Tag Archive: kleinfrans


be where you are

at this present point in time my wife valerie [aka the beautiful val] and i are living and working and interning and ministering with the simple way community in philadelphia…

before this i was a youth slash student pastor [disclaimer: no youth or students were slashed during my time there] at a vineyard church in stellenbosch, outside cape town in south africa for 6 years. i remember the one staff meeting we had in the first year or so of my being there and my boss chris-the-boss asked me if i could be doing anything in the world what would it be? without skipping a beat i responded ‘i would be doing this’ and i meant it…

my second last year there i had a sense it was my last year at the church and told chris so but then during that year i met tbV and we were going to get married and she still had a year of study to do and so i ended up doing another year at the church because it seemed to make sense. and it was a very tough year in many respects – SO MUCH GOOD stuff happened and great relationships with people and so i don’t think i’d change it, but i definitely think that i would not have been able to answer that same question with as much conviction and really meant it or believed it. and looking back, i don’t know how i could have played it differently, because i don’t know where else i was meant to be, but maybe i should have been more focused in making sure i was in the right place.

i say all this in introduction because if my friend chris-the-boss flew over to philadelphia and took me out for coffee and sat across the table from me and asked me if i could be doing anything in the world what would it be? then the answer would be – living and working and interning and ministering with the simple way community in philadelphia – with absolute truth and conviction.

is it easy here? no. is it always comfortable? not a chance. are there times of being frustrated and wondering what we’re doing and what impact we’re making and could we be doing this a lot better? absolutely. but there is a knowledge deep within me that this is where val and i are meant to be at the moment, and that feels amazing.

i know too many people who are simply in a rut of doing the thing they’ve always been doing. a bunch of my friends feel pulled to something else and yet they continue on day in and day out going through the motions of what they’re doing. some of them will get to that new thing place, i have no doubt of that. but i worry about the ones who ten years from now will be sitting in the same place doing the same thing [nothing wrong with that if it’s the thing you’re meant to be doing, not talking change for change sake] and talking about the thing they should be doing.

which is why i get super stoked by my friend chris lindemann. and my friend bruce collins. and my friends kleinfrans [he’s not] and michelle. and my friend megan giggles. and my sister dawn and her husband glen who just moved back to south africa when the easier option i imagine would have been to stay in the uk. and my folks who continue to live life and not simply exist or settle.

what about you? if you could be anywhere in the world doing anything in the world, would it be that?

i have a cool friend called kleinfrans [he’s not] who is a really rad man, and he has a brain and thinkx about things and i think has some good stuff to say [and him and his rad wife michelle took us to play mashie golf, twice!] and so i wanted to stick up some links to the last three cool things he blogged about:

http://ishouldwritemore.wordpress.com/2011/03/04/is-hell-real

http://ishouldwritemore.wordpress.com/2011/03/02/zuckerberg-zombies

http://ishouldwritemore.wordpress.com/2011/03/01/the-book-you-believe-in

enjoy, comment, engage…

i stumbled upon the surprising blog of kleinfrans (he’s not!) thankx to Tsholofelo this morning and what a great read it is – you should check it out.

which will happen if you click over here…

so kleinfrans (who isn’t so) asked me to post the 8 slash 9 oops points from last nite’s preach on joshua in my blog so here they are:

i started with deuteronomy 34 vs 10-12 dealing with the death of moses

i then read from joshua 1.1-9, 1.12-18, 2.1-21, 5.13-15 and 6.1-27

[1] don’t let the ghosts of the past cripple you – be you! [moses was described as being one of the greatest men that lived and no-one saw such powerful miracles happen again as he had performed – tough context for a new young leader like joshua to be faced with – but God didn’t want joshua to be another moses, he wanted him to be a solid joshua]

[2] meditate on the bible – ‘Be strong and very courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their forefathers to give them. Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.’ [1.6-8]

one of the biggest shortfalls in the western church today is people not reading their bibles (and so the only bible they are exposed to is on a sunday if they are in a bible-preaching church) and people not knowing their bibles – how can we live the stuff if we don’t know what the stuff is? we need to be reading, chewing, wrestling, meditating, engaging with, living…

[3] play for the team – the Reubenites, Gadites and half-tribe of Manasseh were given land to the east of the jordan so they already had their land, but joshua calls the fighting men to join the rest of the israelites in crossing the jordan and claiming the land that was meant for them – only then could they return home and enjoy the benefit of the land that was already theirs – imagine the transformation that would happen in south africa if we refused a second jacket until everyone had one, if we refused a second meal… house… car… etc

