Tag Archive: peace


Just a few moments ago, crawling up my wall.

And my initial instinct was not to grab a book and smoosh him. And to be honest, it hasn’t been that for a while. Continue reading


A rendition from the heart:

Wouldn’t it be great to wake up one day and see everyone living at peace with each other?

Wouldn’t it be wonderful that no one harboured feelings of resentment and injustice with the other instead we stand side by side as brothers? I yearn and hunger for a South Africa of equality in life and in living standards. I long for a land where the needs of the majority are taken care of, a land where the people do share in its wealth.

Wouldn’t it be awesome to live in a country whereby the people speak in the same voice and do things together? Where prejudices and preconceived ideas that have distorted and bruised any self-pride of the other.

Oh what a sight to behold, a land where equality reigns forever. This is 2015, a new year, a symbol of fresh beginnings, a chance to carve out a path never beaten before. Is it so hard to get out of your comfort zones to learn and to understand other races, other people and their ways? This is an opportunity to make new strides in achieving equity and a better life for all. This is a chance for all that inhabit this beautiful and precious land of South Africa, in fact the whole continent of Mother Africa to break away from the yokes and institutions left behind by their colonial masters.

This is the year whereby the rest of the world stood and watched how this beautiful land of ours stood and did what is indigenous to it. Where we do things our own way, the best way we know how. A precious moment to conform to our own standards, to things that are true to the African cause and our way of life, where we endorse systems that will emancipate, elevate and alleviate any poverty within our communities.

I yearn for a South Africa that alienates and nips out any form of racism and prejudice. Can we vow and decree to part take in this journey to a better South Africa for all not living under this farce that we are in a democracy? I yearn for a country where the value of women is recognised, the impact and the role they play in our society. A country that protects and rears their children with love, warmth and comfort, good morals and values and most importantly their culture.

It would be beautiful and pleasant to live in a country without any barriers and boundaries left behind by the institution of apartheid. How long do we continue to live in despairing and inhumane conditions? How long must we witness our own people suffer and be demoralised as we currently have?

As Archbishop Desmond Tutu once said, “South Africa is a country alive with many possibilities”, I truly believe it is, however, if only do what is right and for the benefit of the people. If we face our demons, if we are only brave enough to stand against the very things that bring pain to us, things that will make us vulnerable only to leave us in a better place. Hey South Africa, wouldn’t it be great where we live by our own systems, systems that will benefit the majority of the country. Where corruption has no place in our society, where crime is rooted out. A country where the value of a man is placed higher than maximising profit.

I dream of the day where the fall of the barriers of skin shall reign supreme and our beautiful country is a country for all. Let’s start 2015 in a positive way, let’s start the year gunning for change.

[To see what Rebecca Benn would say to South Africa, click here]

SINGLENESS is a topic that usually does not get addressed well, if at all.

There was a time when particularly within the catholic church the focus was on singleness as the way to have reached it – nuns and monks and the gift of celibacy were the way to go and being single meant you were seen as more spiritual and closer to God and there were bible passages that could be used to ‘back this up’.

Then the protestant church swung the pendulum completely the other way and being married and then being married with children [must be biological children!] was the way to have arrived and so this unspoken goal of life seemed to be what was put on the pedestal and held higher than anything else.

i believe, as with most things, that both extremes are problematic and now that i have had five years of marriage [and having had a good run of 35 years of largely singleness] i believe that i can speak with some measure of authority to both of them.

Neither being single nor being married is ‘the better way’ – Paul, in his letter to the church in Phillipi [and us by extension] says this, specifically speaking into the aspect of financial well-being, but i believe it carries over into every area of life: ‘I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.’ [Philippians 4.12-13]

Contentment is the key – be where you are and enjoy where you are at – if you are single then embrace your singleness and make the most of it in every way possible – and if/when you get married then live that to the full. Don’t sit in the place of one desperately wishing that you were in the other. BUT, that doesn’t mean that if you are single and do want to be married that you should not keep on gently presenting that desire before God:

‘Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.’ [Philippians 4.4-7]

As much as God already knows your heart and your desires, it is by presenting them to Him that you invite relationship, that you invite Him in to minister to aspects of loneliness or rejection or bruised dreams or hopes that may be in you.

i LOVED my singleness and when i look back i don’t desire that i had gotten married ten years earlier and missed out on all the opportunities and possibilities of adventure that happened because it was just me. and so i really learnt [for the most part, i had my bad days… weeks… months…] to just really make the most of the situation i found myself in… but at the same time i really believed that i had too much love for one person and so i wanted to be married [especially around singles table time at weddings] and i took that to God regularly and sometimes with gentle request and other times more with ‘C’mon God, don’t you like me or what?’ less graceful questioning, but for the most part, the overall was a sense of let me be content where i am while i am here and keep my prayers, requests and longings before God.

i got to a place where i had largely resigned myself to the fact that i was going to be single for life [and somewhat largely, with much intermittent sighing, okay with that] and then the beautiful Val came along and the rest is history… or presentcy or something.

one of the hardest things in my life, especially since i got married, is seeing a bunch of really incredible friends of mine who are around my age [which is approaching old] and who are desiring to be married, but yet are still single, because i get it. to a large extent i really do. [which is possibly why a huge part of my 51 minute wedding speech was focusing on single people] it doesn’t feel right or fair and you get to a point when it doesn’t feel hopeful any more. people who view marriage as the end point make you feel stupid and sad and unfulfilled and your friends who are dating and getting married and having kids [again, if this is what you wanted] make it really hard to be around them sometimes [often through no fault of their own]. and the thing is a bunch of them are incredible amazing people who, it feels like to me, deserve to find their life partner a lot more than other people [if there is such a thing]. so i will keep praying, and hoping, and trying to be as encouraging as i can to them and challenging them to live singleness well while it is a reality. but don’t stop laying that desire before God if you are wanting something more.

