Tag Archive: fight

i’ve been blogging for a little over two years now and i enjoy having a space to write my thorts or share my actions or be seriously silly or intriguingly insightful and a whole host of other stuff in between…

and in that time it is the stuff i’ve written on relationships that has been the most widely read… so from ‘How to Love Your Woman Better’ to keys to ‘having a good marriage [ideas submitted by friends i know who are married well]’ to the ‘i kissed dating series’. Then, recently, the first of the Taboo Topics series i have started [trying to look at issues that a lot of people have but rarely discuss] was really successful and hopefully assisting a lot of people who have struggled with losing a baby. A few brave people sharing their stories in the hope that it will bring encouragement, inspiration and hope to others going through the same thing.

so those are the blog topics that have really got a lot of attention… but there have been two other topics/themes/people that have popped up in my “TOP SEARCHES” spot on my blog, and, would you know it, as i go to find out what it is called, it proves my point… so before i announce the point, let me share with you today’s top searches which led people to my blog:

brett fish anderson, john ellis christian, brent fishes blog, never once did we walk alone, john ellis tree63

ha ha, when i go to check yesterday’s to see if they match up, someone reached my page by asking the question, “why did matt redman leave soul survivor?” i fear that will be a question that is never truly answered to my satisfaction…

and so that is the answer – from week to week to week, the two things that keep popping up in searches for my blog are ‘John Ellis’ who i blogged about possibly two years ago [and more specifically, ‘is John Ellis a christian?’], here and also here… and matt redman and more specifically the words to his song ‘never once did we walk alone’ which i posted a while back over here…

i am not really sure why those two topics have been the ones that continue to lure people to my writing [which feels like it happened so long ago – why is no-one searching for ‘somewhat funny bad afrikaans accent instructional warning-of-potential-danger you tube videos’ because surely that is something people are struggling to sleep at night for?] but i thort it would be interesting to pose the question in the subject line, because i already know the answer.

i have met both matt redman [interviewed him on CCFM radio many years ago, connected with him briefly at Soul Survivor Holland and was an attendee at a Matt Redman/Chris Tomlin/Louis Giglio panel discussion held for a bunch of worship and church leaders a couple of years ago at Jubilee church in Cape Town] and john ellis [mc’d for the band when they were still called Tree and i was a dj at CCFM, emailed a few times and had coffee with him in KZN two years ago, hung out with him when he gigged in Stellenbosch and mc’d a gig where he performed as himself at Arisefest in KZN in 2010].

and so when you take the question, ‘who would win a fight between matt redman [never once did we walk alone] and john ellis [formerly of tree63]?’ the answer is definitively that john would win. no doubt. because matt redman would not fight!

the first time i met matt i was a precocious know-it-all radio dj for a christian radio station and yet, as much as i asked him if he was a vegetable which one would he be? and other lame questions like that, all he wanted to do was talk about Jesus.

the second time i was around him he was one of two co-worship leaders at the Holland version of Soul Survivor [2001 i think] and i remember the one time the other worship leader antonie fountaine was leading a few thousand young people in worship and matt moved over to the side of the stage and sat with his legs dangling over the edge of the stage, playing his guitar and just really being out of the way of it all. just screamed ‘humility’ at me and any time i have been near or around me i have never seen anything to suggest otherwise.

and then there is john ellis, who has a song called “come out fighting” which i enjoy, as i do most of his first solo album. and having spent a bit of time with him and watched him do one or two gigs is quite a fitting description of the kind of head space he is in at the moment [or was, a year ago]. i really enjoyed my one on one coffee date i had with john two years ago – we have a similar sense of humour and have been inspired by some of the same books. he has an incredible gift in terms of writing and playing and singing, there is no doubt about that, and when he uses that for Jesus he is a force for the kingdom of heaven, that the gates of hell will not stand against…

but then we had an unfortunate incident at the gig i was mc’ing that he played at, and it’s not important to go into details, but the bottom line was that we went from being friends and him buying me a coffee before he went on stage and then cutting all contact off with me a few days later when he reacted to my blogged response of the incident. more than a year later and i have tried on a number of occasions to make contact and see if we can discuss what happened or move on, and i even emailed him during the writing of this blog [which is now into its third day] to let him know i was writing something and offering to send it to him before i posted it in case he wanted to approve/comment and am still to hear from him…

i don’t know if this is the right space or way but i have tried a lot of ways to connect with him and at the moment anyone who does a search for john ellis and ends up on my blog, gets the early stuff i wrote which was about giving him a chance and the benefit of the doubt and having a conversation with him… i figure there are a few people who read this who know john and so maybe you can pass on the message… some stuff happened, a long time ago now, and it’s beyond time to make up and talk it out if necessary or just move on… how about it john?

someone once said [and it has been repeated by a lot of someones since then] “Preach the gospel always. When necessary use words.” and for me, that statement has always felt more like an excuse from those who don’t want to say the name ‘Jesus’ than an encouragement to live out what you believe. because the reality is that it has to be both… if you only ever speak the good news and it is not lived out, then it will have no meaning, relevance or authenticity to those hearing it… and if you only ever live the gospel but never speak the name Jesus as the author and reason behind why we do what we do, then there is going to be a lot of good done, but no or little opportunity for life-transforming life change.

so the phrase i am working on looks something like this – “Preach the gospel in what you say and how you live. When necessary, refrain from words.”

