Transformed

Adventurous Me

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Someone, please buy me a motorbike? 🙂 After my first bike ride today, I am convinced that I must add a motorbike to my adventure tools. My first bike ride was a pillion ride, that is, I was a passenger. Now, I have a desire to be the one driving.

The anticipation of my ride was filled with excitement yet I was also nervous. I started wondering how I was going to hang on and not fall over. Even after my brief induction and the driver’s assurance, there was still a little bit of nervousness. Then, I got on the bike. The ignition went on, the bike roared and there was no turning back.

Being on a bike is obviously different from travelling in a car. However, the experience on a bike far outweighs that of a car in a sense that I saw the journey through different eyes.  I saw other cars on the road without the covering of metal, cushions and airbags. That alone was enough for anyone to backtrack and Uber back home. I just told myself to relax and trust that I am safe. And I was safe. I appreciated the scenery even better on a bike as the refreshing wind added to the adventure. 

At the first stop, I felt like a biker :-)…looking cool in the biker’s gear, taking off my helmet and holding it like a pro. And I will soon be a pro.

At the end of the journey, I was tired. As I retired on my couch, I was satisfied with the reason for my tiredness, which was, adventure.

To a life that feels like and is a vacation daily,

Ntando(kaYi)se

Transformed

The thing with travelling is…

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….You can no longer baby the illusion that is a pseudo- life. That is my experience.

I find it interesting when someone says, “I had to get back to reality. I have bills to pay.” This is mentioned with a discouragement from the life one desires to a life that has been labeled as Reality.

Reality, to me, is living a life where you are free to be you every single moment. In Reality, you don’t have to put up a front and put on a persona, sometimes known as being professional. If I cannot be who I am at every moment, then that is a pseudo-life. And I have been living a pseudo-life for too long. After my last trip, I have been stirred by an unrelenting dissatisfaction with the pseudo-life and I cannot continue purporting that things will be better. Or that I should be patient. Or that something will come up. Or that there’s a lesson to learn. Or that it’s not yet time.

I have known, long ago, that I am not an employee. There is something about working a job that just betrays who I am. I have been more than patient. I have embraced excuses for not doing what I know I should do. That time has come to an end.

This is what travelling has done to me. My last trip was in Camps Bay, Cape Town at an exquisite hotel, Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa. Being in that space, I allowed myself to be me. I made it okay to expect the best for myself. I basked in my desires being fulfilled in each moment. I was free to be me every single moment and my environment supported it.

This is why the pseudo-life must be unmasked and exposed. The excuses and cliches for why I should hold on have lost their influence in my life.

Let the fun begin.

Here’s to a life that feels like and is a vacation everyday,

Ntando(kaYi)se

Transformed

Something New

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There is a freshness that comes with doing something you’ve never done before. Today I experienced that freshness. It came in the form  of the sport called Polo. Not only was it about the sport but also the energy of an environment of pleasure, luxury and good fun.

It has been over 3 years since I decided to own my Sundays again. Yes, I no longer have a predictable routine on Sundays which looked something like this: wake up, take a bath, get dressed, go to church, come back from church, cook, eat, dread Mondays and sleep. The only routine-y thing I do on Sundays is yoga in the morning which I love doing. From then on, it is open to various possibilities.

Today’s possibility was the BMW International Polo Series  2016 which took place in Waterfall Estate, South Africa. This experience was invigorating, refreshing and energising. The relaxed atmosphere, the beautiful people of this land, the horses, the green lawn and more contributed to the feeling of abundance that I had. And that is another point: experiencing something new also contributes and multiplies the feeling of abundance.

There are many experiences I have had by myself. I must say that this kind of experience is even better with a friend. I am grateful for my friend, Anna, with whom I have experienced great new experiences in a very short space of time.

In summary, new experiences

  • (1) bring freshness to life,
  • (2) contribute and multiply the feeling of abundance, and
  • (3) are better experienced with a friend.

May there be a newness in your life with each day and a sense of expectation of great things for you. May you be inspired to expect the best of life in every moment so that your life is a moment by moment experience of ecstasy.

To the best that life offers. Let it flow in your life.

Ntando(kaYi)se

 

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Damn this flu!

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So I thought this would be the year that I don’t contract the flu virus. That hope was crushed on Monday when I was abruptly awoken by a dryness in my nose. It felt like wind gushing into my left nostril. I thought maybe it’s because there was a window open at night. It was just the beginning of a horrendous flu episode.

