Tag Archive: new years


What a powerful end to 2015!

At the end of most normal years, if there is such a thing, i imagine tbV and i would have tried to find a few days off to just chill and recover from what has been a busy, crazy, challenging, great and difficult year. But this year we decided to finish strong. And that has made all the difference. Continue reading

‘It is often said that before you die your life passes before your eyes. It is in fact true. It’s called living.’ [Terry Pratchett]

change1Last year i ran a series called New Year’s Evolutions in which i challenged people, instead of making the traditional resolutions [that i’ve seldom heard to have worked] to rather take a bit of a stock take of their life and be intentional about making a series of evolutions [small discernible changes] so as to live a more effective life in the coming year. The end of the year is a great time to do this as often people are off work and have a little more time and the start of a new year feels like a good time to add some new things to your life, or to remove some things that are having a negative or even sometimes just neutral effect.

This year tbV and i ran a book study using a book that our friend, Mark Scandrette had written called ‘Free: Spending your Time and Money on what matters most.’  I would highly encourage you to get hold of a copy and work through it with a bunch of friends over an eight week period – was such a great time for us and we ended up with some new friends and better life habits as a result. But even if you don’t go that far, to make some time to address the premise of looking at how you SPEND YOUR TIME and SPEND YOUR MONEY and then really being honest about whether those things line up with what you would say MATTERS MOST in your life.

I spent a lot of years at ‘the singles table’ at weddings growing up and inevitably you’re grouped with a bunch of people you don’t know and i used to find small talk excrutiatingly difficult and awkward until i came up with a simple solution. I changed the question ‘So what do you do?’ [which, let’s be honest, unless they’re an actual lion tamer, astrophysicist or spleen dissection technician we really don’t care about and likely won’t remember] to ‘What is your passion in life?’. Often it initially throws people a little bit, because they are not expecting it, but when they take a moment and think about it and start putting some words to the reality of their life, when people answer the question ‘What are you passionate about?’ you start to really find out who they are. And quite often it has little to do with what they do.

Take a minute to answer that question… What are YOU passionate about? 

Once you have that thing in your mind, and it might be a number of things – write them down – then ask yourself these questions:

# How much of my time do i spend doing something related to that? [If my passion is the outdoors and i am stuck in an 8 to 6 office job, well then…]

# How much of my money do i spend on things and experiences related to that?

Do they align? If not, then as you end off this year and are about to start a new one, maybe this is the best time to do something about it.

And maybe that thing will be something quite dramatic. [Handing in notice at your work, start planning that overseas trip, make a phone call about that volunteering you have been wanting to do…]

Maybe it will be something smaller and more manageable, but decide now to be intentional about doing it. And then jump…

change2# One of my evolutions for 2014: Taking responsability


no, no, it’s not a typo, it’s a rethink.

the word ‘resolution’ should be good enuff because it comes from the base word “resolve” and if people truly resolved to do the resolutions they make [altho i don’t actually know of many people that make them – they seem to be this mythical beast that people avoid because they know they will lose the battle] then the world would probably be a better place, depending i guess on the resolutions being made of course.

i found this quote on one of my social networks today and tried to uncle google a source but couldn’t find one, so will have to dedicate to that ‘john doe’ of famous unknown author quotations, ‘A Non’:

“The distance between ignorance & knowledge is much shorter than the distance between knowledge & practice.”

and this i believe is true. we all know what we need to do to change the world, or at the very least make it a little bit better for someone else we know, but we too seldom convert that knowledge to action.

hence the title of this post – how are you going to evolve/change/grow/transform as you head into 2012?

like really? not a wish list or a dream list of that-would-be-nice ideas. i’m talking about making an actual plan… so when my friend Sam commented on what she would like to see happen next year, “maybe cooking” i jumped on and suggested she sign up for a basic cooking class…

because the resolutions generally start with ‘i’d like to’ or ‘it would be good if’

so “i’d like to lose weight” – join a plan, pick a diet, cut out fizzy drinks/chocolate etc
“i’d like to be nicer to other people” – pick a person, make a plan, volunteer somewhere
“i want to read my Bible more” – choose a time for doing so, cement it in your daily planner

it doesn’t matter so much what it is, but try and be more specific with your plans for 2012 so that your resolutions [what you resolve to do] become actual evolutions [changes, transformations] because as some wise oke once said “if you continue to do the thing you’ve always done, you will continue to get the same results you’ve always gotten.”

so, if you read this, i would dig it if you comment and let me know one thing you are planning on doing differently in 2012. and go!

