What if you only had 4 days left to live?

What if you only had 4 days left to live?

Today I’m going to talk about something that really knocks me off my feet some days, something that shakes me and my whole core of a human being so hard that it leaves me without any breath and completely bummed out. But, at the same time it leaves me more motivated to be better and make the most of each and every day.

It was June 2014 when I woke up to the notifications of friends posting “Rest In Peace” messages on one of my good high school friends’ Facebook wall. Surely this must be a joke, it can’t be real I thought. But with every minute that past in bed that morning another message expressing someone’s sadness and grief for a great friend lost came through.

I was shocked to have learned that my friend had died in a car accident the night before. As I was lying in bed I scrolled around on his Facebook profile when I came across a few posts that he made just a few days earlier. In these posts you could see that he still had so much hope and so many dreams for the future.

As I was lying there I zoned out for a bit on the thought of this: Just 4 days earlier there was this person with so much potential, love and hope. So many goals and dreams, friends and family, places to see… and now there is… nothing!

Just an empty room… A mother with a broken heart, a father with tears in his eyes, a brother that cannot sleep and so many friends in disbelief.

There was no way my friend could’ve known that there was only 4 days left on his clock. Sheesh… Let that sink in for a second. Four days earlier when he made that status update, commented on someone’s picture and shared a funny video clip he was totally unaware that he only had 4 days left on this planet. All of us, his friends and family, were totally unaware.

After that day I’ve had this same experience a couple of times where I will find myself on someone else’s Facebook profile (who has sadly passed away) scrolling through their old pictures and posts, zoning out on the shocking reality that just 4 days ago they did not know their time was almost up.

Have you ever done that? Because man it hits hard!

It feels like death has been getting closer and closer to home in recent years. Some days I’m terrified by the idea of death. I’m terrified that my last day will come and I would’ve missed out on all the opportunities and chances I didn’t take.

Opportunities and chances to influence someone else’s life positively.

The only thing that give me peace and comfort is my faith. As a Christian man I believe that Jesus Christ has already conquered death and the day I accepted him into my heart I received his salvation. This is the only thing that works for me and this is how I choose to live my life.

Here are a few versus out of the Word of God that gives me comfort about death:

Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope.

 

For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.

 

1 Thessalonians 4:13-14

 

After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 

 

Therefore encourage one another with these words.

 

1 Thessalonians 4:17-18

The righteous perish, and no one takes it to heart; the devout are taken away, and no one understands that the righteous are taken away to be spared from evil.

Those who walk uprightly enter into peace; they find rest as they lie in death.

Isaiah 57:1-2

If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.

Romans 14:8

 

A good name is better than fine perfume, and the day of death better than the day of birth.

Ecclesiastes 7:1

Being human it is easy to have fear, fear usually leads to anxiety and anxiety steals our precious time, time from the adventure we could be having. But, what if you knew you only had 4 days left to live? How would you live your life? How would you treat other people? What will you do? What will you leave behind?

Let that sink in for a moment… Because THIS can be YOU today!

Here are a few things that I will do:

  • Wave to the pretty girl in traffic
  • Smile at more strangers
  • Take more flyers from the guy standing at the traffic light
  • Compliment the cashier lady at Pick & Pay
  • Buy the car guard a Coke
  • Call my mom(family) and tell her I love her
  • Go to the beach and catch a wave
  • Pet a dog
  • Forgive someone
  • Apologize to someone
  • Read a book and definitely read my Bible
  • Have some delicious curry at an Indian restaurant
  • Laugh with a friend
  • Have a conversation with my dad
  • Drink a beer with my brother
  • Make my mom laugh
  • Buy someone flowers
  • Write a love letter
  • Dance with someone
  • Pay for somebody’s groceries
  • Motivate and inspire a younger person
  • Let my friends know I appreciate them

There is a lot you can add to this list but I’m sure you get the idea. I want to encourage you to go and think about what you just read here. What if you knew you only had 4 day’s left to live?

Now, I want to challenge you to make your own list of positive things you would do and try do one of those things each day! Even if it is a small silly thing like waving at the girl in traffic. Because that can be a little personal victory for you and it’s all about those little victories in life that keeps you motivated and going.

Make the most of your day today and be the change you want to see in this world.

IMG_20171011_232618-01

 

In loving memory of Walter van der Walt & Ryan Coetzee.

