It has been a great time!
We have been on leave for about 10 days by now, and just as we gear up to end a 2 week break, we tell ourselves we’re just starting to rest – I’m sure you know the feeling!
We are grateful for times of fun, family & rest. We’ve enjoyed each other much and still class ourselves as the happiest family alive! The girls are such a delight in every way, they flavour us with their personalities, they keep us busy with lots of questions, they make our hearts melt more that what we thought possible. Anika is supermom! She is the dearest wife of my youth and we celebrate God and each other as we stay on this journey of faith, excitement, nerves and little bit of fear every now and again… only a little :-)
We are gearing up for this next leg in the walk of faith! Leading in the church is a great privilege, and so much more amongst people such as those part of the body of UCI. We love you all very much, we appreciate your partnership and look forward to the next phase of this journey God has put us on together!
Let’s hold on to that what is worth holding on to – the Old Gospel; Christ as the one and only redeemer - ever; the ancient life giving words of the Bible, uncompromised in our lives and church; each other as brothers & sisters…
Let’s not be afraid to let go of the things that aren’t worth holding on to – religion; traditions; sin; self gain & self righteousness; and you complete the list for yourself!
We look forward to be back from leave, and may the favour of God stay upon us! It is but by His grace, or we are in trouble!
Thought to close with this quote from John Newton I recently came across:
John Newton: I trust I have a remembrance in your prayers. I need them much: my service is great. It is, indeed, no small thing to stand between God and the people, to divide the word of truth aright, to give every one portion, to withstand the counter tides of opposition and popularity, and to press those truths upon others, the power of which, I, at times, feel so little of in my own soul. A cold, corrupt heart is uncomfortable company in the pulpit. Yet, in the midst of all my fears and unworthiness, I am enabled to cleave to the promise, and to rely on the power of the great Redeemer.
Much love from us
How do you connect with God as a habit?
Let me name 2 frequent occurrences:
1. We are creatures of habit that likes patterns, programs, rituals, you name it. When this mixes with faith, the tendency is always to make it into a religious rhythm, which we don't want. We want our faith in God to be real, active, relevant, life-giving, and so on, and the challenge for us would be to keep this as such.
2. We also tend to over-react. We so much don't a faith that looks like religion, we steer far clear of any form of structure when meeting with God. At the beginning this is a great feeling, because it is nice without rules, and there was probably a shedding of a guilty conscience. However, there is often no sustainability in this, as prayer and reading is not done as often as is needed.
I am more convinced then ever before of the need for us to connect with God as much as we can. I do not want religious activity to drive me, and for my own sustainability I know how important it is to create the right habits, so the challenge would be to keep it real! My message to UCI has been, and still is - get down on you knees and dive yourself into the Word of God, and if that sounds religious, I am afraid Jesus is not in your theology. Any married couple will agree that the encouragement to spend time together is good for them, and that is merely what we are saying - spend as much time as you can with the lover of your soul - He is real, He is eager, and He longs for you!
I thought to put down a link to Tim Keller's blog. Great to read how a seasoned campaigner is doing it, and to see what he put in place to steer himself effectively through every day. This has worked for him, what works for you?
To read his comments on prayer, follow this
For quite some time we have been wanting to pursue the avenue of a proper website and interact with our members, community and the wider world though this means. Well, this site is one step closer to that and we look forward to expand, build and generate momentum with this tool into the future. Perhaps a few comments to voice our intentions:
Jesus must be known, and we are called to make him known
We are already spending lots of time and effort to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus in this city. As an extension of this act of faith, we create this website to express more about who Jesus is. Because we are His Body & Jesus himself is the head, we want to believe that expressing who we are, reflects Jesus in a way. There is a responsibility that comes with this statement, because we do not have the liberty to do as we like and then call that an expression of Jesus, no that's just cheap! We apply ourselves to the Word of God, to prayer, with faith, through grace, as a family, focussed on Jesus, step by step as we believe we are being lead - and that will bring forth more and more of the likeness of Christ though our lives - which is in itself then an expression of Jesus & His Kingdom.
The church carries a mandate and authority, why not use to various extend?
We as the church can easily end up living as if we are a secret society to be discovered by those who will work hard enough to find us, and the effort would give birth to genuine partnership.
Over here we are more and more urged towards a proactive Gospel visibility than a reactive. That means we want to be out there and gather people, love them, enjoy being amongst them and see them one by one brought closer to Jesus, just like we are.
Hence this website! May this develop to be a tool that us used to communicate the right messages to the right people - one big invite to real people to meet, connect, or even reconnect with the real Jesus.
The UCI community - You are such a delightful bunch of people and we are blessed to be around you - stay at it! Let this site serve you to stay updated with what is going on and about to go on!
The wider community - We love meeting new people, and like it is in every city - some people are in search for God and some are not - we love you both! Why not come and join us for a Sunday meeting, a social event, or something that interests you about us. This site is to keep you informed too.
Uitenhage, Despatch, Port Elizabeth...
We absolutely love living here. A theology of time & place makes us fall in love with it over and over again, knowing we are here to make a difference and that it is not by chance or luck that we are here. It would rather be sad to think that one could actually end up living and spending ones life in a certain place, and not loving it, not being called to be there, not put any value back into it, not leave a legacy behind, and perhaps being just a number. That is sad... but what about the inverse - being here for a reason, expressing our faith that God has called us to be here and to reach the people around us, adding value by just being who we are, adding value by actively serving in our community, and hopefully when the time comes to move on, a story can be told about the graces of God that was evident through it all.
If you share this place with me, won't you give a prayer of thanks that God chose to place us here. Won't you look around you and see where you can make a difference. Won't you believe that Jesus loves every person we can see and every one we can't - and He intends to express it through us!
Much love from us