[4] don’t look down on who God chooses to use – in the story of jericho it is rahab the prostitute who God uses to help conceal the spies and God rescues her and her family as a result – in fact all through the Bible from king shepherd boy to gideon to some of the prophets to the disciples to paul, God uses an assortment of strange unqualified people to do the work of His kingdom – and it works because God is with/in them – useless by themselves but with God unstoppable. and not just the people who God chooses to use but possibly the person He is wanting you to impact – everyone gravitates towards the cool people, the rich, the popular – but if you listen honestly it may be the lonely, the sick, the imprisoned, those with HIV, the prostitute, that He is wanting you to reach

[5] spy out the land – preparation is good, it is important to be ready. even if God is going to be working the miracle of bringing His people into the promised land and defeating jericho, it still makes sense to plan well so you can do your bit properly – so moses sends spies into the promised land and joshua sends spies into jericho – understand the context of where you are and what God has called you to. if you as a Christ-follower are not reading the newspaper or checking out a site like iafrica.com (four local headlines, four international headlines, four sports, entertainment, social headlines every day) to have an idea of what is going on in the world (miners trapped in mine, koran-burning threats by ‘pastor’, big strikes across the country) so that you can engage with people around you who generally will know what is going on and have questions and comments worth listening to

[6] recognise God when He speaks – joshua encounters an angel just before the battle and falls facedown in reverence – he recognises when God has pitched up (or sent a messenger) and acts accordingly – are we looking around in our daily lives for where God is already at work and where maybe He wants us to jump in and connect and engage?

[7] don’t look down on weird methods – the people have to march around the city for seven days playing musical instruments and then issue a loud shout – that kind of activity is frowned upon as a modern method of warfare – but when God is in it, it is going to work. gideon attacks a crazy huge army with a small group of men armed with trumpets and candles. david takes on a giant military commando with a little sling and some stones. Jesus one time spits in a man’s eyes to heal him of blindness (on another occasion He simply speaks a word and the man is healed) – and so if God tells you to do something and it seems a bit weird, then maybe it still is God

[8] honour the word you have made – the spies make a deal with rahab that if she stays silent about their whereabouts and hangs a scarlet cord from her window, she and all her family will be kept safe. one of the biggest christian lies i have experienced is “i will pray for you” – i used to say it to people a long long time ago and i used to really mean it and i used to really forget half of the time. which is not good. we need to be people of our word. Jesus goes as far as saying don’t make promises because your word should be valid enough. so if you say “yes” then it’s a yes. period. the world has a picture of christians who say one thing and then do another.

[9] worship God: ‘The city and all that is in it is to be devoted to the Lord. Omly Rahab the prostitute and all who are with her in her house shall be spared, because she hid the spies we sent. But keep away from the devoted things, so that you will not bring about your own destruction by taking any of them. Otherwise you will make the camp of Israel liable to destruction and bring trouble on it. All the silver and gold and the articles of bronze and iron are sacred to the Lord and must go into his treasury.’ [6.17-19]

And so in summing up, following Jesus on a daily basis and engaging with Him and God’s kingdom is like crossing the road:

[A] Look both ways – see what God is doing – understand the context – ask God to show you where He is at work and where He wants you to be involved

[B] Listen – let God speak to you through His word, through the quiet still small voice, through other people
– invite Him to speak and then give Him space to

[C] Cross the street – do it – do the thing you need to do – and when crossing the street it is imperative that you look after those who have been placed under your care to make sure everyone crosses safely – speak, live, thrive, be the church you want to see in the world.

or marrying the dreaded?

i am leaving in an hour or so for the airport to head for durban where on sat i will be marrying dreadlocked mike and nancy the twin (just in case there is any confusion about the nicknames i have given these two, mike has dreads and nancy is a twin… smooth.)