 

 

Advertisements

You are enough

The biggest battles we fight these days are the battles in our head.

This became very clear to me again after hearing about the passing of Chester Bennington,  the lead singer of Linkin Park.

Just before his death I actually downloaded Linkin Park’s new album. I only got around listening to it a few days after his death on my flight back from Durban.

It was so strange listening to the lyrics of this album.  I could hear his battle cry so clearly. It made me super sad because as a fan you think these musical heroes have all their battles won. You think they’ve made it and have everything under control but then you realize they are only human, broken and fragile just like all of us.

I have my own demons in my head that I have to face on daily basis but getting to a point where taking your own life is the only way out is a whole other level by itself. The thought of that is actually terrifying.

I want to highlight something that John Cooper from the band Skillet posted regarding the tragic news of Chester Bennington’s suicide:

“I want to say out of total love and respect for the fans, just look at what suicide does to those who love you. It ravages the lives of those you leave behind. It’s not poetic. It’s not the answer.

 

Find someone you can be honest with. We all feel a little dark sometimes. Some of us a little more than others. We all need hope. We all need healing. We are all the same. Please reach out to someone.

 

God is my refuge and my strength. He is always ready to help me in times of trouble. – Psalm 46:1

If you are suffering with mental illness and you feel like nobody cares about you or loves you. If you constantly compare yourself to others and feel like you are not enough. If you are having a hard time loving yourself and accepting yourself for who you are today I want to bring you this message of hope:

You are enough and you do matter!

God gave up his only son to die for all of us on the cross. – John 3:16. Do you think He would’ve done that if we didn’t matter?

Jesus loves you and he cares about you. You are created in His image and that makes you pretty perfect in your own right.

Remind yourself of this quote:

“Hold yourself to a standard of grace and not a standard of perfection. “

 

– Anonymous 

Stop comparing yourself to others, stop trying to blend in. You were meant to stand out and be unique. By loving Jesus first you’ll start loving yourself more.

Another quote you need to remind yourself about:

“Stop hating yourself for everything you aren’t and start loving yourself for everything you already are.”

 

– Not sure who wrote that

Find purpose in your pain. You are stronger than you think. You were placed on this earth for a reason and your story can save somebody else’s life.

I want to encourage you to be kind and loving toward the people around you. Treat everyone with respect and love even when they are mean to you. Be a friend to someone that doesn’t have any friends.

You are a strong person with a purpose, you are enough and you are worthy of love. Now go out there and be the light you already are.

You have a voice, you have a story!

Two weeks ago I shared my Testimony which basically told the story of how I came to know and believe in Jesus, from when I was in Primary school all the way through University up to where I’m currently at in my life.

The thing is I never thought that I had a story, I always thought that my life was kind of ordinary and that nobody would really find it interesting. So, I basically just went through life without actually thinking about what my “back story” is, you know, the story that makes you, you!

I used to listen to motivational speakers visiting our high schools and churches telling us about their crazy life stories and the extreme paths they’ve been on. From living in the slumps to dealing drugs and taking part in gang violence ect. They will tell us how they eventually got this crazy revelation about meeting God and how they miraculously got saved.

Now don’t get me wrong here, bless these people, their stories are fantastic and definitely motivating and inspiring to hear. I know for sure that their stories helped and saved a ton of other people/ kids going through the exact same things. I just couldn’t relate to them. I was blessed enough to be raised in a God loving family and by the Grace and Mercy of God I was in a way protected from most of these extreme things.

For a very long time I compared my story to all of these people and thought “Wow, Dewald! Your story is kinda boring and uninteresting compared to these dudes and girls, nobody will listen to you.”  But that was one of the biggest lies I could tell myself.

As human beings we’re all searching for our purpose in this life. Let’s face it after a couple of years of living on this planet you start to realize that life is pretty short and that it definitely can’t be all there is to it. There must be more! There’s got to be something bigger than just the “here and now”.

Sadly the older you get you start to say good bye to loved ones who pass on. You’ll page through old picture albums and remember how these people made you feel and through the tears you’ll smile because some of them left you with really great unforgettable memories. Some might’ve left you with a reminder of how you “don’t” want to be one day.

Suddenly, you think about what your purpose is again, what you will leave behind when your last day on earth comes? How will the people around you remember you? Will they smile when they think of you?

I had to go search for God and find evidence for myself that He exist and that He is the God of the Holy Bible. I never had one of those crazy cool revelations that changed my life.

