It’s coming to a point nowadays, since maybe the beginning of the year, that I can confidently say that every day I am perpetually tired (not that it’s a claim I am proud to say, but rather the opposite). Continually worn, continually spent, and feeling older in years than I am right now. Not that there is anything wrong with my job; not by a long shot- but it’s just that right now, circumstances beyond my control have prevented me from living a life that has a perfect work/life balance, and instead have thrusted me into a working environment where I am continually pushed each day, at times beyond my limits, by the workloads and the colourful types of people I meet at the café as well. I’m sure my brother Jon would testify to this sentiment of being constantly tired, as well.
Continue reading FLASHBACK FRIDAYS: WEEK 16b (The Struggle by Tenth Avenue North)-Why Jesus is the only remedy for our weariness, and how we need to slow down when we feel worn
So I’m back, everyone, after a week off, which was relaxing, rejuvenating and energising, if you wanted to know how the time spent away from Flashback Fridays was. What did I learn throughout the past two weeks, you ask? Well, to keep it brief (and let me tell you that this instalment is a short one, in contrast to the many ‘long-ish’ posts I’ve written prior to this one!), I will just say this- that I have learnt that no more than ever we need to learn to slow down. As a human race (and this is only from what I have observed in my life and the lives of others I come across, so correct me if I’m wrong!), I believe that we think that we will gain more out of our day if we’re spending a short time on one single activity, and we will enjoy our day more if we somehow, in some way, fit more activities in per day. We’re a human race that believes that ‘more is better’ and we believe that perhaps, just perhaps, sleep is overrated.
Continue reading FLASHBACK FRIDAYS: WEEK 16a (Casting Crowns by Casting Crowns)- Why reflection is needed in times of busyness!
You know how a few Flashback Friday blogs ago, I mentioned that ‘…Recently I’ve been feeling tired of late. Physically exhausted, and tired in the sense that at the end of every day, one of the only things I want to do when I arrive home is to go to sleep…’, and you know how I attributed some of that tiredness to busyness in terms of our store gaining more customers due to another café in the centre shutting down for ‘renovations’? Well, let me echo that sentiment once again, because right now is when I reckon I need to share this, because we all are feeling tired and stressed (and we probably won’t feel much better even if we have Swisse!). Right now, I am weary. Right now, I am worn. Right now, I’m feeling like my legs are going to fall off any minute, and right now, I feel as if everything I do apart from the store (inclusive of reviewing and watching TV) is a chore and a burden (not all the time, but some of the time). Where did that feeling stem from though? Let me take you back, back, and back, to a time where we are madly reviewing, madly watching shows, and madly cramming 48 hours’ worth of activity into 24 hours.
Continue reading FLASHBACK FRIDAYS: WEEK 16 (Casting Crowns by Casting Crowns; and The Struggle by Tenth Avenue North)-When saying ‘yes’ all the time isn’t the American Dream, or any dream for that matter; and how to know when we’re physically and spiritually worn!
Now that we’ve spent the past three blogs (week 12- Hawk Nelson’s Diamonds, week 13- Phil Wickham’s Response and Newsboys’ Born Again, and week 14- Tenth Avenue North’s The Light Meets The Dark) exploring the notion of God’s unconditional love, the fact that to be a Christian all we need to do is believe into the cross and His resurrection, and the concept of most fear originating from a lie that the devil has spoken over us; let me take this ‘mini-series of sorts’ one step further and give you a stark and telling reminder. That the Christian life is not easy. It’s not all flowers, rainbows, candy canes, fairy floss and sunshine! No way, not by a long shot. It’s not like you accept Jesus, and then suddenly life is easier, you have a million friends, and everything works out the way it wants to. It’s more like the opposite. It’s more like- you now follow Jesus, and the devil, using the tools of maybe your deepest material desires, will place a target on your back, that will always be there until the day you die. So, at first glance, yep the Christian life is perhaps morbid, yep it’s way hard, yep it’s challenging, yep sometimes you wonder why you believe in the first place after so many things that you think go wrong actually do; but deep inside all of the seemingly overt discrimination by others that comes with being a firm believer for Christ, is a peace. An eternal peace that surpasses all understanding, and a sense of God’s love over us that cannot be compared to any other earthly thing.
Continue reading FLASHBACK FRIDAYS: WEEK 15 (Live Like That by Sidewalk Prophets)- The Wide Road or the Narrow Road: which is more satisfying?
How many times have we felt out of sorts, felt overwhelmed, or felt like something wasn’t quite right? How many times in our lives have we lost sleep, and woken up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat, worrying about the various upcoming events in our lives, in the near or far future, and then analysing every little detail of what could possibly go wrong? How many times have we felt that inexplicable and seemingly inescapable feeling of dread, anxiety, apprehension and sense of uncertainty, sure that nothing on earth can shake our concerns, and sure that we will take our thoughts and feelings to our grave? How many times have we believed things to be true, when we know in our hearts that they aren’t? Is the answer more than 10? More than 100?
