Tag Archive: questions


WHAT IF? [Intro]

whatif

i have been pondering this series in my head for a while…

Asking a WHAT IF question and seeing what responses i get from others and possibly adding some thoughts of my own.

Inviting people to step into the possibility of something they perhaps don’t believe in or are maybe sitting on the fence about.

For a moment, assume that thing to be true. What changes? What would also be true if that thing was true? That kind of thing.

Are we able to step outside of our comfort zones and look at something with an open mind and try and experience it from a different point of view? And if not, then are we as convinced about our ‘truth’ as we might think.

i don’t know where this will go, or even if it will go. But i thought it was worth a try.

So maybe this is one of my own WHAT IFs…

i hope you’ll join me for the ride. If you have a question or statement you’d like to see posed in this series, leave it in the comments section below.

WHAT If Christmas was not all about me?

whatiflove

skill

It started with great timing and a Facebook status i stumbled upon: Skillet play at Freedom Festival 27 april, Cape Town Ostrich farm. Want to win tickets from me??

Now to give this some perspective, Skillet have for the longest time been my bonus favourite band… for many years of my life i listed four bands as my top 4: U2, Coldplay, R.E.M., Tree63 and then Skillet was next in line. So understudy in case any of the others stopped playing. And despite them having released something like 9 albums of which i have most of them, i think some of my favourite memories and moments still come from their first self-titled album and i hurt my neck plenty head-banging by myself in my room when the house was empty with the music turned full blast to the words of ‘I can’ and ‘My Beautiful Robe’

skills

From ‘My Beautiful Robe’:

I was crucified with Christ
But how come I’m not dead
God gave me a cross
But I made my own instead

Complete Lyrics of ‘I can’

Looking on the sad times, the guilt and all the shame
I have learned to submit my existing hurts and pains
All the grief I’ve learned to set aside

‘Cause I am, I am, I am
Feeling underooted feeling undermined
Can this grace of God cover me this time?

When I feel the pain I know why I feel strange
When I hear the rooster crow I am ashamed
Jesus on the cross and this cross upon my back
I have learned to submit then I whine about my lack

Sometimes I drop my cross, deserve a little rest
That’s when I run to you and I nail your feet and your wrist

I’m feeling underooted feeling undermined
Can this grace of God cover me this time?

Do you really love my soul, even after I hated you?
Do you really know my name, can I really come to you?
Are you really more faithful than the changing of the seasons and the morning sun?
Do you really know my name, can I really come to you?
I can, I don’t care if the rooster crows
I can

The point being that i love this band and have enjoyed and appreciated their music for many years and so getting the opportunity to see them live in concert feels like a huge gift. Honest, edgy lyrics that really grab at the heart and the soul of the truth being discussed made for much incredible music wrestlings over the years.

skillet

Then Andrea Steyn [who you can get tickets for this amazing gig from] took it one further today by writing this question on my wall:

Do you want to have a chance to meet the band?

Do raiSINs have the word sin in them? Some questions just don’t need to be asked. So while ‘Do you want to have a chance to meet the band?’ doesn’t necessarily mean ‘You will definitely have a chance to meet the band!’ i’m gonna go with Jim Carrey on this one from Dumb and Dumber… “So you’re saying there’s a chance?”

And so, whether or not it actually materialises or not, i thought it would be a fun activity either way to invite you to help me compile a question list so that if i was to meet the band and get a chance to ask them a question or two, what questions would those be?

Skillet fans, this is for you. If you got to meet the band and had the chance to ask one question, what would that be? Leave it in the comments section below and who knows, if this happens, maybe yours will be one of the fortunate ones to go live…

BREAKING NEWS UPDATE: Sadly, i got this message today: I have unfortunately bad news, that the concert has to be postponed until the summer time. Big upset with some organisational thing I wasn’t privy to. – And so, for the time being it looks like this will be on hold, but in the meantime you can keep your questions coming…

tshego

When this topic first came up, I chose not to get involved because I knew the controversy it would cause. People on all sides are generally exceptionally sensitive when it come to the topic of race. We can never just talk about our differences without an argument ensuing. Someone always has to overact out of offense and someone else will always have to pay by taking the blame. The conversation is almost not worth having because no one is ever willing to just listen and learn. Over and above that, I never considered myself a contender in the game. I was brought up differently, so I thought I had no say in the matter, but after reading the first post, I figured I could give it a shot.

I am a young black South African female who happened to be raised within the realms of the very popular western culture. Our parents wanted us to live and learn from the world without the restrictions and/or limitations of tradition. They wanted us to become who we were destined to be and not what culture dictated us to be. I was confused – but then again you would be too if you were expected to “hate” the enemy when they were the only friends you knew. While my sibling comfortably embraced some of our culture (speaking our mother tongue and befriending people of the same race), I chose to comfortably adopt the culture I was brought up in (white friends and speaking only English). It was tough because I never really knew where I fit in – when you have your feet in two different camps, there is always going to be a conflict of interest, but I’ll save you the sop story (and besides you’re already judging me)….

From my experience, I have realised that the question really shouldn’t be “What I Think A Specific Race Should Know” but rather “What I Think Everyone Should Know”. We’re all different and are influenced by our varying backgrounds, and it’s easy to just get angry and point fingers but it’s beneficial to learn and understand. Unfortunately, not everyone is going to know and/or relate to your past, your feelings or your point of view, so it’s your job to educate them. Instead of playing the oversensitive he said she said offense blame game, why not let curiosity be a teacher.