for some ideas on good evolutions to consider, keep reading…

so back in new year’s times i met a guy called gabe at an event i was mc’ing and it wasn’t the greatest of meetings – we had a difference of opinion over some or other thing, i blogged about it without using his name (altho everyone who had been at the event knew who i was talking about) and he (and more particularly his friends) didn’t like that i did that so much (some of his friends got quite pissed off with me telling me what a solid follower of Jesus he was and how i didn’t know him and how could i say stuff and blah blah blah)…

turns out funnily enuff that despite the event being on the other side of the country, Gabe is from nearby to where i live and so when i finally was able to get hold of him, he very graciously agreed to meet (slash take me out for pizza) and we met and chatted and got to know each other better and dealt with the new year’s vibe and put it behind us… which was pretty cool.

anyways, i was invited a long time ago to speak at the Rondebosch/Rustenburg schools Christian Union camp which i did this last weekend, with the beautiful Val joining me in a really fun Relationships workshop and we had a complete vibe at the camp…

turns out, the other speaker on camp, was none other than mister Gabe himself – i had already gone to hang out with him in Jan at a camp he led worship at for one nite and so i’d seen him in ministry mode, but it was cool getting to see him ministering in another way…

and i learnt stuff… not necessarily new stuff i didn’t know, but in both of his talks there was at least one key thing that he unpacked differently to how i’d heard or seen it before and so it really was a growing situation for me which was really great – revelationary stuff…

the one was about Jesus being baptised in Matthew 3 (see title) which ends with “As soon as Jesus was baptised, He went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on Him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is My Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased.” [Matthew 3.16-17]

and then Jesus heads out to the desert to fast and pray and eventually be tempted by the devil…

actually, as i’m writing this i remember two things that Gabe brought out of this passage…

[1] the first is to note how many miracles Jesus had done up to that point, how many great preaches He had done, how many of His acts of spending time with the people in society – women, children, tax collectors, lepers, samaritans – that no one liked or spent time with, and the answer is none. Jesus had not done any of His public ministry yet and He receives complete affirmation from God. God’s pleasure and love is a result of God, not of Jesus achieving or earning it. That is a pretty hectic picture of grace.

[2] and the second is that when the devil comes to tempt Jesus, he starts with the questioning phrase, “If you are the Son of God…” in the same way that he met Adam and Eve in the garden and questioned what God had said to them. But we’ve just witnessed it in Matthew 3 as did Jesus – heaven opened and God boomed out in a loud voice “You are the Son of God” – Jesus has heard that He is the Son of God, from His Father and so when the devil comes with his little “if you are the Son of God” He is able to stomp all over it and point back to what just happened. Because Jesus has His identity firmly wrapped up in God and who the Father says He is, the temptations and accusations of the devil fall completely flat.

So stop doing stuff to try and earn God’s love – you already have it [do stuff as a result of incredible gratitude and response to the love you have received – Christ’s love compels me…]

And find your identity in God, stop being sidetracked by the lying voice of the devil… if you follow Jesus, you have been made into a child of a king, live in that status…

i have had mixed experiences with new years eves and days – more often they have involved me running around trying to organise events and keep everyone else organised or entertained or worshipping or something like that and generally the ones where i have managed to avoid planning/organising/running anything have been the good ones [altho i do have great memories of some of the others don’t get me wrong] and last year’s hike to cape point was a definite positive memory… and so this year i am gonna kinda be straddling the middle ground – so not really organising anything, but definitely being involved and if you don’t have plans yet and can make it, you should consider joining us at arisefest…

here is the welcome to the arisefest website:

Bring in the New Year at ARISEFEST, the Christian music and lifestyle festival. Held at MIDMAR DAM in KZN from 30th DECEMBER 2010 TO 1st JANUARY 2011. Let top Christian artists from all over South Africa create a New Year’s to remember. This years theme, BE THE CHANGE, is inspired by 2 CORINTHIANS 10: 4 – “The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.” We look forward to seeing you at this years festival but until then go have a good look around our website to find out more information and thanks for visiting!

so go check out the website here, here, or even here, but definitely not here cos that is something else and start planning…

amongst the bands playing, in no particular order (except alphabetical), are such diverse elements as arise band, cjay, coals of juniper, david phipson, harbourlight, jersey, remix’d, scarlet hill, show and tell, skylit city, straatligkinders, the arrows, theatre, the exploits, the kifness, to our divine, versus the wolf plus a whole bunch more on accoustice vibes…

should be a lot of fun… maybe see you there?

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