I had to go back in time and really think about my life and all the different phases I went through. By tracing the dots that actually shaped me and made me the man I am today I found my voice, I found my passion and I was saved. I found my purpose through Jesus Christ.

Allow God to talk to you… open your heart and listen! No matter how hard you think life is at this moment, push through it, LIVE IT – and know that the harder things get the greater your story is going to be. Heck, That is exactly one of the things I’m doing to keep myself motivated when things get tough. I think about how much “greater” my story is going to be when I get through it.

When you light up a lamp in pitch black datkness, will you cover it with a bucket? NO WAY! You’re going to put that lamp in the middle of the room so everyone can see it. Be the light in this dark world. That is our purpose! Just like Jesus is the light, we need to SHINE.

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”
Matthew 5:14-16

Tell your story and let the people around you know how far you’ve come. They need to know that you’re still alive and kicking. That’s your purpose. People need to know that you’ve made it and that there is hope for them as well. 
I want to motivate you to go think about what your story is? You don’t have to write a blog about it. Take baby steps and write a “back story” of your own, for yourself. This will help you find your identity and will give you confidence.

Pray about it and trust that the Holy Spirit will guide your heart. Be brave and be yourself, tell your story! Even if it means just telling it to your friends and family. 

Let us spread hope like a fire.


Becoming Mr. Right!

(An open letter to all single men)

Have you ever chased a girlfriend or a relationship as if it was the “ultimate” prize? As if having a girl and being in an exclusive relationship will solve everything and make your life so much more complete.

Most of your friends are in serious relationships and somehow you always end up being the 3rd wheel or the 5th wheel or you know just an extra observer to another couples event. Don’t get me started with those public smooches in front of you leaving you ducking for cover like a soldier in Saving Private Ryan.

Then you’ve got wedding season and like usual all the regular couples are attending but your date bails on you in the last minute, leaving you man alone, a lone ranger, a wolf pack of one, not cool…but you deal with it and you dance your freaking manly feet off, because, dammit that’s what you do bro!

After a while being all by yourself can get old and really boring. You never really want the party or “braai” to end because when it does you know you’ll be going home alone. Man, all those nights you had to warm up your feet with your hair dryer. Sad but true story. This can easily lead to misery, frustration, loneliness, depression and just an overall downer.

The picture I’m painting here is pretty sad, I know! But gentleman it doesn’t have to be like that!

Yeah sure it is nice to have someone, a team mate, a partner who’s got your back and makes you food every now and then but, it can’t be the “ultimate” goal in your life.

Think about materialistic things (goals) that you’ve chased in your past? Like a car! Man, think about that schweet new VW Polo you’ve been eyeballing… but as soon as that new car smell vanishes and the kilometers start adding up you start growing accustomed to it and shortly there after you start wanting and desiring something better and bigger. It’s a silly example but you get what I’m trying to say here.

If you chase a girlfriend for the wrong reasons (not with a pure heart) isn’t she going to become just like a car to you? Isn’t she going to become boring and leave you wanting and desiring something else. I know it’s harsh. I seriously believe that it is one of the reasons why a lot of relationships are full of hurt, abuse and end up on the rocks. It’s because the heart, at some point, wasn’t pure. Look, I know I might be stepping on a few toes here and this can become a massive debate between us single folk and them married ones, but hear me out:

If you keep chasing a girlfriend for the wrong selfish reasons I can promise you that once you get that girl you’ll get tired of her and desire the “next challenge”. I can tell you now that in most cases this is the reason for relationships not lasting, because “the relationship” was their “ultimate” goal.

I don’t know about you but I certainly don’t want a short term girlfriend or even worse a short term marriage. There is this pretty cool saying – I don’t want a one night stand, I want a one life stand! That’s right I want my first wife to be my last wife.

So gentleman it leaves us with one question… What is our “ultimate” prize?

The ultimate goal must be to chase God and not her! You see, God and his Kingdom should be your ultimate prize. And once you’ve got that sorted the rest will fall in place. Flip, as I’m writing this I’m actually preaching to myself. I need to constantly remind myself that the ultimate goal is, Jesus Christ.

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.


Matthew 6:33-34

I used to be that guy who chased “having a girlfriend” as if she was the ultimate prize. Boy, let me tell you I created so much misery and hard times for myself just because of this.