Continue reading FLASHBACK FRIDAYS: WEEK 14 (The Light Meets The Dark by Tenth Avenue North)- Is Fear really ‘False Evidence Appearing Real’? Is Fear really just a lie?
Last time on Flashback Fridays, I delved into what I reckon is one of today’s most thought about ‘questions’ (it may not even be a question if it is something we’re all not voicing aloud!) of- am I loved, and am I accepted despite everything I have and haven’t done. Linking that back to the unconditional love that Jesus has for us, as evidenced by everything Jesus has done for us, heard in many songs in Diamonds from Hawk Nelson; I reckon that it’s time that this week I expand upon what I believe to be one topic that still needs to be explored more and more.
Continue reading FLASHBACK FRIDAYS: WEEK 13 (Response by Phil Wickham; and Born Again by Newsboys)- So…now that we know that we are unconditionally loved, what is our response? What does it mean to be ‘born again’?
“…So go ahead and live like you’re loved
It’s ok to act like you’ve been set free
His love has made you more than enough
So go ahead and be who he made you to be
And live like you’re loved
Live like you’re loved…”
Hawk Nelson- “Live Like You’re Loved” (Diamonds, 2015)
There’s a question that has been swirling in my mind all of this week, relating to the theme of the previous Flashback Fridays blog. You know how in last week’s blog I spoke about the hard and deep questions that we all need to ask, but sometimes are afraid to, versus the easy and superficial questions that maybe aren’t that necessary, but we ask in abundance anyway? At the end I alluded to the fact that this week I will continue to talk about questions, and maybe certain questions in specific, and that’s exactly what I’m doing. But all throughout this week, though at times I was busy at the café, other times I pondered and reflected, and struggled to come up with a theme of what to talk about this week. Then today it hit me. Why don’t I highlight the question that we’re all inwardly asking ourselves, no matter our gender, race, socioeconomic status, religion, political views etc?
Continue reading FLASHBACK FRIDAYS: WEEK 12 (Diamonds by Hawk Nelson)- Are we truly loved, no matter what? Can we be ‘too far gone’ from unconditional love?
Let me ask you a question, before we get into this blog. Before I say something deep and meaningful, before I say something inspiring, and something that will hopefully be impacting in your upcoming week or the upcoming month, the upcoming year, or even the rest of your life. Do you reckon, that as a society, we ask too many questions? I mean let’s be pragmatic, and let’s think about it.
Continue reading FLASHBACK FRIDAYS: WEEK 11 (The Beautiful Letdown by Switchfoot)- Why do we ask so many questions, and what does it mean to be truly human?
Recently I’ve been feeling tired of late. Physically exhausted, and tired in the sense that at the end of every day, one of the only things I want to do when I arrive home is to go to sleep. Now partly one of the reasons why this is the case is because of another café a few weeks ago in the shopping centre fully closing down for renovations (and I’m not sure when café in question will re-open, or if at all!) and we are all of a sudden reaping the benefits of extra customers who were previously regulars of the café that closed. More customers means that our store is busier more often, and while it’s a good thing in that we get more money, and we are more well known and respected overall for what we do; the side-effect is tiredness and a general lack of wanting to do anything else when we arrive home except for relaxing and recharging the batteries. But while I have lazed about at home, not really reviewing nor even binge-watching my favourite TV shows, I have been pondering. I have been pondering about what happens when the other café reopens again? Will our ‘new’ regulars flock back there, or will they remain loyal to us? I guess it doesn’t really matter in the grand scheme of things, but I do think about what were to happen if all of a sudden quite a few of our irregular customers left for the competition. What would be going through their minds? After all, we weren’t their first café of choice- we were deemed not good enough for them.
Continue reading FLASHBACK FRIDAYS: WEEK 10 (Almost There by MercyMe)- Why there is no such thing as ‘not good enough, not tall enough, not pretty enough, not smart enough, and not worthy enough’; and why we always want to cheer for the underdog!
Remember last week on Flashback Fridays when I spoke about legacy, and how all we as a human race want is to make connections, however big or small, with anyone and everyone we meet? In that blog, where I linked the theme of living life for God to Nichole Nordeman’s brilliant album Woven And Spun, I also alluded to the fact that once we have figured out what kind of legacy we would like to live, we need to figure out the steps- how to go about actively trying to ensure that the legacy we want to leave behind for future generations, is in fact the end product of everything we are doing today in the moment. How do we reconcile the fact that sometimes we can do things that seem so far away from the legacy that we want people to perceive we have successfully lived?
Continue reading FLASHBACK FRIDAYS: WEEK 9 (The Generous Mr Lovewell by MercyMe)- How do we love those who make a mistake, and why do we need to love our neighbour?