This has become a global trend, and serves as a warning to all states and individuals, where states fail to meet the needs of their people, people eventually revolt.

We see revolutions and uprisings across the globe with nations facing an escalation of violence, terrorism, mass marches and internal hostility.

Fuelled by the need for basic human rights, and extremist religious ideals.

We can learn a lot from this, the longer we do not hold our leaders and governmental service providers accountable the more we create an environment for unrest.

What could our Faithful Response be to this Global Crisis be?

How do we deal with these of ideals?

What can we learn from ISIS and how do we respond.

Suck it up and do it.

Over the last few months I have really struggled with motivation. One moment I’m thinking of great and exciting things to do, the next moment I am trying to get out of them. Going for a surf has been a prime example lately.

You see I got caught in a cycle where, when I want to train or surf I was to busy, this is not because of an overload of work, but rather through my personal power of procrastination. For a while I have let procrastination effect every area of my life, its like a disease with no medical cure. It started with finding excuses, like blaming the weather and not going for a surf, eventually my excuses went from justifiable to the ridicules. Staring at the surf the other day I found myself caught between its either too big and I’m not fit enough to make the paddle, or its to small and it’s not worth the paddle. There just seemed to be no middle ground, I had got to a point where I was making excuses to avoid what I know I truly enjoy. I’m sure we’ve all been there and in some cases we’re still there.

surf

It becomes a downward spiral, we get so used to finding excuses not to surf, eventually we forget why we actually wanted to surf in the first place. It’s not that we don’t want to surf, it just becomes easier not to. You see we become so good at delaying and postponing that the procrastination becomes permanent, we become lazy forgetting why its important to us in the first place, in turn robbing ourselves of the Joy we get from it.

Lately when I get to the beach and look out, I have begun to ask myself a valuable question, “what are my options”. Standing their thinking about it and trying to weigh up the options, acknowledging my need for the workout and reminding myself of why I enjoy it, almost always lead to me telling myself to “suck it up and do it!” before deciding to paddle out to reinforce what I already know.

“the Joy does not come to you, You have to go out and find it”

That said, procrastination, avoidance or downright laziness can be a difficult cycle to break.

As a child playing in the pool, we would make a whirlpool by running in a circle going round and round. Then when the whirlpool current was strong we would float, and let the momentum carry us round and round. Then challenging ourselves to break the cycle of the whirlpool, we would run in the opposite direction and our momentum would slowly break the cycle and begin to build momentum for us to float round in the current we had created.

You see to suck it up and do it, is about breaking the negative momentum of procrastination and laziness, and replacing it with a positive momentum of just doing what ever you set out to. This positive momentum forms a huge part of our motivation and will become one of your greatest forms of energy and Joy.

So when your standing on your beach thinking of reasons not to paddle out, Take a look at your options, Suck it up and do it.

 

Notorious Love

I have often stopped and started this blog. Up until now I never really grasped the process of writing, at first I found it rather boring and that made it feel like work. But as I lay on this bed, under a mosquito net in a small dark room, while my host peacefully sleeps in the room next door. I have found that writing, if done with the write motive, can be a rather fulfilling experience. I find myself intrigued and excited by the pictures we can portray through the descriptive text. For far to long, I have overlooked the beauty that has been created all around us, that if just acknowledged, words can only partially describe.

Personally up until recently, the only writing I have ever done has been work related. Looking back at the academic side of my high school days, if there were no grades at stake it just was not going to be done. I admit, I was a terrible scholar, I invariably still wonder how I actually completed school. Thinking about it, When it comes to the basics of English, I Know I would struggle to recall the grammatical foundations of what I was supposed to learn in my English first language classes.
Now that I have shared with you my authorship inadequacy, I promise to do my best to create interesting and inciteful posts, while developing my own personal writing skills through out the process. In turn, I politely request your forgiveness for any grammatical or linguistic transgressions, and any feedback from your part in this would be further more appreciated.

