Tag Archive: jerusalem

i know what you’re thinking? What absolute clickbait, right? How could Brett “Fish” Anderson possibly have stumbled on to a real and practical way to achieve peace [of the worldly variety]? Well, what if i told you right off the bat that one of those ways involves flourless pancakes? Exactly. Your mocking is not needed here, chaps. [Nor yours, chapesses although i doubt you’d stoop to that level – you’re just naturally better at some things].

But back to the most serious matter at hand, which was, of course:


Everyone wants it. Most of us fight daily to wrestle back the hopelessness that easily pervades and fills us with such underpowering phrases as “It is only going to get worse”, “There is no hope” or “I can’t believe Telkom still hasn’t sorted out our internet, maybe this week”.

But, as previously, clickbai..um mentioned, i have found two definitive ways of achieving said goal [i don’t want to come across as arrogant and pretend these are the only ways to achieve World Peace cos none of these contain any reference to melted Lindt balls, all night Settlers of Catan sessions or a movie starring Chris Pratt, Kristen Wiig, Paul Rudd AND Johnny Depp, so clearly there may be others…] and here they are:


That is NOT a typo. Actual pancake type things with no flour in them. Not to be confused with the flourless brownies i made from Nicky Lloyd’s mouth-watering recipe that one time when i somehow accidentally managed to omit the entire bag of flour or whatever it was and somehow they still magically and mysteriously tasted flippin amazing [you can leave out the flour, Nicky!]. And what is more we are talking only two ingredients. Three if you count the second egg.

Two eggs and a banana

And look how happy it is…

So to test the power of the internet and whether everything on it can be believed or not, i ventured forth just half an hour ago to test run something i saw but could barely believe. Two eggs and a banana = pancakes. i couldn’t believe it a lot more once i’d chopped my banana into slices like in the picture and added the eggs and had it mixed into a chunky liquidy mess that looked nothing like their i’m-pretty-sure-they-substituted-a-picture-of-actual-flour-filled-pancake-batter pic. So i dived back onto the internet to read, “First mash up the banana completely and then add the eggs.” [They used a lying picture – thankx a lot flourless egg pancake consortium! You have betrayed my trust already, but fortunately i am too far in and so will have to continue].

Then i grabbed a hand whisk and tried my best to get it looking like the fake picture they had submitted which was suspiciously flour-coloured and didn’t look much like the bitty goop i was trying to tease into something more nourishing looking. When i stick my concoction in the frying pan it didn’t look much better and kinda resembled the mess that happens when you’ve finished making your french toast and throw the rest of the egg batter into the pan for a horrendous omelette type creation that NEVER tastes nice.

And then suddenly it happened…

A minute or so i looked back into the pan nervously and an amazing metamorphosis had taken place. Where my squiggly messy omelette flops had been floundering, were now some legitimate looking pancake types and i started to get really excited and hopeful. Like when there is news of a new Star Wars movie happening at the end of the year. But still quite nervousful. Like when there is news of a new Star Wars movie happening at the end of the year. Cos, you know, Jar Jar.


But they worked and they were amazing and you should totally try them and if everyone in the world who was fighting or doing bad things to other people in the world just stopped for five minutes and made themselves a batch of two-eggs-and-a-banana flourless pancakes, then at least for those five minutes, the world would be a more peaceful place. Mission very much accomplished. [But seriously, try them and come back and report how amazing they taste!]


i see some of you are still a little skeptical about my Definitive and Practical Ways of achieving World Peace, and if that is you, then handing over bags of money is sure to win you over. Because money, right? Well, at the risk of losing the ‘But what about all the poor people with no bags of money?’ people, bear with me three more minutes [and by that i don’t mean have my children] and take a read of this.

I have been reading this book whose cover is below that i’m sure you can read the title of, and really finding it enlightening.


i am still very much quite new in the trying-to-understand-what-is-going-on-in-the-whole-Israel-vs-Palestine-conflict thing and have people [well, a person] telling me this book is more than likely evil [because the internet told him] but i have found it a really interesting read and have learnt a lot about life and nonviolence and perspective along the way. But this morning’s story felt like a must share and if we could harness the heart out of this one, then surely actual World Peace cannot be too much further away:

‘Four thousand years ago, two brothers lived near each other on a hill by Jerusalem. They each had their own farm, but they shared a threshing floor. Every year they would bring in the harvest and divide it equally between them. They they would take the grain to their farms and sell it in the market place.

One of the brothers was wealthy but had no family; the other had a family but was poor. One night after the harvest had been divided into equal measures and taken to each brother’s home, the wealthy brother lay awake in his bed, thinking, “I need just enough grain to pay for my food and servants. But my poor brother, he has so many mouths to feed. He needs the money more than I do.’ He rose up out of his bed and went down to his granary. He lifted up as many sacks as he could carry and started to walk toward his brother’s farm. Just around that time, the poor brother was lying in his bed, unable to sleep: “I have a wife and children who will take care of me and the farm if anything happens to me. But my poor brother – if something happens to him, he will have to pay to be cared for. He needs the money more than I do.” Quietly, so as not to disturb his wife and children, he rose up out of his bed and tiptoed down to his granary.

He lifted up as many sacks as he could carry and walked toward his brother’s farm. The two brothers met midway between their farms, their arms laden with the sacks of grain they were carrying to each other. The full moon shone down upon them as they dropped their bundles and ran to embrace each other. And God looked down and smiled.’

