Tag Archive: settlers of catan


‘a theist believes in at least one god, but denies the existence of many gods’ [the skeptic’s dictionary]

whereas an atheist denies the existence of god completely

and ‘at heist’ is just a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time, but that’s not important now…

a theist and an atheist – so vastly different and yet the difference between them is nothing… or ‘a space’ to be more precise…

[disclaimer: oh and by the way, this is one of those blogs that is more for me than for you – i am writing to think my thorts out loud, to process them, to do it publically in case anyone else is thinking/wrestling/engaging about the same kind of stuff, but i am not looking for answers, so please keep those to yourself – i am not asking you to solve anything – i am merely trying to process what is going on in my head, and maybe cause you to think a little]

i have worked as a pastory type guy at the stellenbosch vineyard church for almost 6 years now – in that time i have seen two christian guys become atheists – it’s kinda weird that to go from a theist to an atheist you have to lose the gap as opposed to creating one – it feels like it should be the other way around…

so if you were to be an outside evaluator of my work you would see that i started out with two christians and finished up with two atheists – i don’t think i’d score that well in pastoring school… and i know that i didn’t change them (i hope i didn’t change them) but it happened under my watch so to speak [which is ridiculous cos i don’t have a watch, except on my cellphone but to say it happened under my cellphone gets very confusing because it’s not that big a phone] and i didn’t have the answers or the proof or the experience to stop it from happening and so a part of me feels like it may as well have been my doing

[there are others who have been a part of our community in these last years who have moved away from God or christianity or both and that disturbs me as well, but to become an atheist is a step towards something, rather than just a step away from something, which is a lot easier to do]

so it does bother me in an i-failed kind of way to some kind of extent – i have something, my faith, my relationship with God, the purpose that gives me life – that is most-of-the-time so incredibly absolutely whole-heartedly real to me and even tho i don’t always understand it or have a complete explanational grasp of it, it is the very core of my being – and i have been unable to communicate or demonstrate or pass that on to these two guys in an adequate enuff way that had them going ‘this-is-real-this-is-for-me’ and that has to bug me, to frustrate me, to dishearten me. it has to. because i obviously believe that what i believe is truth and within that also lies the believed consequence for someone who doesn’t believe that (both when they die but even hugely now) and that should cause me great concern, and does…

but it’s not going to cripple me. it’s not going to knock me off my horse (and not just cos unlike mr terblanche i don’t actually have a horse, i have a rocking horse, but it’s a metaphorical one, and purely for aesthetics). i think i’ll be okay.

really? and why is that you may ask? [or i may go ahead and ask for you] – Because Jesus was okay with it!

there is a passage in luke i think it is (maybe john) where Jesus preaches a bit of a tough message and a whole bunch of His followers find it too strong a message and so they leave… and He lets them. and then turns to His disciples and asks them, “What about you? Are you also going to leave?” to which Peter replies, “Where shall we go? Only You have the words of Truth.” [And for me, that is a lot of the bottom line – i have struggles with some aspects of christianity, i don’t understand a lot of the Bible and how God works or doesn’t seem to work sometimes, but i have identified Jesus as having the words of Truth, it is in my gut and i cannot shake it and have not come close to hearing any other kind of more believable truth anywhere else]

then there is the story of the rich young ruler and one of the most powerful phrases in the Bible to me because when you read the story of Jesus you get the idea that in His interaction with the man, He knows from the beginning that it’s not going to be successful in terms of gaining another follower – and yet there is this phrase – ‘Jesus looked at him and loved him.’ And the rich young ruler walks away from Jesus disappointed and empty-handed, because the cost of following Jesus (all your stuff, I want you, and everything else you have made more important than Me in your life) is too much for him. And Jesus lets him go.

i don’t doubt for a second that the moment any one of those original followers or the rich young ruler had a change of heart and recognised Who Jesus really was and returned to Him and asked once again to be allowed to follow, that He would have instantly and with much joy received them back.

but He wasn’t going to chase them down to have them ‘follow’ Him for the sake of having extra followers… He wanted those who followed Him to be genuine. to believe (and even in the way of the father of the demon-possessed kid who, when Jesus challenged him, responded with, ‘I do believe – help me overcome my unbelief!” – that’s often my cry in certain areas of my faith at least). not to not have doubts, but to overcome their doubts (which is faith! – it doesn’t mean you don’t doubt, it just means the doubt doesn’t knock you down and leave you there)

and so i haven’t given up on these guys. i hope we will remain friends. i will pray for them. i will chat to them anytime they want to chat, and listen to them on their journey and hope that they will listen to me on mine. i won’t try and convert them (or unconvert them? reconvert?) but i hope we’ll still get to hang and play Settlers and whatever else comes along.

i do hope they will continue to challenge their beliefs now that they have walked away from one set. and not just settle for another because it is convenient. continue to wrestle guys, continue to question, hopefully continue to seek because God does say if you seek Me you will find Me and seeking meaning in the world always leads you to God at some stage. always. because He is the way and the Truth and the Life – it doesn’t take you believing it to make it true.

an atheist denies the existence of god completely

a theist believes in at least one god, but denies the existence of many gods

so in exactly one week’s time i will have been married to the beautiful Val for exactly one year – and what a year it’s been!