I carried on with my daily tasks as usual but the flu was setting in, making its presence known in my body. I felt feverish. I had a headache. My nostrils were feeling burned each time I breathed. I thought that some rest would help and that this would pass. Nope.

On Tuesday, it escalated to more fever and blocked nose. I inhaled the most eucalyptus oil than I have ever inhaled but yet still the flu persisted.

On Wednesday, the flu realy showed off. I was SICK. I went to the store, after a work meeting, to stock up on homeopathic medicine. By the time I got home I felt like death would be the best antidote to the pain I was feeling. My voice also gave up and it was very painful to talk. I’m grateful for my beau who was there to nurse me.

One of the worst things about the flu is waking up the next day. You wake up with the hope that you magically recovered overnight. That was not to happen because on Thursday, a blocked nose, a runny nose, a headache and a fever all said “heita daar, we will haunt you another day.”

Enter Friday morning, the same beasts awaited my awakening. By the evening, a new beast introduced itself, the dry cough. If not given the choice of health, I would rather have a blocked nose than a cough. This was not an “excuse me” cough. This was a “let me go to the other room and cough my insides out” cough. It was the kind of cough that has a belch and a sensation to vomit at the same time. Yerr!

The cough moved from dry to wet overnight, because that’s what woke me up on Saturday at 3am. By the evening, I felt that my body was finally winning its final battle over the symptoms of coughing and blocked nose.

In all this I was steadfast in my resistance to allopathic medicine. I googled all things homemade. I made a concoction of cough syrup that had olive oil in it. Let me say that, that didn’t last long and I had to surrender it to my drain. Whoever has horrible memories of castor oil will understand why anything oil like is not welcome.

I made a second concoction: ginger and honey. This one was okay although my cough wasn’t getting better as quickly as I needed it to.

Throughout this entire experience, I discovered nature’s remedies in epsom salts and essential oils. The use of these two in my bathes made a huge difference in how I felt. I also took Echinacea.

Essential oils are truly that: essential. Tea tree oil and eucalyptus oil are essential when going through a flu episode. These oils beat vaporub when it comes to ukufutha (deeply inhaling the vapours of the oil as poured in hot water). Ukufutha really helped to alleviate the coughing and of course the congestion.

From my experience, natural and homeopathic remedies are the way to go in fighting the flu.

Transformed

Think! (Lessons from 2013)

THINK

I used to write my blog posts with bible verses included to further the cause of my assertions. I am now under no pressure to surround my writing with theological auspices. I write. I think. I write what I think. To borrow from one of the world’s greatest thinkers, Bantu Biko, “I write what I like”.

One of my most favourite quotes is by Mark Twain, where he said,

I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.

One of the most critical realisations a human being can make is to find the origins of the systems within which he/she finds himself having to adhere to daily. The discovery of such highlights the essence of Twain’s words. At the centre of these systems, is the battle of your mind. Someone does not want you to THINK! You see it in our politicians, when they abhor any resistance or challenge to the ideas they sell to the masses, but which are for the politicians’ benefit. You also see in the offspring of politics: religion.

Religion thrives on people who do not question, who do not think. In fact, it encourages parking the brain. To those who do think, it employs vicious ostracism against them. Meanwhile, the disciples of religion do not even see anything wrong with this hypocrisy. They do not see anything wrong because they do not THINK outside of the borders that their leader has constructed.

So in 2013, I started thinking without feeling guilty about questioning God. I questioned that if I was God, why would I find thinking and questions offensive? I started connecting with my own state of being and embraced that. I allowed myself to be.

Shakespeare wrote,

“‘To be or not be?’, that is the question.”

My answer is “to be”. “To be” to me means to love myself, use what I have, use my own brain, think for myself and enjoy being.

Transformed

Make The Most of Time

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Look carefully then how you walk! Live purposefully and worthily and accurately, not as the unwise and witless, but as wise (sensible, intelligent people), Making the very most of the time [buying up each opportunity], because the days are evil. Therefore do not be vague and thoughtless and foolish, but understanding and firmly grasping what the will of the Lord is.

Ephesians 5:15-17 AMP

Today, my sister informed me that a lady that she worked with at her previous workplace has passed away. She was murdered. She was only 22 years old. On Sunday, my friend informed me about a lady from her church who suddenly died after a heart attack, while she was preparing to go to church. Her small children are now motherless. The gruesome murder of Happy Sindane hit the news yesterday. As you can see, death hits anywhere and anyone. It does not take into account your age or how many things you still want to fulfill but are postponing. And once it has hit, it is final; at least when it comes to this present earth.

