Living a life of abundance and freedom is so much more than material abundance and financial freedom, but these are certainly tangible examples that we can easily relate to. Talking about finances and provision is uncomfortable and awkward but a lot of what has God has taught us has been either in the realm of money or money was a factor in the lesson. My personal hangups have to do with not wanting to ask for money or misinterpreted as such. I am still on a journey in this and I haven’t arrived, but please know that this isn’t a sales pitch. Continue reading Abundance and Freedom
Christlikeness is one of the destinations of our journey. It is our promised inheritance, but defining it quantitatively and qualitatively is not easy for us. We haven’t walked with Him the way His disciples and friends did. Some of the stories we have been given give us clues. Continue reading Spirit, Soul and Body
We are on a journey. We are all on a journey. Most of us acknowledge that is true, but it seems there is very little space in church culture for it. The destination isn’t always clear. The path is described as straight and narrow but seems winding and rough. Abraham was told to go where God would tell him. His descendants were told to go the land of the promise. This was their inheritance, but the way to claim it was to walk with God until He brought them there. Continue reading Journey, Inheritance and Forerunners
Live. Dream. Eat.
Can it be this simple? Something so common, so everyday, so normal? Sitting down together, sharing a meal. Listening, talking and eating. The three things we do every day of our lives. What is one step we can take to heal the wounded chasm of separation between us? Eat.
Just do it with someone different. A different skin colour, a different accent, a different upbringing. Share your stories. Listen to different persepctives. Share food. Nourish each other with human connection and stories of humanity. Look into eyes, notice the forehead wrinkle, and feel the hands shake when sharing a story. The words are not what we are sharing. It’s the heart and emotion behind the story, the memory that has lodged itself into our narrative, just waiting to hear a redeemed version. Continue reading A Common Table
Community is the second aspect of the call to intimacy. It is impossible to love God and not love those who carry His image and likeness. We are designed for community. Our very existence comes from the intimate relationship of Father, Son and Spirit. It is our design. We are made for heart to heart connection. When God said, “It is not good for man to be alone,” I always assumed He was only talking about marriage and male-female relationships. Logically, though, marriage leads to families. Families lead to communities and communities make up cities. For most of my life I assumed if it was me and God alone on a desert island, that would be the perfect life. But in Genesis, when God and Adam had a perfect relationship, God’s evaluation was “It was not good.” God was saying we need more than a relationship with Him. We need each other. Continue reading Community
A major part of our story is that we were unsatisfied with life as we knew it. We longed for more, a deeper connection with God and with others, more significance in what we were doing. We felt that if we committed ourselves to a life of loving and serving others and if we sought to live out Isaiah 58-61, we would find those things. Father has seen those desires of our hearts and honored them. We are experiencing a deeper connection with God and more significance, but not how we thought. Continue reading Intimacy
On June 28 we will have our five year anniversary in South Africa. With less than a month to go now, I feel I should do a little series of what God has shown us as we have journeyed with Him these five years. He has called us and He keeps opening our eyes to His plans and purposes. When Christina’s parents were here last month, we talked quite a bit about defining vision, mission and purpose, giving words to the things we feel in our spirits. Continue reading Why are we here?
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It’s alive today. Not in a perfect way. In a broken, hurting, raging way, for a pile of different reasons. Standing in the middle of Main Road, a chain of people line the sidewalks and streets in a nationwide protest against the current president, Jacob Zuma. Car horns are sounding, flags are waving and there is something alive in the air. I am standing mostly beside elderly white people holding South African flags almost too big for their frail bodies. The wind whips and twirls the flag but these old ladies can hold their own against great white sharks during a morning swim. A rambunctious flag is no problem.
It’s not perfect, this protest. It should’ve happened sooner, for more humane causes. It should’ve been easier to call these voices to action when injustice sneered but people couldn’t be bothered.
But, there is today. Today, I saw a glimpse of the spirit of the nation-the nation that I read about in newspapers 23 years ago-I saw it, first hand in all of its colorful glory.
It’s unlike anything I can describe to you, this presence, this moment. It’s bulky and awkward and moves like a lumbering monster on a crowded street, appendages flailing, causing collateral damage in its wake. But moving it is. Rising it is. Roaring it is. The spirit of South Africa and her people, all their glorious diversity and rainbow nation-ness. This young republic, cumbersome with pain from the past, daring to wrestle with its future.
I see different people groups standing together. I see each one, balancing both their wounds and their rage, each riddled with injustice or exhausted from fear.
I see the toyi-toying rhythms and hear the deep, low chanting. It gives me shivers and brings tears to my eyes. People born to sing and dance, well-practiced in the language of resistance. Their dancing and chanting need no instructor or guide. Each one innately knows the dance, learned from a small age. This is who we are. Powerful. Beautiful. A call to action that resonates from the soil itself.
I see the posters and cardboard signs outside the Coloured community, reminding passerby’s that they are there, right where the government left them 50 years ago. They are there, a community born to celebrate and laugh, burdened with violence and invisibility. But they are there, standing proud, taking their turn in the protest, voices heard, faces seen. They are aching and beautiful. They hold the healing answers. They are all of us.
I see the red, blue, green and white colors of the flag waving, just a baby in the life of this new South Africa. There, under the shadow of Nelson Mandela’s mosaic, stand the crowd of thousands reminding themselves that it was here, in this space, where the nation learned the power of a unified voice. Today, I saw a nation rise, lumbering and shaky, sore from the sitting. Together, the rainbow nation made a collective statement. This nation is more important than an empire, the people more valuable than a demagogue.
Today, I felt an electric jolt of hope that whispered of possibility as it winged its way through town.
And I marvel at how much this struggling nation will teach the struggling world.
*video Michael Bullock
Our new friend Sara inspired us to ASK BIG! So here it is!
OPERATION HOPE: As we have sought God’s heart, we find it more vast and more expansive than we ever dreamed. The depth of His love of us is without equal and without limit. He has big plans for His people and we are thrilled to be a part of it. We believe He has placed us here in Cape Town, the Mother City, to be a part of Him birthing something new into the earth. He is always doing a new thing.
WHO: We believe the first nation people of southern Africa, the Khoisan, to be a key component in God’s new thing. (Some believe they are the first nation people of the whole earth.) They are gate-keepers to the land, to the soil. As God draws us close to show us who we really are, we find that He is telling us we are both fully physical, people formed from the dust, and fully spiritual, made in the image and likeness of God. These gate keepers have a deeply spiritual way about them. Continue reading THE BIG ASK NEWS!