According to legend, on this site Jerusalem was built. With this kind of a spirit, Palestinians and Israelis can move together toward a just peace.

Yeah? World Peace anyone? Bags of grain, bags of money, a loaf of bread, an invitation to a meal round our table, learning the language of ‘the other’, hearing each others stories, giving to people rather than projects… so many streams leading downwards towards this river of World Peace.

Well, there you have it. i guess the irony of Flourless Pancakes followed by a story all about Grain which is used to make flour. i hear the strains of Bono in the distant background crooning out the words, “With or Without Flour…” and maybe something else about “And you give yourself away” or something…

[If you’re a parent, or know one, ‘How To Raise Your Children as World Changers’ might resonate]

[Sueihn was our housemate at the Simple Way – she has been an absolute pleasure to live with and it has been incredible to watch her connect with people and especially children on the block as well as with churches and organisations in the area – i tag teamed with her on Mondays to share lemonade with the people in the food lines as well as talk to and pray with them – i am so thankful for her bravitude in sharing part of her story here with us]

I’ve been boy crazy since the age of five, when I used to daydream about riding flying unicorns together with one of my kindergarten classmates. It only progressed from there – Leonardo DiCaprio back when he was on Growing Pains, countless other celebrities, and boys at school. Once adolescence hit and my teenybopperdom reached its pinnacle, so did my severe low self-esteem and depression, which began as melancholic sprouts in childhood. I thought the only solution would be to find a boyfriend and get married. Maybe then I’d feel beautiful and good about who I am.

As God healed me of the lies attacking the core of my identity, I also began to realize that marriage is not a cure-all. It has its blessings but also its own set of serious challenges, just as singleness has both its unique gifts and difficulties. I love the freedom that I have in making choices, especially spontaneous ones, without having to take into account how it would affect a life partner. I’ve never been in a serious relationship (had a boyfriend in 10th grade whom I dumped after a month and a half), so this freedom has given me the opportunity to have some unforgettable adventures and shenanigans in my 20s and now early 30s.

Though I enjoy the perks of singleness everyday, I also wrestle with the struggles, which were exacerbated by the loss of my dad from lung cancer in 2007. I know I’m incredibly blessed to have dear friends from all the stages of my life dating back to kindergarten, despite being horrible at staying in touch. The most tangible sign of God’s grace in my life is demonstrated through my friends’ love for me. Yet, no one loves you like parents or a spouse. You will always be the center of their universe. Since my dad died, I can’t help but to feel significantly less loved. And when my mother passes on, how much more bereft will I feel if I’m still single?

My dad was also my main source of verbal and physical affection. My mom is great at loving me through sacrifice and service, but I miss having tenderness shown to me in more direct ways. I recently saw a picture of Obama watching TV with his daughters, snuggling cozily on a couch with an arm around each of them, and it was a slap in the face since I no longer have a healthy outlet to experience that kind of physical connection. My friends are very demonstrative, but ever since my dad died it feels like embraces are too few and too fleeting. The only exception is when someone leaves a hand on my shoulder while praying for me – I don’t think others realize that this comforts me as much and sometimes more than the prayers themselves. Honestly, when couples show some PDA, I often have to look away to avoid feeling a shroud of cold emptiness wrapping around me. I don’t think that people should have to censor themselves in front of me (especially not the married couple I live in community with – that would be so unfair!), but I have to fight hard to continually abide in the embodiment of Love who lives in me.

I know that God’s attention is always on me, and that He sends signs of His affection in various ways, using interesting disguises – like the 4-year-old stranger who demanded to hug me on the street today, or the random female pastor that held me for hours while I poured out my grief at a conference last year. But I wonder if that emptiness will ever be completely filled in this lifetime because of the fallenness of this world (2 Corinthians 5:4). These days, I’ve actually been more comforted by communing with Jesus in any suffering of His, so that I might also share in His glory. I think about my trip to Jerusalem, when we visited the high priest Caiaphas’ house and descended to the tiny, dank dungeon where Jesus likely spent the night in chains before He was executed. As I listened to my professor read the most depressing chapter of Psalms (88 – it ends

with “darkness is my closest friend”), I realized that Jesus truly took on my pain, brokenness, and emptiness upon Himself. Any time I feel any twinge of loneliness, I think about Jesus’ own experience of abandonment and know that I’m not alone – my pain is a drop compared to the ocean that Jesus endured, and He went through it all to be with me forever.

Married folks, if I had to give you just one suggestion on how to bless your single friends, I would encourage you to celebrate their lives well. Weddings are very extravagant celebrations of the couple’s entire lives – complete with photo slide shows, speeches and gifts. There are also bridal showers, bachelorettes and engagement parties, along with baby showers later on. Sometimes I wonder if the only milestone in my life that will warrant this much commemoration (and money) will be my funeral. So, I decided that I would be more intentional about celebrating my own landmark moments. When I turned 30 and graduated from seminary last year, I threw myself my first party since the cake-fight incident of 1995 (my 14th birthday party). I also threw a going away party before I moved to Philadelphia. It was actually really hard for me to allow myself to be celebrated – I felt a nagging sense of unworthiness and shame. Then I saw that God is exposing and breaking down the barriers that are blocking deeper intimacy with Him, preventing me from receiving more of His love and loving Him more fully. At the end of this painful process, whether He uses marriage or not to help accomplish it, God will give me the greatest gift in existence – union with Himself.

[to read my friend Kate Hurley’s story of Singleness click here]

[For an inspirational post titled ‘I don’t wait anymore’ click here]

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