I have learnt through babysitting that kids will ask questions in order to gain understanding. Their intention is never to offend or hurt, but when they see something out of the ordinary; something they deem to be different, they want to know why and are brave enough to find out. And the answer you give them never changes their outlook or opinion of you. They don’t mock or tease you about it (well for the most part anyway), in fact, more often than not they leave having learnt something new and they respect you for it. You teach them what’s right and wrong and they will just go with it.

And so it should be with us adults, if someone is offending you or being uberly inquisitive, instead of pulling the race card or getting overly sensitive on the matter, why not respond by explaining why you don’t like it or why it makes you feel a specific way. There’s no point in getting angry and holding grudges over it – it helps no one and only creates more division among us. How will anyone ever know that something hurts you if you don’t explain it to them? There is nothing worse than having to walk on eggshells around a topic because we’re too scared of what the reaction might be… That’s just stupid!

We’ve got to put our fists down (stop being defensive) and have an open discussion about our differences. It’s time we learnt a little bit about each other in a safe non-threatening environment. Yes! Let’s discuss what my white friends should know and why, then turn the tables and discuss what my black, coloured, asian and indian friends should know and why. Let’s make it a group effort instead of a “them vs us” scenario; let’s get to know each other (what makes one person tick, may be a big fat joke for another – we’re ALL different like that), because the more you know the better you understand; and the better you understand, the more comfortable the interactions.

We won’t always get it right, but that’s why it’s so important to keep the lines of communication open, so we can continually learn along the way. It’s a never ending life lesson and we’ve got to see it as a journey, never a destination. It’s not a free ticket to be rude, judgmental and/or stereotypical… (try to see the bigger picture here) it’s an opportunity to gain knowledge and build relationship through understanding…

[For the next post, this time by Tasha Melissa Govender, click here]

so yesterday afternoon, after a week of staff strategic planning as the Simple Way, everyone left except for the four of us from the Village House [yes, the Village People!] which is myself, the beautiful Val [tbV], Sueihn and our newest band member, Dan from the UK [formerly dread-wearing Dan] so that we could have an extra day at the venue to bond and get to know each other a little better…

as we finished out dinner and tried to figure out what to do for the evening, tbV came up with a list of suggestions of which some were really creative and some really silly and some creatively silly and Dan came up with a suggestion of a combo of events and so each grabbed about ten slips of paper and wrote down a bunch of questions for each other and then headed out to the town and found a mexican restaurant and altho the mudslides were replaced with chocolate mousse the rest of the evening went pretty much to plan…

the idea was you can leave the question blank if you want the person who pulls it out the bag to answer it, draw a star if you want that person to choose who is going to answer it and draw a moon if everyone else except the person with the question has to answer it.

i won’t go into any of the specific questions and definitely can’t share any of the answers, but there was a huge range from raucously silly to hectically intense and it was such a solid time of connecting with each other, laughing and getting emotional and really just going a little bit deeper than a typical evening’s entertainment might have taken us.

it was an incredible evening. and a reminder that we have to make more of those moments. just in general. not necessarily all the time. but some of the time. while eating a meal, or hanging out together for a games night, or even at a community potluck perhaps. writing a bunch of questions on some paper is so easy as is pulling together a ‘the paper game’ or picking a topical conversation piece… and moving away from the typical movies, music, sport fill-in-the-time conversations that often become the only ones we safely get drawn towards.

so yeah, just a simple reminder of making the most of moments together. and insanely good to see how relationship just rockets ahead.

do you have any similar ideas of ways you have spent time with a group of people that have been simple yet profound?

that i am grappling with lately:

one of them is taking the incredible life-transforming simple-gospel stuff we are reading about in books like Shane Claiborne’s ‘The Irresistible Revolution’ and Erwin McManus ‘an unSTOPPABLE force’ and Rich Stearns ‘The Hole in the Gospel’ and even going back to the legen….dary Keith Green’s ‘No Compromise’ story and not just being excited and ‘challenged’ and ‘changed’ by it, and not just talking about it and maybe looking down on others who ‘don’t get it’ and all that and when do we actually start doing it and being transformed and changed – do we actually ‘get it’ or are we just excited by the idea? that is a tough one and i know my biggest problem is knowing the ‘how’ cos i am excited and i do think it’s great and i do want to live the simple passionate compassionate miraculous life to the full Jesus calls us to, but practically what do i need to do? question one i am grappling with.

part of question one is how do i justify the fact that i just spent R600 on an Eddie Izzard dvd boxset but don’t feel i can justify spending R700 to R900 for me and tbV to go watch him live (i guess that could be a problem with justifying both as opposed to either one of them perhaps) but then also not being able to justify someone else wanting to spend R300 on make-up for a wedding? why is mine okay and theirs not okay?

linked to that question will be that my lavish will be simple and ridiculous to Bishop’s Court residents and Saudi Arabia moguls but my simple will be wasteful and lavish and dreamed of for a typical Kayamandi shack resident – wealth and poverty can be relative to an extent.

question 2 regards being pastory type guy at enGAGE, a congregation that is part of the Vineyard church in Stellenbosch – are we really effecting change in the community or am i realistically simply just maintaining a small community of like-minded people? as in really, like what is really really happening there? cos if this year is all about just looking after 30 to 50 Christians and trying to make sure they are all still Christian at the end of the year and maybe a bit more Christian, then what the flippy flipperson? there MUST be more than this.

not needing answers (well, not from you) – just needing to ask the questions…

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