Thursday, April 30, 2009

Why me?

This guy's walking down the street when he falls in a hole. The walls are so steep he can't get out. A doctor passes by and the guy shouts up, 'Hey you. Can you help me out?' The doctor writes a prescription, throws it down in the hole and moves on.
Then a priest comes along and the guy shouts up, 'Father, I'm down in this hole can you help me out?' The priest writes out a prayer, throws it down in the hole and moves on.

Then a friend walks by, 'Hey, Joe, it's me can you help me out?' And the friend jumps in the hole. Our guy says, 'Are you stupid? Now we're both down here.' The friend says, 'Yeah, but I've been down here before and I know the way out.'

If that sounded profound to you, then it's probably because I stole it from The West Wing. (Episode 32 I believe.)

I have a friend who has a problem, and I don't think she knows it yet. She is going through something that I don't think she fully understands or accepts, and it is hard. I know, because I went through the same thing myself. I have been in the hole that she is in, and I feel like I'm the only one around her who can see it, or knows what she needs to do. Because when I was in the hole many years ago, I had someone else jump in with me. Now I need to do the same thing.

And it's scary. Seriously scary!

Because once I talk to her about it, she will become one of only about three people in the world who know this thing about me, and I have spent years keeping it that way.

When I first had this problem, and went into the hole for the first time, I was very upset. Especially with God. It led to our first real argument. I asked him "Why me?" and he answered me for the first time. I felt an almost audible voice say "Otherwise how will you help others?"

Don't you hate it when He answers a question with a question?

But He was right of course. Going through it made me into the person I am today, and has shaped a lot of my personality and attitude. It has given me a different perspective on things from many others, which has occasionally been of use. And it also means that I have been able to relate to certain people in a way that others might not be able to. (Sorry to be so vague, but it is hard enough telling you this as it is.)

Who better to walk with a drug addict than a recovering addict? How do you walk with someone who has lost a child if you have never known loss, or talk about being strong if you have never know temptation?

Who better to get into a hole with you than someone who has been there before.

After all, isn't that what Jesus did for us? Or more importantly, what he does for us each day. He jumps into the hole with us, and says, "I've been in this one before, let's see what we can do about this."

You may have noticed that I am a big fan of Finding Nemo. I think that movie is awesome, and has so many biblical truths hidden in it. Here's one now:

******mild spoiler alert*******

Near the end of the movie, the dentist tries to take Nemo out of the fish tank with a net. All the other fish jump into the net, and swim down, thereby pulling the net out of his hand, and freeing Nemo.

Later, Nemo's friend Dori gets trapped in a tuna-net with a school of tuna. Nemo knows how to rescue them, but there is no time to explain it to them, and they are too panicked to listen. So he swims into the net with them, and shows them how to swim down. As a result, the net breaks, and they are all free. Nemo could only help them because he had been in a net before, and had overcome it (with some help from his friends) so he was the only one of them able to see how they could get out of this net. So he swam in, and showed them the way.

********end spoiler***********

Jesus has been in the net before, and he escaped. He has seen the hole from the inside, and knows ever corner. So he is able to help us out.

In the same way, we need to be there for those who are going through tough times, and climb into the hole with them. So when trouble strikes, don't ask. "Why me?" rather ask "What can I do with this?"

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Getting to know YOU

I came accross this link at another site I visit, and thought it looked like a good idea. Go to Dancing Barefoot on weathered ground and see what it's all about.

I'm back

Did you miss me?
I have been gone since last week Thursday to the Might Men Conference '09 in Greytown, South Africa. What an experience!
The organisers estimated attendance at 200,000 before the conference. I think it was closer to 300,000 actually. But it's not about the numbers, it's about the lives being changed. On the first night, thousands (literally) of men put up their hands to make their first public confession of faith in Jesus. And on the second. And on the third day as well.
Thousands. It was amazing.
Also amazing is the faith and commitment from the farmers, who allowed their fields to go unplanted for a year, so that over 100,000 men could camp in tents, and attend one of the biggest gatherings ever seen.
The event was slightly marred by the fact that the organiser, Angus Buchan, and the man we had all come to see, collapsed at 11AM with a suspected heart-attack. What was amazing to see though was the response. 100,000 odd men gathering at the main stage area to pray for him while we waited for the helicopter to come an air-lift him. And praise the lord, the emergency helicopter went away empty. He was taken for tests, and in his own words. "They tested me a few times, and then asked me to leave" Another miracle.
I am fianlly back home, catching up with all my e-mails and a week of blog posts to comment on. I think I have finally scrubbed all the Kwa-Zulu Natal dust off of me, and am shiny and fresh again.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

I'll see you later.

