Friday, June 30, 2006

Please note:

Dear friends, as from Monday (3 July) we will be on leave for two
weeks. We will be spending this time in Scottburgh.

Needless to say, I will not be able to post to this blog during this
time, but please feel free to post as I get posts forwarded to my e-
mail (which I can access from my phone). I will appreciate hearing
from you from time-to-time.

Please pray for safe travel and I will give you an update on our
return (God-willing).

Blessings to all.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Broken relationships

A friend just broke up with his girlfriend.

"So what?" you may ask. "Get over it and move on with your life" you may be tempted to say. But wait a minute. Do you remember those feelings of loss? Remember crying for days on end and thinking that there is no-one else in the world that can take that person's place?

When I saw him I remembered what I felt like after whats-her-name broke up with me because I was too shy to kiss her, and that-one-that-taught-me-how-to-kiss for I don't know what reason (perhaps because I was a poor student), and that one-that... lets not even talk about that...

I have never had the opportunity to break-up with anyone. I was always on the receiving end. I don't think it matters on which side of the brokenness you find yourself. Broken relationships are painful. It is that kind of hurt that doen't go away, but seems to transform into different kinds of hurt that sting in less-direct ways. There is no quick-fix, not even a fix. But I suppose it is necessary.

So to my friend: "Take your time in licking your wounds. We remember and won't laugh at you or suggest that "this too will pass". I pray that you (and she) will find healing soon."

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Theological Society feedback

What an experience! Sitting in the same room as the De Gruchy's, Klaus Nurnberger and many, many more.

The Conference was something truly inspiring. What I learnt was that presenting a paper is TOTALLY different to preaching a sermon or lecturing. It is a different ball-game altogether, but great fun.

Here is my paper.

Hope you enjoy it. Please send comments as this will help me add value to one of my chapters in my Thesis.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Theological Society

On Wednesday we are going to the Theological Society of South Africa meeting in Pietermaritzburg. I will be presenting a paper entitled: "Barth's definition of Church in politics and culture: Growth points for the church in South Africa".

I am not clever enough to give a downloadable version on this site If anyone knows how, please let me know. In the meantime, if you are interested, please request one via e-mail ( and I'll gladly send it to you. Please note that this paper is itself a construction-site, meaning that it still needs a lot of work before it can be published. Your input will be helpful.

More news about the Conference will be posted on Saturday - God willing.

Blessings to all.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

By the way...

I did not take the post at UNISA. I really need to finish my Doctorate first. If I take anything else on now, I won't sleep and I will slack in all of my work because I'm rushed.

Thanks for all your prayers. This one was anwered VERY clearly.

June 16

My mother gave birth to me on June 16, 1976. I deliberately do not say that I was born on June 16th. My mother gave birth. I was born at about 2pm that afternoon. It was not an easy birth.

Whenever my mom tells the story she recalls her anxiety at hearing the news of the events that were taking place a couple of kilometres away. She always shares what went through her mind that afternoon: "How can I bring a child into this world?"

Our second child will be born in November, God-willing (perhaps a little of my Calvinist history peeping through). I wonder whether the question has changed? I don't know if there are parents who do not ask this question.

But then I am reminded that I was not the only child born that day. In fact there were many children who died that day, accomplishing what many people can't in a lifetime. Life is more than being born and passively receiving whatever the world has to dish out.

Living is about engaging with our world, its people and the different influences that go around. Doing so with the assurance that God travels with us creates faith, and faith in turn creates hope. Having faith and hope, we are naturally directed to the road of love.

My mom is glad that I was born that day. I am glad that she is glad that I was born that day. My prayer today is for our children, especially when they are forced at ever-younger ages to engage with- and challenge a world which at best, scares most parents.

God bless Africa
Guard her children
Guide her leaders
Give her peace.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Just something short and funny.

We are busy potty-training Matthew. Yesterday I successfully guided him through a no.1 and no.2. I have never been so proud!

Then Matthew got up, looked at his achievement, raised a clenched fist in the air and shouted at the top of his voice: "Buuuulllllsss!"

I was not impressed.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

You won't see a picture like this again!

On 6 June 1993 I conducted my first service as an On-Trial Local Preacher. I don't remember much of the service, except Dion Forster sitting in the front row with a marksheet in hand, listening to me say to the congregation that if they did not accept Jesus there and then, that they would go to Hell (...or something like that). 10 Years ago I also entered formation towards ordained ministery as a Phase 1 at Ventersdorp.

All I can say is: "Praise the Lord for spiritual growth, haircuts and a sense of humour!"

I wonder what I will say in 10 years time about my state at present?

Probably "Praise the Lord for spiritual growth, haircuts and a sense of humour!".

Happy anniversary to me!

Sunday, June 04, 2006

The Tragic side of this week.

Sifiso Khuzwayo is a minister at Westview Methodist. He is a dear friend. Their son, Nkisinathi (who is about the same age as our little Matthew) passed away on Saturday morning.

Please remember the Khuzwayo family.

The Good side of this week.

Pentecost is a very special occasion, but this time I preached the worst sermon ever. It wasn't a sermon. It was a Systematic Theology 3 lecture.

As I was preparing a sermon earlier during the week, I wondered how people would respond to some good and solid teaching on Sunday. We don't have the opportunity to raise the questions that everyone asks, but which they are too scared(?) to utter.

So, this morning we took a journey from the Old Testament concept of Ruach to the New Testament's Pneuma, from a temporary filling of the Spirit in the Old Testament to the outpouring of the Spirit on all people. From Prevenient Grace to Augustine's "bond of love between the Father and the Son", Glossolalia, Xenoglossia. We had a ball. The response... phenomenal!!!!!
(All in 30 mins.)

At the end of the "sermon" we had some time for guided meditation on "being introduced to the one who has always been there". Not one person left the sanctuary without commenting on a new dimension of the Spirit which they had never recognized before. Praise the Lord!

Today was one of those days where I actually felt that the work that had gone into preparing for Sunday was not time wasted.

This week, two other positive events materialized. I have been invited to present a paper at a Barth-Conference held in Pretoria during August. This is a joint conference between Kampen and UNISA. And then, I was offered a junior research assistant post at the Institute for Theology and Religion at UNISA. A lot of prayer will have to go into this one. Please pray with us and for us.