When your heart is not pure you start putting unnecessary pressure on yourself to talk to every girl out there. What is even worse is you feel like such a failure when you miss out on so called “opportunities” to talk to a complete stranger in the gym, grocery store, at the beach, in the mall. As if you need to get every freaking girls number or ask every girl on a date. Too much pressure Bro!  Back up and take a look at your heart.

When your heart is not pure you will start to hear and see things that you want to see and hear and not how they really are. You don’t know what that girl’s situation or relationship status is in the grocery store. You don’t even know if you’d really get along or even like her. Stop beating yourself up about it.

Look I do believe it’s your job as a man to find yourself a wife and to pursue her but, you have to pursue her with a pure heart and it definitely can’t be your “ultimate” goal.

So if you’re a single guy and you are reading this it is time to man up! In stead of searching for Missus Right focus on becoming Mister Right! Start getting involved at church, with the youth, in your community etc. It is our purpose as men to one day be the leader of our packs (households), yeah that’s right like a wolf. We are going to be responsible for leading our families in faith and belief. NOW is the perfect time to prepare ourselves and to put on that necessary armor to become a Godly man and a warrior in and for Christ!

I can honestly say that I’ve found my confidence in and through Jesus Christ and he has showed me the type of man I want to be. Heck, that is why I’m writing this… It feels so selfish to keep all of this all to myself. Instead of fantasizing so much about your relationship with your future wife start fantasizing about your relationship with God.

Start chasing God instead of her and soon you will find that you are chasing God with her.

*Side note – It is never too late to become the right man, the right husband or the right father for your child. Even if you are already married or in a relationship. It is never too late to become the man you were always destined to be.

My Testimony 5/7

(Challenging times in America)

 

My time in America wasn’t just fun and games it was challenging at times and made me question a lot of things including my “religion”.

When I was in America I met this beautiful young French Canadian girl from Quebec, Canada. What started out as a “summer thing” ended up becoming this very special relationship. You see, this Canadian girl was basically my only support and “family” over there and we did almost everything together.

FB_IMG_1496840904095

The challenge was we came from very, VERY different backgrounds. I was an Afrikaans speaking Christian man raised in a very conservative environment in a 3rd world country and she was a French speaking girl raised without any religion in a 1st world country. She asked a lot of questions about my religion and what I believed in. I did my best to explain to her what? and why? but the more I explained the more questions popped up. I remember the more she asked the more frustrated I became because I didn’t know how to explain – WHY? I was believing!

It started to feel like I was ONLY believing because I was raised in that “type” of an environment.

Here I was, I haven’t been to church on a regular basis for almost 2 years, I was in this relationship with this foreign girl whom I loved (who didn’t believe) and  before I knew it I was questioning everything I believed in. 

This French speaking girl from Canada had a totally different world view and it was because she was raised differently, in a different environment. I mean, how can I blame or judge her for NOT believing??? All her questions were valid! I felt like such a failure for not being able to make her understand exactly why I believed in God’s existence.

It was at that moment I started talking to my mother and father back in SA about this. My mother, who I love dearly, sent me a couple of books about Christianity to assist with all the questions I had. The 2 books that stood out was a book about Apologetics called “10 Reasons For Belief” and “Finding the Real Jesus Christ”.

In my next blog I will share some of the interesting evidence for God that I have discovered. So, if you have been following my story you definitely don’t want to miss out on that!

Unfortunately my relationship with this Canadian girl from Quebec did not last… Those days in America were some of the best days of my life and I don’t regret one single bit of the time we spent together. It was such a blessing to get to know her and I definitely learned a great deal from her. I’m also very thankful for all those difficult questions she asked me – It made me go search for answers of my own.

Certain people cross our paths not to stay but rather just to help us grow and see this world from a new perspective. We need to appreciate it for what it is and move forward.

To be continued 

My Testimony 4/7

(Life after school)

 

At the end of 2011 I finished my studies and I got a job as a New Car Sales Executive at Renault. It was the only job that I could find at that time so I took it. I wasn’t happy at all in this job so the one day I was sitting behind my desk typing out a bucket list containing some of the most ridiculous dreams I still had and things I would still like to achieve. At the top of that list was – Travel the world, specifically the USA, more specifically experience that Southern Californian charm in Laguna Beach, CA. Point number 2 was to see Blink 182 live in concert. Another dream was to one day work and live close to the sea and spend every weekend on the beach.

