’s up to the ref to spot them and if not then ah well…

and then the England Germany game happened and apart from me backing Germany and predicting a 4-1 scoreline before the game happened (yes yes completely lucky guess but got Argentina 3-1 over Mexico as well – if only i could convert that talent to my F1 dream league…) there was that controversial blatant should-have-been-a-goal and what makes it worse (for me) is that the goalkeeper seems to have admitted that he knew it was a goal and that he deliberately tried – and succeeded – to fool the ref

http://g.sports.yahoo.com/soccer/world-cup/news/german-keeper-feels-he-fooled-the-referee–fbintl_ro-germankeepr062710.html

deliberately trying to fool the ref into missing what was a blatant goal – to me that’s cheating, no question. and yes i think this is a little different from some of the incidents mentioned above like the cricket one where i get that it goes either way and so you get a lot of bad calls so why not take a lucky one when it happens (but still think that someone who nicks and walks like Jonty or Gilchrist or Amla has bucketloads more character than someone who doesn’t) so the question is did he cheat (and why the heck would he admit to it after the game anyways?) or was it just a lucky incident down to his quick reflexes and does it matter either way?

i do think Germany played better soccer and deserved to win…

BUT if the goal had been allowed and the score had been 2-2 the momentum would have been with England and it could really have changed the game around completely and we will never know that ever and so can only surmise which is a good word. and surely as a player (actually i doubt this for a lot of them) you want to win the world cup (or any sporting event) knowing you were the better team, not cos the other team was full of injuries or because you got some lucky but incorrect calls…

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