Over the last year or so a passion for sharing the beauty that surrounds us, as well as the stories and experiences that will help people develop has grown in me. That passion has started me on this journey of sharing my own understanding and experiences of the world around us. These experiences if processed can shape our understanding and set us free to grow and be who we are.

The power of sharing and processing information with love, forms the foundations of all our communication. It is that attitude of love that keeps us seeking to bring lasting joy and value to the lives of those we come in contact with. You see love helps us to understand that its not what we say that is important, but what is understood that makes the difference.

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The other day I was in the southern region of Malawi, visiting a good friend who lives in a little town surrounded by tea fields, at the base of the beautiful Mulanje mountain.
Our good friend Headson, a relatively small man with a big smile, who hardly has a few cents to rub together, came to collect me for church early that Sunday morning. On our way, while walking down the muddy red road, hopping over the puddles from the last few days of rain, we chatted about what had occurred since his recent return from South Africa.

Full of smiles he spoke excitedly about the projects he is involved and how this new church had begun, you see he has been busy. While walking he begins to tell me about a group of, as he puts it, notorious boys (criminals), who own the house that they now run the church in. He shares how these boys had been stealing from their neighbours and vandalising the very house they were living in.
As we arrive at the church, I am greeted by a young man, his clothes are old and worn but neat, he greets me with an unsure smile welcomes us to take a look around. Walking through out the rundown and ransacked house, Headson continues to tell me about the girl who used to live here, she was only 18 when she passed due to the effects of hiv/aids. Another young man arrives looking freshly showered, shyly he greets me. Headson and I, chat further about the family that live here as we continue to walk through the door and door frameless house. Arriving at the front porch the young man I met earlier brings us a bench. I ask him his name and his age. Headson translates but all I get is he’s 17.

Taking a seat, Headson continues to tell me about the house and how the church came to be here. (Original story, but Not original names)

While traveling to do training with a group of local leaders, Headson noticed these notorious boys sitting around outside the house. Just so you know, Headson has this funny habit of chasing wandering children back to school. He went over, an amazing thing happened, he did not preach or tell them the error of their ways, he just sat down and had a conversation.

Sitting there he listened while they told him stories of how they had began stealing and vandalising there house. They told him how there older sister used to be a prostitute and how their oldest brother is notorious for crime throughout the area.
After a few more visits he learnt more about them, listening and chatting about their world.

Then it happened they opened up, they shared their catalytic turning point, the biggest moment that changed the course of their young lives forever, the boys began to tell of how both their parents had died of hiv/aids 8 years earlier. How they had lived on their own ever since, and their oldest brother Paul being 13 at the time, and their oldest sister Amy (11), had become the parents of their fellow siblings Brett (9), John (5), Tom (2) and baby Michele(1).

In the first few months after their parents death, their oldest brother and the boys had began to sell the furniture to survive, then when the house was empty. They told how they went on to sell the windows and finally the door frames, vandalising their own house to buy food.
Once those resources were finished the boys began sneaking out at night and stealing from their neighbours. They told How little Amy at an early age, in an attempt to feed her family, would also go into the village at night, Amy began to sell the only thing she had left to sell. Paul eventually left, leaving Brett to fend for his brothers and little Amy payed the ultimate price contracting Hiv/Aids and passed away early last year at the tender age of 18.

By sitting down and listening Headson was able to understand a problem, no lecture would ever fix. Taking time to listen and show a little love, has also just asked more of him than he ever expected to give. He would have to find a solution to a life shattering problem.

So he decided that this was more than he intended to give and they were to far gone. So he left them and carried on with his own life, on his way to teach church leaders how to love like Christ loved the church.

Ok, of course he didn’t, why would I right a story about what most other people have done to them over the last 8 years.

Headson being the Good guy he is did have to leave after that first visit, but he returned often, he made friends he began to support them with food and clothing. They began to accept him, they stopped stealing and he moved in to help them. He met with the chief, the neighbours and the church leaders asking them to help as well.

The boys have begun to change, the neighbours are beginning to trust them for the first time and the chief is supportive of the entire process.

