The Circle of (gospel) Life

Bukavu, DRC

The start of a new year is a great time for reflection. Sometimes as we look back at the effort that has gone into the past 365 days, ‘victory’ is not always the first word that comes to mind – especially as we consider our efforts to make every day count, for eternity.

But that is exactly why this time of the year is so valuable. It allows us to step back and see the big picture of the change brought about by God in both ourselves, but also in others around us – the kind of things we miss in the chaos of the battle.

Back in 2005, I was part of student ministry on a small little campus in Midrand. I remember clearly how lame it (I!) felt. Few people attended and even those that came were irregular. I left there at the end of the year wondering whether it wasn’t somewhat of a waste of good time and energy.

But one man there came to understand that Jesus is God. A good God. A God that died, for him. A God worth dying for.

Long story short, Nicolas completed his M.Sc at Tuks at the end of 2011 and in December returned to his home town of Bukava in the Eastern DRC. To plant a church. To tell others, in a fumbling, unspectacular fashion, about his Jesus.

He gave up sweet offers to earn decent money in a significantly more comfortable setting. But he gets the gospel. It gives us everything. But demands our everything.

And so the story continues. It’s victory, but not in the way we would’ve written the story.

Of course, it’s good it’s not ours to write. It’s exactly that which guarantees 2012 will be a great year! In the real sense of the word. In Bukavu. In Pretoria!

(Here’s Nicolas’ first letter after his arrival back home, in case you’re interested)

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Just Do It!

Nothing wrong with a fresh resolution at the start of a New Year to do things better, more effective, more thoroughly. A number of us, I’m sure, will include in the list of things to do better, a desire to be more frequent in our time of delving into, sitting under, drinking from the very words that the living God speaks into 2012.

Here’s a bit of inspiration to read your Bible. Whenever. Wherever. Any way whatsoever. Figure out something that works for you. And then, just do it!

And, in case you’re interested, here’s one tool (try the 2-year option (pg 4) that might help to make this resolution of yours, last beyond RAG 2012. It works well (apart from just the accountability bit) when you commit to do it in sync with mates. So get a partner and get going!

(HT: Tim Chester)

“Verkoop AL jou goed en gee vir die armes…”

Al ooit gewonder hoekom Jesus vir die ryk jong man sê om al sy goed te verkoop en alles wat hy daarvoor kry vir die armes te gee? (Lukas 18:18ff)

  • Is die punt dat ons (wat meestal ryk jong mans is!) presies dieselfde moet doen?
  • En, per implikasie, dat indien ons dit nie doen nie, ons nie opregte volgelinge van Jesus is nie?

Hier’s ‘n behulpsame antwoord.

(Terloops (en net sodat ons nie hierdie as verskoning gebruik nie) meeste van ons KAN doen daarmee om so bietjie te begin verkoop, minder te koop en meer weg  te gee!)

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Armoede: Die Goeie Nuus

Daar is genoeg herinnering daar buite dat ons in ‘n gebroke wêreld leef, so as daar goeie nuus verby kom is dit die moeite werd om dit te geniet en oor te vertel. Hier is een so storie. Die kort en lank daarvan is dat die jaar 2000 teiken van wêreld leiers om uiterste armoede (“extreme poverty”) te halveer teen 2015, reeds in 2008 gebeur het.

Dit gebeur natuurlik nie sommer net nie. Baie mense het baie hard hiervoor gewerk – meeste waarvan waarskynlik nie Christene is nie. Hulle verdien ons almal se entoesiastiese lof en aanmoediging om met hulle goeie werk aan te hou.

Maar soos ons dit vier is dit goed om te onthou dat as enige iets goed in hierdie gebroke wêreld gebeur, dit is omdat God in Sy algemene genade dit so bewerkstellig het. Sonder Hom is ons tot niks goeds in staat nie.

Hy is aan die werk vir die beswil van Sy skepsels, of hulle Hom die erkenning daarvoor gee of nie. Mag ons van die wees wat dit wel doen soos ons Sy hand in die goeie nuus-stories van ons wêreld sien, ongeag die instrumente wat Hy gebruik!

Romantiese Pornografie

Hierdie dink ek is ‘n “moet lees” vir ons almal – mans EN vrouens!

http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/tgc/2011/07/22/beware-romantic-pornography/