Look, all these things felt so far out of reach because 1. of my financial position 2. Blink 182 would never travel to South Africa because Travis Barker (the drummer) doesn’t fly and 3. There is almost no job opportunities close to the coastal areas of South Africa. But, during the 5 years that followed God had different (life changing) plans for me.

In 2012 I quit my job at Renault and I applied for an Au-Pair (child caregiver) position in the USA. This was crazy because it was something not a lot of men from South Africa do, it is kind off seen as a “girls” job, you know.

421802_4949475249197_1183798762_n

It took me 6 months to get placed with a family in Phoenix, Arizona. It was the only family interested in having a “Manny” (Man Nanny) and by that time I was so sick and tired of being a waiter and doing odd jobs here and there that I accepted their offer. A month later I was on a plane to the US of A. (Notice how bucket list No.1 is starting to become a reality “Travel the world”).

IMG_0537

I remember thinking – “AH GEEZ the one year that I’m in America Blink 182 doesn’t have any concerts scheduled, such a bummer!”. A few months later Blink 182 announced their 1st concert in San Diego, California (San Diego is Blink 182’s home town). I couldn’t believe it! (Notice how dream 2 is starting to come true “see Blink 182 live in concert”).

That September month I traveled to San Diego and on the night of September 20th, 2013 I stood under a starry night looking up at all the confetti raining down on me singing along to Blink 182 playing their hit song Dammit. The lyrics went “well I guess this is growing up” and at that very moment I got teary eyed and just couldn’t help but feel God’s presence (Yes, trust me you can totally feel God’s presence even sometimes at a punk rock concert). It felt like He was smiling down at me. It was a beautiful experience but felt unreal at the same time. I couldn’t believe that this whole experience came and go by so quickly.

FB_IMG_1496846119910

2 Years later I got the opportunity to see Blink 182 another 2 times. Crazy. It felt like God was saying, Okay Dewald so your first Blink concert felt so unreal, how about you go see them another 2 times and just get that whole “teenage dream” thing out of your system. Haha, This is truly how it felt to me.

Geez, don’t you see? I had to become a Manny for most of my “teenage dreams” to become a reality. God works in funny ways!

2014, After returning home from America and struggling to get a job for 6 months I finally got an opportunity at a pharmaceutical distribution company, in a position and department that I did not enjoy at all. I was thankful for the job nonetheless. The 2 years that followed were a very dark and challenging time for me as this specific job just drained everything out of me plus I was still on such a high from working and living in America. 

God was faithful nonetheless and now fast forward to the year 2017 – I can humbly say that I’m in a job that I really enjoy, working and living in Cape Town close to the sea (See how dream number 3 became a reality).

1490448273608

It made me realize that good things come to those who work hard, pray daily and believe. You also need to be open for change and follow God’s plan for your life, NOT to try do everything on your own strength (It isn’t always easy).

To be continued

My Testimony 3/7

(University)

 

In 2008 at the start of my 1st year of university we went to Kruispunt’s church camp. There I met Bouwer Bosch the lead singer of the Afrikaans rock band – Straatligkinders. I was such a big supporter of this band as well as Bouwer as an individual artist. They made “honest” music and were (to me) the first Afrikaans rock band that wrote music inspired by their relationship with Jesus.

FB_IMG_1496503347375

I remember how people always wanted to put the “Christian Rock Band” label on the Straatligkinders and how they always humbly responded with something similar to – We don’t see ourselves as a Christian rock band, to us Christianity is a lifestyle choice and we write music inspired by our relationship with other people and our personal relationship with Jesus. 

Their lyrics had such a positive influence on my life because all of a sudden I wasn’t just singing along to “Taking Off Your Pants And Jacket” music (referring to the Blink 182 album) but I was also singing along to “Onse Vader ek is lief vir jou, ek sukkel ook soms om jou te vertrou, Ek verdien nie wat my toekom nie, ek verstaan nie genade nie…” – (Straatligkinders lyrics), which directly translates to “Father (GOD) I love you but at times I have trouble trusting you, I don’t deserve the good things coming my way, I don’t understand your Grace…”.

You see, these lyrics showed me that we are all broken and we all have our flaws and that through it all we can actually have a real active relationship with Jesus. We can talk to Him and come to Him with anything at anytime, anywhere. We can even write our thoughts down onto paper and sing it in a song. Religion has told us we must follow certain rules and do certain things at certain times to qualify for eternal life and it was during THIS whole process where I (and I’m sure most of us) messed up so badly and never forgave ourselves completely for messing up.