He arranged for the house to be rented from the children during the day. It is now used as a preschool, during the week, with which these children now attend. With the rent going to the support of these once notorious boys, who are still living in that same house, with no windows or doors. A couple from the church has volunteered to move in now and they are slowly beginning to develop into a respectable loving family again. While an aunt has been tracked down, who has now taken in, now 9 year old no longer baby Michele.

Our conversation is cut short as others have arrived and its time to start, that 17 year old young man, has a sparkle in his eye, as he hands me a chair. We have all gathered in the rundown lounge area which is now decorated in bright orange material, salvaged from a garage in pretoria. We begin to share about love and forgiveness as the older brother Paul, wearing a large trenchcoat and a face worn with the scars of his hard life, enters the church to take a seat next to his smiling brothers. The process is just starting with him.

You see had Headson continued to walk, he would have never heard the story of Paul, Amy, Brett and their Family. Had he not listened he would never have known of the struggles they faced. Had he not acted out of love Paul, Brett and their siblings would never had hope for a future.

On my way out I asked Brett, what does he think and feel about what has happened, He replied “I feel loved and cared for”, I can see the relief and gratefulness in his eyes as he says it. I greet Paul As I am leaving the front porch and spot his young wife, who has Pauls same worn demeanour, hiding outside. Calling to Paul we tell them both, “she is beautiful” he half smiles in agreement and she skirms shyly, as I ran off to catch a minibus to Blantyre, I realize I have witnessed the start of another series of catalytic moments in the lives of this young couple.

This is not a story of the decimation of a family ravaged by hiv/aids but rather the story of how Love and Understanding is instrumental in the way we influence the lives of those around us. It is story of how love and understanding brings restoration to the shattered lives around us.
We may have lost Amy, but through continued Love and Understanding, there is hope for the rest of this family. There is also hope for those around you.

If you have read many of my short facebook posts you will understand that most of what I write about is more light hearted. But this is different, as I said in the beginning that I will attempt to Bring you joy or add value to your lifes. I hope I have achieved that on this first of my new blogging journey.

Staying Relevant

Over the last few months, I have been in a process of equipping and training leaders, so they may return to their Community, create change and Equip others to do the same.

In order to be effective it is essential to use only training material that is relevant and practical, but this comes with a challenge. You actually need to have it available or you need to develop it.

If you are not relevant you are Not effective.

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There is a lot of training Material out there, but as you may or may not have realised that most training material is written by very qualified studious and older westerners with a very qualified studious and older western mindset. However the gents we spend most of our time training, being African they have a different mindset and work in an environment of traditional Africanisms, whilst being confronted with a younger more informed generation living in a constantly evolving and technologically advancing world. 

So to help them become more effective, we took them through the process of developing their own relevant training material. Scientifically it is proven that by teaching others, you retain 90% of the information, rather than the 5% of traditional lectures. Well the reason for this is that we need to understand it first in order to teach it and in order to understand it, it has to become relevant to us in our circumstances.

You don’t need to develop your own material to stay relevant, but the same principles apply to your everyday life.

So here are few of the principles you can apply to help you in your aproach.

Remember things Change, the purpose hasn’t.

eurp-1105-04+bmw-328-hommage+old-vs-newTake a Look around change is important you are part of it. There is a purpose for everything stay true to the purpose. These BMW 328 Homage sports cars are both beautiful vehicles built for pure enjoyment and take you from one place to another, both are still methods of transportation. It does not matter what you use Just Stay to true to the purpose and use what is appropriate. 

The screen you are reading was not invented when this 1st BMW Homage was designed, yet screens like yours were used in the design Process.

change is evident embrace it “

Computer_Cartoon

Develop a constant state of learning

Who do parents turn to when they have technology issues, their children.

How do kids know this, they are used to learning and are in a constant state of figuring out shtuff.

Constantly ask yourself, what, why, where, who, when, and How.

To often people just accept things as they are, but learning needs to be intentional, so the Why helps us figure out what’s important, and the how helps us to figure out new ways to apply it.

Seek understanding and Know who you are talking to 

whether you are face to face or face to Facebook.