Up to your cross I crawl
Now I am standing ten feet tall
Jesus my savior look what you’ve done for me

Free at last I’m free
I owe you my life completely
Yahweh Yahweh look what you’ve done for me

so blah blah blah botswana trip…

we went up with our friends dreadlock mike (dreads) and nancy the twin (twin) and two of their friend couples and i could possibly blog a lot about living with all three for the week…

but the one i want to briefly write about is a couple who were mike and nancy’s groomsman and bridesmaid respectively… a physio for the sharks and a high level manager type product control person for a cement company (and quite possibly not the way around you would expect them to be but both are doing brilliantly at their jobs)

brent and zeldy. married for three years. but together for eleven as they dated for 8 before that. but what a couple. i commented to val the one night that brent is just such a model of a servant in a marriage as i constantly would see him getting drinks or food or a chair or whatever it was for his wife, and not that it was a one sided thing at all (i think i just happened to more notice when he did it cos sadly it doesn’t seem to be like such a normal thing with guys, at least to the extent that i noticed it that week) cos zeldy definitely appears to be an amazing servanthood wife as well, but it was just such an incredible thing to witness

in galatians paul writes that ‘the only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love’ and i think that describes what we saw of their relationship – both what we saw and what we heard about how they invest in other peoples relationships and make an effort spoke strongly of an active faith and reflection of God’s love to each other…

i really want to just honour them as a couple – we asked them if they fight and they said not really – they have disagreements and moments when one or both gets a little hard headed about stuff but “we worked out that stuff long ago”

in an age when strong marriages appear on the wane, it is exciting and worth honouring and uplifting and drawing attention to when we see those that are strong and worth learning from and so brent and zeldy, thank you for showing us what can and is being lived out.

Cursive Wry T’ings

so TBV (the beautiful Val, my lovely wife) and i arrive at a pastor’s breakfast this morning and as we walk upto one of the pastors there he looks at her and says says something along the lines of, ‘So you have to put up with this hey?’ or some other kind of jesty vibe dunno-what-to-say-so-let-me-open-my-mouth-and-see-what-spews-forth witty reparte’… he was trying to be funny and it was fine… but a little while later they were introducing some new people to the meeting and the one dude’s wife was there for the first time and when she indicated she was with him an ‘oh shame’ or something emanated from someone’s mouth…

no big deal right? just a joke.

i have heard weddings where the pastor or best men make jokes like ‘marriage is like a phone call in the middle of the night – you get a ring and then you wake up’ and a hundred variations of that.

it’s just a joke. lighten up. it means nothing.

but actually i feel very strongly that it may mean quite a significant lot!

in fact for my wedding to TBV 4 months ago (this wed) we banned people from any negative wedding humour saying that for our special day we only want to hear stuff that builds us up and blesses and speaks hope and so on for the future.

if we look at the statistics (not a big statistics fan but these ones are pretty sound whichever way you look at them) we see that marriages as a whole in South Africa (and the western world at large) are not doing so great – in fact we are doing badly – as a nation we suck at marriage – and taking it further if you look at the stats of Christian marriages here they are no better – pretty much exactly the same as non-Christian marriage stats… as Christians we suck at marriage…

could it be that to some part where we curse marriage (in jest by little comments we make and insinuations and jokes breaking down marriage) verbally that curse takes up home in our lives (an invited guest)?

i am not saying that negative jokes/comments about marriage are the reason for our high divorce rate. but i am saying that i don’t think they are healthy and that they start to imprint the smallest suggestions or hints of ideas that we may later cling to as truth. and that can have disastrous results.

a marriage does not end in a moment – it is eroded over time – like water from a waterfall flowing onto rocks below that have become smoothed with age, gradually worn away again and again until they are no longer there.

and so i strongly urge you to speak blessing into your relationships and over your relationships and especially into/over other peoples relationships. speak life into them and not even a hint of pulling down. marriages and in fact all relationships are difficult enough (constantly under external attack) without us adding anything to make them even harder.

let’s FIGHT TO REVERSE THE NORM!!! we made bold declarations at our wedding that we want our relationship to succeed and that we hold ourselves accountable toall our friends and family who witnessed it and that we see them as being responsible for assisting us in living out a good and Godly and positive and role-modelling relationship.

relationships do work. marriage can succeed. But it’s largely about being intentional and persevering and fighting for and loving (with Christ’s self-sacrificing love) and doing that day after day after day – killing compromise and pride and dealing decisively with anger and selfishness and more.

my name is brett FISH anderson and i am VERY HAPPILY MARRIED to THE BEAUTIFUL VALERIE and i will fight for that as i choose her again every new day. how about you? let’s do this thing!

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