The thing is – We think we are lost cases and therefore we might as well keep on with our sinning nature, because – Hey, It’s too late now! It was during this whole process of religion and trying to be a good law abiding Christian that I never really had a good personal relationship with Jesus.

This made me remember a video clip posted by Clayton Jennings on Facebook saying the following:

God says, I CHOOSE YOU, I don’t want the most perfect thing in the room, I want you! Because through your brokenness I can be glorified. Man! doesn’t matter the things that you’ve been through, it doesn’t matter the scars that you have, the pain that you have been through, the regrets that you have, it doesn’t matter the things in your life that you are like “Man, I’m too broken, too be used, God can never love me!” – There is no bigger lie that you could ever be fed than that! God loves you, has a plan for you even in your brokenness, even in your regrets, even in your pain and sorrow. He loves you, He wants to use you and that is the TRUTH! All this starts by accepting his son Jesus Christ into your heart.

My Testimony 2/7

(High School)

 

Let me just highlight that I’m very blessed to have had parents who were and still are actively involved in my life and raised me with love. My mother taught us that violence is never the answer and to always turn the other cheek just like Jesus teach us in the Holy Bible in Matthew 5:39. She taught us to love our enemies and to always act with love, peace and kindness.

During my early high school years I had it rough at times (not really though) I was this skinny kid with bad skin and braces. I got bullied a few times and the fact that I was raised with this view that fighting is not an option didn’t make things easier for me.

1496838678486

We still went to church every Sunday and then after church we had Sunday school. I remember how long the sermons in church felt and how tiring it felt singing along to the sound of an organ. I used to see how many times I could sing a verse through in my head before the rest of the church actually finished singing it. Haha, I know, not something you should be proud of. 

I never really felt like I could relate to what the Minister was preaching. Yeah, sure some days I received a great message together with a little bit of motivation but for the most part it all just felt like “stories” to me, the words coming out of the Bible, at the back of my head, felt just like another story (the type you watched on television) which wasn’t like, really real, you know.

Look, I kind of knew it was real because everyone that I ever looked up to and trusted in my life used to tell me it is real. I never once really grasped the fact that everything in the Bible actually happened and is the truth.

At 17, I “officially” accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior into my heart. It was the 6th of November 2006 and I remember my family together with my late Grandmother known as “Ouma Toekie” all came to church to witness and celebrate with me.

1496838585573

It was tradition in the Dutch Reformed Church that at that age after conducting various counseling sessions and interviews with the Minister that you will get accepted and presented to the church in front of the whole congregation. I always saw the elders and Ministers in church as very holy people… like there were different levels of holiness. Ex. Minister = Level 10 at the very top and then obviously ME = Level 1 Christian.

I was always under the impression that you as a Christian had to obey the Law of Moses in the Old Testament (The 10 Commandments) perfectly to be able to go to heaven. Sheesh, for many years the feeling of failure really weighed me down because I just wasn’t able to live perfectly, like Jesus did. It wasn’t until later that I discovered that the 10 commandments weren’t there to act as a gateway to heaven but rather to make us as humans aware of sin. It was only until much later that I discovered the real meaning of the New Testament and God’s Grace.

Growing up I didn’t really have any “Christian role models”, other than my parents, that I could relate to. It was only during the last year of high school or so that I discovered Christian Rock music and the whole Hillsong (click the link to see what I mean) movement that showed me this new cool way of worshiping. A way that makes use of electric guitars, drums and a whole lot of jumping.

You see, I got my first red electric guitar at sweet 16, right in the midst of puberty (bad skin phase or should I say Pizza Face). That guitar was my girlfriend for a very long time, it gave me confidence and made me feel pretty “cool”. For the first time in my life I could relate to these Christian role models who I never thought could exist.

**If you are currently in High School remember this – High school doesn’t last. It is temporary just like University and every other phase in your life. 

Embrace today, Stand up for yourself and put your faith in God.

1496838821524

FB_IMG_1477333466791

To be continued

My Testimony 7/7

Why am I a Christian?