Asking the right questions will help you understand people when communicating and dealing with any misinterpretations  (as well as help you Identify the creepy people).

“Asking the rite questions always leads to the rite answer, you may not like the answer but it’s still the 

rite answer.”

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Asking questions that help you find the Truth is important to understanding, and understanding forms the foundation of our communication.

Sending the rite message Is your responsibility.

Every person has their own way of interpreting and processing information, what you communicate needs to take into account the way they process it. 

“whether you use words or pictures is irrelevant, It’s not what you say but what they understand that counts.”

It’s not the fault of those your communicating with if they don’t understand you, its your responsibility to communicate in a way that they do.

training I believe these principles form the foundation of being relevant, and the process of applying these in your approach will determine your effectiveness.

Now you know this, How Does this effect Your approach?

Ask your self, where can I apply this in my life?

Finding your purpose.

I do not propose to have the answers to finding your purpose, I can only tell you how I am finding mine. After struggling for years to figure out life, after overcoming many challenges, reading endless books and questioning many leaders and pastors, I have begun the process of finding my purpose and with that my peace.

I have come to a conclusion, nobody can tell you of your purpose, you need to find it for yourself.

Your purpose cannot be defined by what you do or are going to do, but only by acting out who you are or are going to be.”

In order to act this out, we must first figure out who we are,

By learning to understand our:

Heart,

To understand your heart you must Understand your passion, the prolonged intense feelings of emotion that continuously get stirred in you.

Ask yourself

  • What is my reaction to the world around me?

  • What stirs up strong emotions of, love, anger, Compassion, justice etc.?

  • Where does my heart lie?

  • What makes me want to act or change?

By understanding what stirs your emotions you begin to find your passion, and the passion becomes the fuel that drives you.

Ability,

To understand your ability you need to figure out what skills we do or do not have, you need to be realistic in assessing your knowledge and physical abilities.

Ask yourself

  • What are my natural talents (mentally and physically)?

  • What skills do I already have, education and life experience?

Remember that our ability is not solely determined by natural talent, education and life experience, but is developed on a foundation of perseverance.

It is through perseverance that we can develop the skills we need to enhance our ability.

Knowing who we are, we are able to harness the passion that drives us, and through understanding the foundation of our talents, we can begin to make the informed decisions needed to determine the course of our own future.

In turn, taking responsibility for our own lives, developing ourselves and the skills we need, to act out what we were created for.

Simply put, the continuing process of acting out the passion of your heart to the best of your ability, will lead you to your purpose.

My personal Prayer

Father when I look at what you’ve done for me,

I cannot begin to explain the great joy you bring to me.

I am here to serve and I pray I bring you great Joy,

I will strive to bring you the glory in everything I do.

As I know I would be and am nothing without you.

Lord grant me the humility to listen and share with your heart in mind,

Letting every person I come into contact with see you in me.

These are just words and meaning less without action,

so let me act upon what I say, and do before I speak.

Let your love be evident in everything I do and am,

as all will be fruitless with out your love.

Father let me be a man of your love and your action,

for by this only will I be called a man of God.

Study the Bible

It is in our human nature to protect our current lifestyle and can justify almost anything, therefore it is very easy for us to misinterpret the word and end up leading ourselves and others astray. The bible is a book of principles written by man, but inspired by God, with its core purpose to reveal his love for us and be a manual to reconcile us with the father. Therefore we must always read the scripture within the context of the entire passage within relation to the purpose it is intended for. To understand the word we need to seek the heart of God, which he has revealed in the word through his holy spirit, which has been given to guide us.

Knowing this, understanding the word and finding the truth takes practice, so here are some basic steps to get you on your way. You’ll get the hang of it but start small as this does take practice.

1. Time management – set aside some time each day so you can focus and avoid distractions. Know how much time you have, don’t rush it, just adjust the extent of your study according to the time you have. Example… Short time = Short passage, Long time = Long passage.

2. Pray before, during and after, for an open mind, that we may receive the holy spirits guidance, and that he reveals the true meaning of the passage, and not just “what you want to hear.”