I heard about many other deaths during the month of March. I was saddened by the sudden death of some people that I knew and saddened, in general, by the end of human life. As much as death is a part of our existence on this earth, none of us can say we are used to it.

I do not want to depress you or cause you to remember some of your loved ones who have passed away. What this made think is ‘what separates me from the ones who have passed on?’ Why am I still here? I realised it has nothing to do with how I look, how intelligent I am or anything on my part. I am reluctant to even say it is by God’s grace, as if His grace could not have intervened in these sad deaths.  What I do know for sure is that He has granted me one more day to live.

I have even now decided to rethink the concept of how MY day was, as if I had control over the breath of life in me. I choose to look at it from the perspective of how I spent the day that God has granted me. James, the apostle, wrote about this,

Come now, you who say, Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a city and spend a year there and carry on our business and make money. Yet you do not know [the least thing] about what may happen tomorrow. What is the nature of your life? You are [really] but a wisp of vapor (a puff of smoke, a mist) that is visible for a little while and then disappears [into thin air]. You ought instead to say, If the Lord is willing, we shall live and we shall do this or that [thing].

James 4:13-15 AMP

I used to dismiss this before, but no more. Now I recognise that it is the Lord Who holds my breath or should I say His breath in me. I do believe in God to grant me long life as reflected in Psalm 91:16. Yet I have the responsibility to treasure each and every day that He grants me.

So my prayer is to live purposely and wisely; making the very most of time that God has granted me. Tomorrow is not guaranteed. I pray also that you live purposely, wisely, and that you make the most of the time that God has granted you.

Ntando(kaYi)se

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Conformist Charismatics?

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A thought came to mind the other day: Of all the religions that exist, more especially ones that have existed for centuries, none seeks to relate to present culture except Charismatic Christianity.

Have you seen Buddhism trying to be relevant to the youth? Have you seen Buddhist programmes that are designed with the present culture in mind; programmes such as Hip-Hop Sunday, with funky names to attract the youth? I am just using this one example from numerous other instances. I choose this particular example as there seems to be a notion that in order to ‘attract’ the youth to Christianity, you have to make it relevant to what the youth sees in the world. That adaptation to present culture is not what God endorses.

I believe that what Paul said in his letter to the Romans really is aligned to God’s view on this context.

Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you].

Romans 12:2 AMP

The reason I say that Paul’s statement represents God’s view is because of what Jesus said to His disciples regarding their standing with the world,

If the world hates you, know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you belonged to the world, the world would treat you with affection and would love you as its own. But because you are not of the world [no longer one with it], but I have chosen (selected) you out of the world, the world hates (detests) you.

John 15:18-19

I used to endorse the view that Christianity is not a religion, because Jesus did not come to establish a religion but relationship. In revisiting my stance, I must say that it is true that Jesus did not come to establish a religion but relationship; however, it is not true that Christianity, at least the current brand of it, is not a religion. The reason I mention that Christianity is a religion is that it resembles much of the same principles that define other religions, except that its followers still claim to not be religious. This is, though, a debate for another day but I do challenge you to do a comparative study of the religions and see how Christianity fares.

My point is that since we can claim to be different from the world, we cannot be seen employing the tactics of the world to make what we believe more attractive. I believe that if we made a decisive dedication to follow Jesus instead of Christianity, then our claims of being different and free will graduate to being an undeniable and unquestionable reality.

So, we do not need to market Jesus to the youth or anyone else. We do not need to make Him attractive to anyone. Take a journey through the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John and see Jesus, Himself, astounding the crowds. It is Him Who we should preach. He, alone, is enough.

So the youth do not need funky programmes that are relevant to the present pop culture, they need to be pointed to Jesus. He is relevant.

For love of conversation,

Ntando(kaYi)se

 

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The Believer’s Gullibility

pimps-headerWith so many con-artists in the world, why is it that Christians immediately trust when someone they don’t know, tells them he is a pastor. With so many warnings, that Jesus gave regarding false prophets, why is it that Christians are so gullible?

I’ve been there and done that. But looking from the outside in, I cannot understand why some Christians value their pastors’ words even above Jesus’ words. No seriously, a man you have never seen comes to you and says he is a pastor; what criteria do you use to determine his legitimacy? Is it his fame? Is it because he has a “church” with mega numbers? Is it because he wears a collar and keeps a pious posture?