 

I’m a Christian because as a young boy God whispered in my ear and saved my life. I’m a Christian because God has met all the needs of my heart. Through searching for Him, praying daily, having conversations with Him, sometimes fighting Him and ultimately believing and trusting in Him completely, I can honestly say His love and grace have carried me throughout my life during the good times and the darkest of times.

He blessed me with most of my childhood dreams becoming a reality.

[from – Visiting Lords Cricket Stadium in England (the home of cricket) as a teenager to Seeing Blink182 live (3 x times), I traveled the world by becoming a “Manny” and more recently working and living in Cape Town close to the beautiful ocean.]

There once was a day where I thought I only believed because everybody around me told me to believe but after searching for the truth and analyzing the facts I can confidently say that Christianity provides honest answers backed up by evidence. The Old Testament & New Testament are reliable and are actually the most accurate documents from the ancient world. God exist, Jesus is his Son and the Holy Bible is his word, The Truth.

I don’t believe that we are from this world but rather of it. Life on earth is short and temporary and it definitely can’t be all there is to it.  I believe that God made us with a purpose and when our one last day on earth comes we will fear no evil, because the battle has already been won. I want the happiest day of my life to be the day that I die because then I will receive that eternal life God promised us through his Son Jesus Christ. That’s why I am a Christian I so desperately want that eternal life in heaven!

To all my friends who are having trouble believing and to anyone reading this who has a hard time figuring stuff out – It is OKAY, you are not alone, we were never made to grasp everything in this universe. I pray that the Holy Spirit will come and lead your heart and motivate you to just go, go and seek God for yourself. I can confidently promise you that once you start seeking God that you WILL find him and that He WILL provide you with those desperately needed answers you are seeking, heck, in the process He is even going to show you your purpose in this life. I know, exciting stuff!

The Bible says:

 

“If you seek him, he will be found by you.” (1 Chronicles 28:9)

 

“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13)

**Reality Note – It is not going to be easy, but it is totally going to be worth it.

Yeah, and then for the ones reading this feeling a bit awkward, weird and overwhelmed about everything that I just said – It is cool man… I love and accept you just the way you are. I respect your world view and would love to be your friend either way.

My journey has only now begun and the craving inside of me for finding answers is bigger than ever. As I grow in my relationship with God I know my answer will also evolve as to why I’m a Christian. 

What is your answer? 

Why are you a Christian?

Jesus is truly alive and His grace and mercy is there readily available for all of us every single day. IT WILL NEVER RUN OUT!

1496840427977

God is good all the time & All the time God is good.

My Testimony 6/7

(Answers to my questions)

 

In my search for answers I realized that there is no short quick answer – no “one sentence” answer – that explains absolutely everything. But after you have done some digging (a bunch of reading) you’ll find that the answer is actually quite short – Jesus Christ!

I wanted to share my brief summary of the information and evidence I found in Norman L. Geisler & Patty Tunnicliffe’s book – Reasons For Belief:

Reasons For Belief

(It is quite difficult to explain absolutely everything here right now and then because there is just too much interesting evidence. Hopefully what I share below will encourage and motivate you to go do some digging of your own and find answers for yourself.)

Here goes:

Reality’s law of noncontradiction states that 2 contradictory/ opposite truth claims can’t both be true at the same time and in the same sense. So, either there is a God or there isn’t!

  • Science provides us with evidence that the universe had a beginning. Therefore, Someone or Something, must have brought it into existence, that is, began it. One of the most basic laws of science is the law of causality and it essentially says, “Anything that had a beginning was caused by something outside of itself.”

This principle is so foundational that one of history’s most famous sceptics, David Hume, said, “I never asserted so absurd a proposition as that anything might arise without a cause.”

Albert Einstein’s theory, which came to be accepted, says that there was a beginning to time, space, matter and energy.

The Bible says:

 

“In the beginning [Time] God created the heavens [Space] and the earth [Matter]” (Genesis 1:1)

 

“In the beginning [Time], Lord, you laid the foundations of the earth [Matter], and the heavens [Space] at the work of your hands.” (Hebrews 1:10)

Famous astronomer Dr. Edwin Hubble (for whom the Hubble Space Telescope is named) showed that the universe is expanding.

The Bible says:

 

“He [God] alone stretches out the heavens and treads on the waves of the sea” (Job 9:8)

 

“He stretches out the heavens like a canopy, and spreads them out like a tent to live in” (Isaiah 40:22)

  • Science also provides ample evidence that the universe was designed. Only a personal being or designer can design something. Scientist and mathematician Freeman Dyson said, “The more I examine the universe, and the details of its architecture, the more evidence I find that the universe in some sense must have known we were coming.”