And to anyone who EVER says to a single woman, “let Jesus be your boyfriend”, you honestly deserve a punch on the nose.

There are some brave people who are going to be sharing their stories in this regard and i honour you for doing so:

to read the story of my good friend Sammi Taylor – ‘The emotions and stages and experience changes daily and is sometimes hard to pin down and describe.’

to read the story of my friend and housemate Sueihn Lee – ‘I’ve been boy crazy since the age of five.’

to read the story of Kate Hurley aka ‘The Sexy Celibate’ – ‘I just needed to let go, insinuating it was my own fault i was single.’

to read the story of my friend Kate Sherry – content with being single right now

to read the story of my friend Cilnette Pienaar – ‘The whispered hope that a shared adventure could actually be in the will of God for my life.’

to read the story of Dani Scoville [and a look at Deconstructing Boundaries]

to read the story of my friend Beverley Rufener – ‘I wish I could say that being single was easy but at times it is outright overwhelming.’

to read the story of my new friend Alexa O S Russell – ‘Is there space for Bridget Jones at church?’

to read the story of my Island style friend Deborah Dowlath – ‘I realise that being single in my 30s is a whole different dynamic from being single in my 20s.’

to read the story of 26 year old Angela Saint-Truth – ‘I didn’t want the sacrifice that love demands or the growth it requires… I just wanted the emotions that relationships produce…’

to read the story of Amanda Kuehn – ‘His banner over me is single.’

to read the story of Lynley Pillay – ‘I was engaged once. So technically I’m disengaged now.’

to read the story of Phil Barlow – ‘I’m single and I love it! Sometimes… sometimes not so much.’

to read the story of my friend and possibly brother-in-law Dale Nunes [his brother married my sister]

some other blog posts i was directed to that contain some great stuff on the topic are:

‘Singleness is not a Prelude’ [on a blog called ‘broken cameras and gustav klimt’ guest posted by Jennie Pollock]

‘I don’t wait anymore’ [on a blog called Grace for the Road]

Singles and the Church: Why it Sucks to be Unintentionally Overlooked [Kate Hurley

What my Married Friends would like their Single Friends to know

Also a series on What my Married Friends would like their Single Friends to know

wind, take a bough

then send it crashing to the ground

water, flow slowly along

pummelling, pummelling, the rocks beneath the surface

smoothing their edges by sheer  weight of temporal force

little bird, glide smoothly through the air

then swoop, crashing through the water’s uncreased surface

and fly away once more, carrying death back to feed your children

blow, gentle cool breeze

upon the dying embers

breathing new life into them

breathing, breathing

and suddenly bursting into a hungry flame

which savagely devours every fresh new log in its path

lie there, harmless thorn, waiting, waiting

til an innocent foot finds a way to disturb you

and then leave disturbed

run, dassie, ran

stop for just a second to deposit a gift on the rocks

then scamper off to find some shade

noise, human, noise

with your machines and motor-powered vehicles

raising your instruments and your voices

talking, talking, just to fill the silence

to kill the silence

chasing away the solitude of this sound-filled nature seen


some more Erwin McManus from the book ‘an unSTOPPABLE force’ – From the chapter ‘Friction Traction’

On Multiculturalism:

‘The gospel, as presented in our time, has been crafted in such a way that would only bring Christians to Christ.’

‘Evangelism for much of the church has not been among unbelievers but focused on receivers – people who already accepted our worldview.’

‘The “great sociologist” Rodney King once said, “Can’t we all just get along?” The answer, of course, is no. We can’t all just get along. We’ve proven it time and time again in history. And it’s often not because of our extreme differences. One of the peculiar realities of crime and violence is that there is far more white on white, black on black and brown on brown crime than there is across colours and cultures. People who outsiders view as similar, whether it’s the Hutus and Tutsis, or the Bosnians versus the Serbs or the North against the South, often carry out the greatest conflicts. Civil war is as difficult to stop as international war. Multiculturalism has only accentuated the human inability to bring peace on earth.’

‘Jesus came and destroyed the dividing wall that not only separated man from God but also Jew from Gentile. God is about destroying walls that divide. The church will gain traction in the multicultural environment when she begins to dismantle the walls created not by the hands of God but by our own hands. Sometimes this will require nothing less than confession of the sin of racism and prejudice and the kind of repentance that leads to change. It isn’t enough to go to church with a diverse world, God calls us to embrace those who are different as brothers and sisters.’

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