3. Choose a passage and Read the entire passage. A passage can be referred to as a complete unit of thought, and usually has 3 or more verses. We can often miss out vital keys points by stopping short or not reading the start of the passage.

4. Seek to understand the context of the passage, taking into account,

    • What is the purpose and who was it intended for? Is it an actual event, parable, poem, law or letter of instruction or prophecy?
    • How does this fit in with the rest of the chapter, book and what Jesus taught in the gospels, including the main purpose of Christ coming to earth to reconcile us with God?
    • The current situation, culture and history of the passage?
    • What the people are feeling?
    • The reason why the actions that have been taken, were taken?
    • What was the result?

5. Ask questions – Put yourself in the situation, try to understand what is going through the minds of the characters in the story. What would you do in the situation? How would that look today? What can I learn from this? what would that look like in the future?

6. Find the principle (life lesson) behind the passage, every passage in the bible is put there for a reason, by finding the principle we can relate the passage to our own lives. Their is a deep spiritual truth hiding in every passage you just have to find it.

7. Pray about it and check your understanding. How does this fit in my understanding of my relationship with God and the rest of the bible. Discuss your understanding with others, any revelation should be shared, this allows you to figure out if you are on the rite track, provides great opportunities for and others to learn so much more.

8. Be honest with yourself and apply the principle to your own lives. You can learn as much as you like but if you never apply it, have you actually allowed it to grow you. Find a simple way  to act out what you have learnt and set goals and a time frame to act upon it.

 

It is through a constant process of prayer and reading the word that we can develop our relationship with Christ and understanding of the truth. however It is only when we begin to act upon our beliefs that we confirm our faith and begin to grow.

On a side note, Remember Bible commentaries and devotionals are good, but at times they can merely be another person’s perspective of what is written in the word and should be used to check your understanding or provide incite into  a passage you are not sure of.  There is no replacement for reading the bible yourself and gaining your own understanding.

Thank you for your time and God Bless.

There is  multiple online and downloadable biblical resources to help you to dig deaper into the word. You can also use E-sword as a extra research tool which has many biblical resources for download including dictionaries, Greek and Hebrew translations, http://www.e-sword.net/downloads.html

Understanding the Bible

As humans it is in our nature to justify almost anything, therefore it is very easy for us to misinterpret the word leading ourselves and others astray. The bible is a book of principles written by man, but inspired by God, with its core purpose to reveal his love for us. Therefore we must always read the scripture within the context of the entire passage within relation to the entire Bible.
To understand the word we need to understand the heart of God, which he has revealed in the word through his holy spirit, so be prepared to ask the Holy Spirit for guidance.
Understanding the true meaning takes practice, so here are some basic steps to get you on your way. You’ll get the hang of it but start small as this does take practice.

1. Time management – set aside some time each day, know how much time you have, don’t rush it, just adjust the extent of your study according to the time you have.
Example… Short time = Short passage, Long time = Long passage.
2. Pray before, during and after, for an open mind, that we may receive the holy spirits guidance, and that he reveals the true meaning of the passage, and not just “what I want to hear.”
3. Choose a passage and Read the entire passage
4. Seek to understand the context of the passage, taking into account,

    • The current situation and history of the passage?
    • What the people are feeling?
    • The reason why the actions that have been taken, were taken?
    • What was the result?

5. Ask questions – Put yourself in the situation, try to understand what is going through their minds.
6. Find the principle (life lesson) behind the passage, every passage in the bible is put there for a reason, by finding the principle we can relate the passage to our own lives.
7. Be honest with yourself and apply the principle to your own lives.
8. Pray about it and check your understanding.

I pray that this is helpful.
All the best
God bless

P.S. Bible commentaries and devotionals are good, but they are merely another person’s understanding of what is written, remember there is no replacement for reading the bible your yourself and gaining your own understanding.
You can also use E-sword for extra research which has many biblical resources for download including dictionaries, Greek and Hebrew translations, http://www.e-sword.net/downloads.html