Thursday, May 31, 2007

Good response to my paper.

Dear friends.

Last night I presented a paper entitled "Karl Barth's understanding of mission: The Church in relationship".

This paper is a summarized article of my thesis. Check it out, comment and teach me.

It was received very well by members of the Theological Society, which comprises theologians from various different traditions. I must say that presenting a paper in this forum is quite scary, but I was surprised to hear so much positive feedback. Theologians have the tendency to be scathing in their remarks, but that was not my experience last night.

So, I give thanks, knowing very well that one day my thoughts will be challenged more harshly.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Go Bokke!!!!

What a game! Today we beat the English by scoring 58 points to 10!
A glorious day, but even more so because I could enjoy the game with Matthew. He is enjoying this game more and more and is already able to give a more than adequate drop-kick, place-kick and up-and-under!

I wanted to take him to the testmatch coming up next week at Loftus, only to discover that tickets go for R385 each! A tad ridiculous! So, we will rather watch the game at home, take the money of one ticket and splash out on chips, dip, biltong and all other kinds of nice things.

One of the English made his test debut today at the age of 34. This still gives me a bit of hope that I too could wear the green and gold for real....wishful thinking. (ouch, my knee. I can't get out of this chair....struggling.....ok, there we go).

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

One way to make this man cry!

Our 3-year old son almost had me in tears the other day. I was carrying him in our local supermarket when he turned to me and said: "Pappa, you know what? I like you." Quite flattered I asked him why. He responded "Because I love you". And so I thanked him and gave him a big hug. After a few moments he spoke again and said "Pappa, thank you for being such a good man". Well, that was the end of me. To keep him from saying anything else that would push me over the edge, I just had to buy him a BIG box of Smarties.

I realized that there is nothing more powerful than being affirmed by a child.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

A thought about evangelism

"Evangelism is witness. It is one beggar telling another beggar where to get food. The Christian does not offer out of his bounty. He has no bounty. He is simply a guest at his Master's table and, as evangelist, he calls others too." - Daniel T. Niles

Tuesday, May 15, 2007


OK, it’s on. I’ve just been tagged by Pete to share 7 things that others don’t know about me.

1. In an IQ test I did 2 years ago, I scored above 145 (All I’m allowed to know). My psychologist said that I belong in a university and this is possibly the reason I struggle to feel fulfilled.
2. I re-arrange my study at least once a year, moving my desk against a different wall. I hate speaking or listening to people from the other side of a desk.
3. I have a black-belt in kickboxing and was once ranked second in South Africa.
4. The Dutch side of my family (my mom’s surname was Van Goeverden) is part of the Dutch royal family.
5. My name in German means “Steadfast”. My name says more about me than any title, therefore I prefer being called by my name.
6. Most of my friends are my senior. I struggle in relationships with people more or less my age, except Dion.
7. I own a Ferrari G-string. Being a McLaren-fan, I take the pleasure of pulling it… Let’s not go further.

Love to all. TAG….You’re it!

Friday, May 11, 2007

Communion is very difficult.

Our synods are being stretched in our understanding of community and Communion. I bought a little book from Upper Room publishers entitled "Conflict and Communion: Reconciliation and Restorative justice at Christ's Table". Contributors to this book include Peter Storey, Jan Love and William Everett. I have found this book to be a source of hope and comfort while there have been tense moments in this day, especially when news arrived that some of our friends and colleagues from the Cape of Good Hope District were suspended for their stance on Methodist Discipline.

I would like to share some quotes from this book that have spoken to me in preparation for the debates that we will share, especially those that are highly emotive and that may become a source of alienation.

Brueggemann "It is around that table that we have had our greatest conflicts because we know intuitively that in eating and drinking we are choosing our brand of shalom and legitimating an ordering of our world".

In the chapter "The Last Supper: Naming the conflicts and giving Bread and Wine", Mark 14:17-25 is quoted. "After they have taken their places and are eating, what are the first words that we hear Jesus say? He says 'Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me...' Isn't this startling? What a way to start a dinner party! The first words of Jesus, at this final dinner with his disciples, name the conflict that is the elephant in the room." "What Jesus does next is remarkable, radical, and transforming in the context of his day and ours. After naming the conflict, he turns and offers everyone - Judas, Peter, everyone - bread and wine."

"I have a growing conviction that on some issues we are not, at least in the near term, going to find common ground, but we can find at the Table higher ground, transcendent ground to which we are invited and where we can stand together."

I hope these words bless you.

Synod 2007

Sorry, no photos. I forgot my camera at home.

Synod 2007 in the Limopo district is hosted in Rustenburg in the North West province.

This year's synod will be remembered for ministers' challenge to the church-structures regarding its failure in allowing ministers to preside over same-sex civil-unions. Yesterday, Thursday, saw 19 ministers in the Cape of Good Hope District having "objections" recorded behind their names as they professed that they accept Methodist Doctrine, understanding it to allow them to preside over same-sex unions.

Our synod raised a resolution requesting the church to allow ministers to follow their conscience in this matter. This issue will be debated today. It will be a heated debate, so please, pray for us - that we may love each other, speaking the truth in love and allowing each other to believe that all of us are loved by God, irrespective of our stance. God may nevertheless carry issue with our stances, and so we are open to challenge and growth. 

We pray that we will not blaspheme - ascribing characteristics to God, speaking in the Name of God, when God cannot identify with our proclamation. And so, we are open to revelation, the receiving of this revelation, and in faith, a response to this revelation.   This is just a short summary. I will keep everyone informed.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

I failed an assignment!

12 years of tertiary education and now it happens.

I failed an assignment. This year I registered for Abnormal Psychology, Social Psychology, Cognitive Psychology, Psychological Research and Interpersonal Skills.

So far I have achieved an average of 80+ for all of them, except Psychological Research, which came back with a mark of 36.

I can't believe it! I don't know what to do with this feeling. I want to fix it, but can't. It is definitely not one of my favourite subjects, but it is no excuse.

I must admit that I haven't spent as much time with it as I should have. It is a multiple choice paper and I eventually got so gatvol that I stopped looking for the answers and just spotted what I thought were the correct choices.

Serves me right!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Our anniversary

It was our 7th wedding anniversary on the 29th April 2007.

Sadly, I preached at two services and so could not spoil Natalie. On Monday we went to my folks, and so we postponed the spoiling again.

Last night, however, Nat's mom looked after the boys while we went for supper at a restaurant named "Heat". A friend of ours owns it and so we decided to support it a bit. It is a bit on the pricey side, but if you are up for a special meal, then this is the place.

We had carpaccio, steak with mustard and brandy-sauce. We drank what amounted to a bottle of wine, and then had lovely mousse and ice-cream covered with Nachtmusik and Cape Valvet.

What was more special, was the opportunity to sit and talk. Nobody else interupting, no crises to attend to, no telephones, but just us. It is strange how one lives past your spouse and at first it felt quite strange to "just talk". We had about half an hour of awkward silence, very much like a first date. But then we got to know each other again and fell in love again.

Thanks my lief for a wonderful 7 years.

And thanks for allowing my to watch the end of the soccer last night. If you didn't hear: Liverpool drummed Chelsea 4-1. "You will neeeeveeeer waaaaalk alooooone!"

By the way, don't you think my wife is just too beautiful?