One of the disadvantages of blogging from a Southern African country is that I seem to be coming from a different place, culturally, than many of my blogging contemporaries. Posts about NFL and SNL are of intellectual interest to me, but have no resonance. It's just outside my field of cultural reference. So today's post might be the same way for many of you reading this. If so.. tough. This is my blog, and na-na to you. (In Christian Love of course.)

I am going to be gone for about a week, so I will not be on the blogs at all. I am going to attend a men's conference hosted by Angus Buchan. I'm not sure how well known he is outside of Southern Africa, but Angus Buchan is a farmer in South Africa who has a huge ministry to men and families. His big focus is bringing men back to their Christian responsibilities.

He wrote an amazing book about his life called Faith Like Potatoes, which was made into a decent movie.

Anyway... I will be going to his farm this weekend, together with 200,000 other men. It is going to be awesome. Check out the link to the conference if you are interested. It looks awesome. I will be leaving on Thursday morning at about 4AM and getting back on Monday night. So I won't be posting for the next week or so. (It might take me a few more days to recover.)

Please pray for us. This is going to be an amazing opportunity to try and change the hearts and minds of a huge group of men, which we are hoping will be a start towards change on our continent, and in our world.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Happy National High Five Day

Yes, you read that correctly; National High Five Day.

Go figure.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Why I love being a fish

I was reading this post over at FOTTSP, and all I can say is...

It's good to be a fish.

Sorry, I am all profounded out from the Easter weekend. Normal service will resume shortly.

Monday, April 6, 2009


Okay, so the poster is a little sarcastic, but the rest of this post is so serious that I needed to inject a little humour. I was reading a post about leadership over at one of the blogs I follow. I was drafting a comment, when I realised that I have actually written something about this before; it was one of my first posts on Sharkbait's Reef before facebook removed me. So I decided to re-post it here.

Who or what is a servant leader? Are all leaders called to be servants? Are all servants called to be leaders?

The essence of this question comes down to this. We are all called to serve. To serve others, and to serve God. We are however called to serve in different ways. The true leader recognises his need to serve those around him, but also recognises that the best way to do this is to lead them. His decision to lead is not motivated by a desire to be the leader, but by a true desire to serve his followers. To have in his heart a burning desire to be of service to them, and to walk with them, for their sake, and as a service to God.

On the other hand, the leader who wants to lead, and decides he must do so by serving is not going to be able to do either. His desire to be a leader is going to hamper his ability to serve, and his attempts to serve will drain him as a leader. God gives leaders the special gifts to equip them: leadership; teaching; counselling; shepherding etc. But if our desire is to be leaders, we will burn ourselves out. If our primary desire is to serve God, and serve our fellow man in love for God and them, then God will sustain us.

God will sustain us in our service of him. We are all called to serve, and we are all called to lead. But while serving does not always involve leading, leading must always involve serving.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Please pray

I am usually posting silly or funny posts. Even when I try to be serious, it just slips out. So I need to warn you that if you are only here for the jokes, you should skip this post and go look for something lighter.
I have some friends who go to my church who have just had shocking news. Yesterday morning their 5 year old son, Harry, was diagnosed with a massive growth pressing on his optic nerve. They took him into theatre last night, and had him under for most of the night. They discovered that not only was the tumour malignant, but it was even more massive than they had first thought. They removed most of the hard tumour, but have not come close to removing all that is needed. Apparently there is more than just the one growth, and it is too widespread to get it all.
Now today we hear from the experts that radiation and chemotherapy are not options. So we are not sure whether they are going to have to go back in to try and remove more of the growth, or if they are going to leave it like that.
Little Harry is one of the cutest and sweetest little boys you could ever hope to meet, and this is just killing everyone who knows him. He is being so brave.
If you can spare a moment, please pray for him; but also for his parents who are taking immense strain as well. They really need to be lifted up.
Thank you.