“The Designer” not only knew we were coming, he prepared the earth for us, and we can see some of the fingerprints that prove it. Our sun is designed for human life, it is exactly the right size and right temperature. Without a planet like Jupiter, life on earth could not survive because asteroids and comets would eventually collide with earth. We also have the perfect moon – it’s the right size and distance to keep our orbit stable.

Astronomer Robert Jastrow reached the following conclusion: “The universe was made, [it] was designed, for man to live in”.

From the single cell, to the complex design of DNA in the human brain storing more information than hundreds of encyclopedia volumes, to the planning for human life, we see design everywhere. The entire universe was designed by a Designer, an intelligent being of great power who designed it with human life – with us – in mind.

There is complex design virtually everywhere in the universe. Thus, there must be a Designer who planned and created it. Design doesn’t just happen by itself – it doesn’t result from time or chance. There is always a mind – an intelligence – a designer behind design.

  • There is evidence too for the existence of a universal moral law. As all laws must be made or passed by a lawmaker.

There are universal morals that all people believe apply at all times and in all places ex. It’s wrong to kill innocent people, It’s wrong to steal something that belongs to someone else, It is wrong to lie, Rape, Racism and child pornography are wrong.

Only an eternal being, such as God, can impose a moral law on all people, everywhere and at all times. We cannot impose it on ourselves. We don’t have the “outside” authority to do it.

 

Is the Bible reliable and accurate?

It is proven that the New Testament in the Bible has been 99% correctly copied and is the most accurate document from the ancient world.

But what about all the so called “errors”?

Sources say the New Testament has as many as 200 000 errors or more. By this accounting it sounds like the New Testament is so unreliable that we’d be foolish to trust it.

Are such statements true? The answer is no, they are not.

While there are variants or “errors” in the copies we have today (not in the originals), the number of variant readings is small. The problem is in how “errors” are counted.

Consider that there is more than one way to spell the name Ann. Suppose that, long ago, someone used Ann in an original manuscript. Then as time passed and the next scribe hand-copied the text (remember for many centuries there was no printing press) spelled it Anne. And then, as additional time went by, suppose 3000 copies eventually were made based on that change. Would that be one error or 3000 errors? The answer is, it would count as 3000 errors. One miscopied or inserted letter would count as an error every time it was recopied.

After examining the evidence not one of the supposed errors like the above example impacts the meaning of the text or accuracy of a doctrine. While an “error” count of 200 000 sounds significant, upon examination we find this isn’t at all the problem some make it out to be.

Not one of the so-called errors affects the claims that Jesus is God, was born of a virgin, did miracles, lived a sinless life, died on the cross for our sins, rose from the dead, ascended into heaven or is coming again.

Could the writers of the New Testament be trusted?

The first 4 books of the New Testament consist out of the 4 Gospels – Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. These 4 books bring a message of hope and teaches us how we should follow Jesus the risen king.

The New Testament writers were reliable and honest men who were eyewitnesses or associates of eyewitnesses of the events they recorded.

The following are several reasons we can count on their reliability and honesty:

  • They included embarrassing details about themselves.
  • They include events about Jesus’ burial and resurrection that they certainly would not have invented.
  • They include more than 30 historically confirmed people.
  • The Gospel accounts (Matthew, Mark, Luke & John) aren’t all precisely alike.
  • They don’t exaggerate the miracles of Jesus.
  • The men who wrote the Gospels did not deny their testimony under persecution or in the face of death. All the above men were brutally martyred and executed for their accounts of Jesus’ resurrection. Now you got to ask yourself what really happened back then for these men to stick with their stories of Jesus even when they got martyred? I can tell you this, Jesus kicked deaths butt and rose victorious.

I know what you are thinking, geez… there is so much information to take in and process right now. Flip, I’m still busy processing it. I can’t take praise for anything recorded above. I found all the information in Norman Geisler’s book and matched everything with my own personal Bible.

My hope is that this will encourage you to go and search for answers all by yourself, with an open mind and an open heart. You don’t have to believe anything just because I said so… Just go and start reading, start reading the Bible… and start having conversations with your friends and family about God.

I’m really excited to share the final part of my Testimony (Why am I a Christian?) next, so keep an eye out for it!