Jesus said we ought to be harmless as doves but wise as serpents. Somehow Christians have taken the former and completely neglected the latter. Being wise as a serpent is not about pumping your brain with verses that you can recite when you have a bill to pay, or when you are challenged with illness. Wisdom allows one to discern between right and wrong, real and fake. If we truly exercised wisdom, we would not be swept off our feet by television stars masked as “men of God.” We also would not be taken by a collar, pious poster and stage drama that seem to be the qualifying criteria to be respected as “men of God.” At the end of the day, after this drama has passed, do you reflect on what the pastor has said and align it with what Holy Spirit says. Or is it vice versa? If it is the latter, then we have a problem.

There is no Mediator between God and man except Jesus Christ. And after being reconciled to God through Christ, we are all sons of God. There are no super-sons. None. No one holds the patents to the revelation of God’s Word except Christ. And we all have access to Him. He speaks loudly enough to be heard by all.

Leaders are there but we cannot graduate them to being sub-mediators between ourselves and God. A leader is not one because he says he is. Leadership is demonstrated in servanthood. Christlike leadership does not endorse one human being usurping power over another. Note that I said “Christlike” which at times is not synonymous with “Christian.” If a ‘leader’ imposes mediacy between you and God, there is a great possibility that you are being conned.

Wake up!

Yours in fruitful conversation,

Ntando(ka)Yise

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The Gospel of Tolerance?

 

Today’s blog will either result in me being labelled as a bigot by unbelievers or ‘too radical’ by comfortable Christians, but what I am writing about needs to be said. The Gospel that Jesus represents is not a gospel of tolerance for ungodly things. The Gospel that Jesus preached did not give space for double-mindedness but requires a whole-hearted, sold-out stance on the part of all who claim to follow Him.

Jesus said that He did not come to bring peace but a sword. In His own words,

34 Do not think that I have come to bring peace upon the earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.

35 For I have come to part asunder a man from his father, and a daughter from her mother, and a newly married wife from her mother-in-law–

36 And a man’s foes will be they of his own household.

37 He who loves [and takes more pleasure in] father or mother more than [in] Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves [and takes more pleasure in] son or daughter more than [in] Me is not worthy of Me;

38 And he who does not take up his cross and follow Me [ cleave steadfastly to Me, conforming wholly to My example in living and, if need be, in dying also] is not worthy of Me.

39 Whoever finds his [ lower] life will lose it [the higher life], and whoever loses his [lower] life on My account will find it [the higher life].

Matthew 10:34-39 AMP

Jesus has fully represented Who He is to us, in the Word of God. So I am writing this not from a perspective of defending Jesus. No. He needs no defence. I want to challenge those of us who profess to be His followers to ascertain truthfully whether we only believe in Him or we also believe Him. This is not a group answer. This is something that each individual needs to answer for themselves.

I am concerned by the growing number of believers who seem to promote a tolerance of sin. In order to perpetuate this notion, they will silence anyone who talks to their conscience about a certain sin that they partake in. The silencing is widely stamped by the use of the grand statement, “Do not judge.” How about also, “God loves us all anyway.” The moment I hear a believer saying that, one of two things is true  – or even both:

  • That believer is willfully partaking in sin and is unrepentant about it.
  • There is gross ignorance of the Bible, leading to a misunderstanding of grace.

This tolerance of sin has led to some believers embracing and coining the term “gay Christian.”  Any believer who is well acquainted with their Bible will know that this term-and the subsequent endorsement of that lifestyle-cannot, is not, and can never be biblical. If it is not biblical, then that means God does not endorse it. I will not, in this writing, go on an expository trip of all the verses against homosexuality. However, I will touch on what is deemed Jesus’ silence on homosexuality.

Some believers claim that He did not speak for or against it. They insinuate that it is then left to each one’s conscience to decide what God is telling them individually. That, my friends, already indicates a serious problem. One person might hear God saying it is okay. The other might hear God saying it really does not matter how you live on earth. That already is not representative of God. God is not the author of confusion (1 Corinthians 14:33 KJV). He is the God of order.  So that is not the approach we should use.

The worst I have heard is “put your Bible aside for a moment and listen to what God’s Spirit says to you about this issue.” This was said by an ex-pastor. The problem with this is that it presupposes that the Spirit of God can tell you something that contradicts God. That is absurd. The Bible, regardless of the reservations about the human element and its consequences, remains what is described as follows:

16 Every Scripture is God-breathed (given by His inspiration) and profitable for instruction, for reproof and conviction of sin, for correction of error and discipline in obedience, [and] for training in righteousness (in holy living, in conformity to God’s will in thought, purpose, and action),

17 So that the man of God may be complete and proficient, well fitted and thoroughly equipped for every good work.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 AMP

So, as a follower of Christ, I cannot put the Bible aside because that would be putting God aside. God the Father, God the Son (Jesus, the Word of God), and God the Holy Spirit all speak in one voice, so I cannot now adopt a new belief  that would put the authority of the Scriptures to question.