as i say often to people – ‘marriage is highly recommended… to the right person!’ and the ‘to the right person’ bit is the key – not cos i believe in any kind of God-brings-this-person-and-that-person-together necessarily or that i believe that there is only one ‘the one’ as opposed to a number of ‘the potential ones who could be the one’ but because i have experienced or witnessed both

i have some friends who have hurt or are hurting a lot because they dated or got engaged to or even married the person who ended up not being a good match for them – and i have some friends (and myself) who by the grace of God managed to somehow end up with someone who is a the-one match for them (cos history knows i tried my best to work it otherwise on occasion, or so it would seem looking back)

having been married for one week less than a year i can declare with absolute abandon and complete integrity that marriage works – it is incredible – it is a journey and an adventure and an absolute trip… but not without adding ‘to the right person’

because it is also a tough path at times (inevitably you are going to end up hurting – or being hurt by – or disappointing or miscommunicating with the one you love and having a moment or an argument or even – gasp! – a fight – and that completely sucks, cos this is the person you love most in the world and you hate hurting or being hurt by them – the pain is deeper because the bond is so strong)

it is a journey requiring effort and sacrifice and surrender – which we as selfish and prideful human beings really struggle to embrace, especially having grown up in a world constantly screaming the mantra ‘this is all about me’ – and the trick in marriage is really embracing the effort and the sacrifice and surrender and continuing to try and get it right in lifting the other person up above yourself (the beauty is that if she is doing the same thing then we continue to be as lifted up as if we were focusing on ourselves, but with the added benefit of relationship)

it is a path of discovery (new person in my life, new habits, new quirks, new likes and dislikes) – of hey we both find this extremely funny and wow we’re pretty good working alongside each other in the kitchen (which both our families would question in pre-marriage times) and hey she really digs it when i do this and i am so glad that she has chosen to do that chore so i don’t have to and i can do this which she absolutely hated to have to do

it is a choice – day in day out – every single day i have to wake up and choose again – choose the beautiful val over the not so beautiful brett (especially on my bad, lazy, selfish, overcompetitive, procrastinationary, grumpy, i’m right days) – choose to live out those five pages of wedding day vows – promises i make again every day, every day

so whether it’s coffee in bed (one of the highlights of my day – being able to make it for my wife and greet her with a morning kiss) or flapjacks made with packet waffle mix (better than the packet flapjack mix strangely) or scrubs/I.T. crowd/ or Summer Heights High or Eddie Izzard/Michael Mcintyre/Bill Bailey or p.d.a. facebook statuses (within reason) or tag teaming together in a counselling situation or lying together at night solving all the mysteries of the world (or at least our day) or laughing together (a lot! one of the highlights and if you can’t laugh with your person then i seriously think they are probably not a ‘the one’) and private jokes and scrabble or kucky san or trying to lose gracefully at settlers or her asking me random (to me but thoroughly interested and trying to figure out how the world works to her) questions about things i can’t possibly know and woolworths prawn cocktail chips and Terry Pratchett passages and mielies and marshmallow steri stumpies (for her) and purple and that elusive couch (and wedding photos) and dream league cricket and watching her get passionate about justice and not letting us not help people in need and getting to really know her better and totally speak what she is thinking or really meaning and and and

thank you tbV for almost a year of incredible journey – it grows daily – i love you very much and am looking to an even kicker asser year ahead – you really do complete me (you and God)

note to single people: enjoy, thrive, live to the full, desire your ‘the one’ but don’t let it consume you – make the most of the time and freedom you have as a single person and be content in every area of your life (while continuing to keep your eyes open and to ask God and to want that person if you do)

note to dating people: enjoy, thrive, live to the full, don’t live as married people yet cos you’re not and save the stuff for marriage for the person you marry (which may not end up being the person you are dating now so don’t waste it on them now cos it seriously will be a waste if they turn out not to be that person), enjoy each other but keep it uncomplicated and grow in relationship to see if this is your one and part peacefully if not

note to married people: enjoy, thrive, live to the full, husbands, love your wives, uplift each other, keep private stuff private, never diss your spouse (even in jest) in front of others, especially not just for a cheap laugh, if you’re struggling ask for help, choose every morning to serve and lift up and that-person-first and kill selfishness and pride whenever it rears its head, run to say sorry when you have been wrong, don’t ever go to bed angry or fighting, don’t give up, don’t feed temptation, love each other, let’s fight together for marriage – it works, it’s incredible, it costs, it’s worth it!

the brothers streep

so my friend simon is in a band (well about twenty seven bands last time i counted, altho i was just counting, not counting bands he is in per say, but it was fun) and if you have never heard or seen anything Brothers Streep then you should mosey on down to  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JOHTavjfYxY and check out the promo ad for the storytellers they are going to be holding soon… you should be there… it might even be this Friday…

simon lends me a lot of his comedic dvds and records raisin songs for me almost every time i have one and he lets me play Settlers of Catan with his sister and once made me lunch and it wasn’t half bad (i don’t want to talk about the other half, some things stay between friends) but check out that promo video and then look down the side and watch their debut on the Graham Norton show and some of their other videos

i guess you could say they are to comedy what something else would be like compared to a thing it is pretty much like in the aspects of your comparing it.

true story.

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