and i am so super amped – i have written my marriage licence test but i have yet to get the results and so i am not allowed to do the legal stuff for this wedding [which i am uber happy about cos imagine screwing that up – “hi guys, so by the way, you aren’t really married, i used a blue pen and not a black one, oops”] and this is my second time preaching at a wedding (with another one coming later this year for kleinbigfrans and michelleofprettynormalsize)

my first wedding was a young afrikaans couple who were fairly new to our church and asked me if i would do the preach and the first words out of my mouth were ‘can i preach barefoot’ [i preach at our sun evening enGAGE service barefoot normally and it was more of a joke than a serious question cos it was an afrikaans wedding and all and so i knew there was no way that] and they said yes and i couldn’t believe it, but decided to anyways and worked it into my preach (and they have been commenting very flattering stuff on my facebook statuses this week so i take it it all went pretty well)

and so when dreadlocked mike and nancy the drama student (and twin!) asked me i knew it was just a formality to ask whether i could preach barefoot and so when mike said “no” i was a little perturbed (cos after my first wedding i was ‘right, that’s going to be my thing, i will always preach barefoot at weddings!’) and surprised but they’re my friends and it’s their wedding and preaching with shoes on at their wedding was a thousand times more favourable than being barefoot in cape town while their wedding took place

mike phoned me the other nite to say they’d been discussing things and part of the vibe was they wanted to be them and they wanted me to be me and so i should preach barefoot and when i semi objected cos i really wanted nancy to be happy and have the wedding she always wanted mike almost commanded me to go commando, um i mean barefoot (that’s different hey? commando in the foot department? better.) and so i just might [but if not i will definitely be wearing my marvin the martian cartoon shoes with my black suit]

but the main point is i am so much looking forward to this wedding (yes, the title was just to hook you in to read it and look, here you are) and more importantly this marriage because of everything that it means – because mike and nancy are two of my favourite people in the world and i am really hoping a couple that we will be connected with for a decent period at some point in our lives and i am hoping for soon – and because marriage between the right people (and i really think these two are the right people) is incredible

what an opportunity to celebrate with two friends the start (or continuation) of a most amazing journey and to stand up with a group of friends and family and say “we have you on this. we have your backs. rely on us. use us. call on us. cry on our shoulders. borrow from us. invite us over” because as amazing as marriage is, it is not easy – well, sometimes, a lot of the time in fact, it really is, but you have two people each with their own crap and sin and issues and attitudes and morning or late evening personas and now they are sharing a space together always – and it is important to have a community of people who love you and will commit themselves to speak into the marriage, to leave space for it to grow, to ride shotgun for it when times are rough, to fight for it when those inside are feeling weak and tired or stressed out, to celebrate it regularly, and to draw strength from it…

here’s to mike and nancy and the start of a beautiful marriagetionship…

do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good

i really struggle to ‘get’ how people have such issues with Jesus-following when the basics of what it is all about is gems like that – love God, love people, look after orphans and widows, forgive those who wrong you, look after the land you’ve been given, share this love message…

i do sadly understand how people can have issues with christians and a lot of the things they have done in the name of religion or Jesus or the church, but the message itself – reminds me of the statement kleinfrans made – the God i believe in is not the God you don’t believe in – if more people just read the bible and understood the basics of Jesus-following instead of reading christians it might be a completely different story

but i love that verse – it comes from romans 12.21 and was one of the verses that was really meaningful to me when i was doing my dts (discipleship training school) in holland and then outreach in malawi in 2000 – we reduced it to a 1221 code between three of us in the team so that if someone was being dumb or christian (as opposed to Christ-following, oh that there wasn’t a difference!) one of us would mention it or subtly write it into the ground with a stick and the other person would see it and be reminded – fight evil by gooding it to death

i love the concept, but it is one of my biggest struggles to live out consistently – my inherent sense of ‘justice’ (and it’s a warped sinful idea of justice that is fed heavily by pride) makes me want to return evil for evil – tit for tat, eye for eye, tooth for tooth

but as gandhi said ‘an eye for an eye only leaves the whole world blind’ and it’s true – revenge feeds revenge – there is no natural end to it – and so when someone pushes into the line of traffic i’ve been sitting in for twenty minutes, or a unicorn player hacks one of my friends in a hockey match, or or or… my response needs to be good

then, in the same passage, just for me i think, paul sets it out like this, ‘If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.’ (12.20)

i have often offered to skip the first two steps and go directly to pouring the burning coals on the person’s head, but God has never taken me up on it – it was Jesus’ revolutionary love that disarmed people – when most of us would be shouting curses as the crowd nailed us literally or metaphorically to the cross, Jesus responds with ‘Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.’

this is powerful, powerful stuff. i firmly believe that if Christ-followers in south africa could really start living the 1221 we could transform this country cos it would catch on. i also firmly believe that if all christians in South Africa could become Christ-followers… south africa would be unrecognisable in months!

how about it? pick it up for just this week for starters and see how it goes – Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good!

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