For those who argue that Jesus was silent about homosexuality, as a way of opening it up to individual perception, what say you of Jesus’ “silence” on paedophilia? If that argument is used and results in the term ‘gay Christian,’ should we be concerned that we will have ‘paedophile Christians’ in the future who can march on the streets for their rights to have sexual relations with children? This might sound, to some, as  an extreme example but the reality is that there is a ploy by certain groups to have this legalised.

For a true follower, it boils down to the question Jesus asked His disciples, “Who do YOU say I am?” (emphasis added). The only way to answer that is to pull away from the group and answer that alone, face-to-face with God. The pastor will not answer it for you. Sadly, many pastors are leading people astray with their pseudo exegetical prose stemming from corrupt theology that shifts the people’s focus away from Jesus but to their own empires.

Who do you say Jesus is? Do you believe Him?

In Pursuit of Christ,

Ntando(kaYi)se

 

 

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It Is Sooooo NOT About You!

Once you get saved, everything, and I mean everything, ceases to be about YOU.  It all ceases to be about YOU. If we can get one thing clear, it is that. Then what is it about? A better way to pose the question is “Who is it about?”

It is about CHRIST. Not even the kingdom or healing or faith but it is about Jesus Christ.

For some devilish reason, salvation has been reduced to obtaining your miracle, your breakthrough and proving to the world in obscure ways that we are different. When Christianity is based on anything other than Christ, it ceases to be representative of Him. It ceases to be of Christ. Frank Viola mentions that the general trend in Christendom is to treat Christ as a footnote. The problem with that trend is that it promotes a kingdom without its King, healing without dependence on the Healer, and presupposes that we can live without Christ.

I used to be a proud follower of the “Kingdom” message. I have since revised my standing. I am now a follower of Christ. I am now, with  His help, pursuing Him. Without Him, there is no Kingdom. When any Christian doctrine is followed to the exclusion of Christ as the primary focus, it becomes difficult to understand why things do not work the way the doctrine promises. God does not share His glory with any other god, including any other doctrine other than Christ. Doctrines can be gods, especially when they receive worship that is only due to God.

The rate at which Christians are divorcing is appalling. It is very saddening that Christians see divorce as an option without considering the implications of the decision on Christianity as a whole. When you know it is not about you, you will hold fast to what Jesus taught. You will understand that as salt of the earth, if you lose your flavour, what hope is there for the world? As the light of the world, if you do things that mimic darkness, what testimony is that to the world? When you enter into marriage, you even have to understand that it is beyond your happiness. It is primarily about revealing Christ (Ephesians 5:21-33). That needs to be understood, prior to entering the divine institution of marriage. One needs to also understand that marriage is not a human idea, so accountability is due to God, its originator.

The grave danger of preaching anything other than Christ is the tendency to be ignorant of the accountability we have to God and the Body of Christ as a whole. A doctrine that focuses on how YOUR life can be better, results in pursuit of that better life without accountability. It promotes the “I’m going to get mine” attitude. You find that everything you do, even if you can claim you are doing it unto God, is actually about you. You “worship” to feel good.  You give to get the hundredfold return, as if God is an investment portfolio. You desire spiritual gifts as a way to prove that you are powerful.

Another danger of preaching anything other than Christ is that you start developing an enormous appetite for more. There is no problem with expanding, stretching, and increasing. The question is what is the purpose for that expansion? Is it Christ? Or is it you? I have read so many books in my life and I ask myself if I have benefited from all this information. Praise God, I have gained benefits, however I must admit that I have a lot of information that I have not yet channeled as applied knowledge. But what I can tell you that with all the books I have read, I have realised it does not make sense without Jesus. It really does not make sense at all.  I realise more and more that I cannot live without Christ. When life does not make sense, He does.

The apostles preached Christ (1 Corinthians 1:23, Galatians 1:16). Christ is all. A reading of Colossians 1 is enough for anyone to begin acquainting themselves with Christ. We need to move away from facile doctrines that are pointed to us and pursue Christ.

It is too dangerous to preach anything but Christ. Any other doctrine that does not have Christ as the primary focus breeds selfish individuals who claim to follow the most selfless human being who ever graced this earth. It is all about Christ.

In Pursuit of Christ,

Ntando(kaYi)se