Saturday, August 8, 2020
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Nick Parker

One Day Without Shoes – Over 9000 Pairs Donated

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One Day Without Shoes is a global initiative started by the shoe manufacturer TOMS. The idea behind the event is for people to not only donate a pair of shoes to those less fortunate, but to also come to work, and school barefoot. This year we were invited by Pauline from SALT Projects to be part of the local event held in Cape Town.

The event itself has been going for eight years now, with View Church actively participating in the last couple. Although not being very well know, the event has definitely grown locally, with this specific event seeing over 9000 pairs of shoes donated.

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It wasn’t just individuals who took up the challenge, but also corporates and local schools, one of which being Elkanah House, in Sunningdale. We headed down to the school on the morning of the event to see what they were doing to help raise awareness as-well as stopped in at View Church to view the collected results from some of the other participating schools and communities.

If you would like to know more about TOMS, and the One Day Without Shoes event, visit

www.toms.com

Or perhaps you are looking to get involved in your local community, but don’t know who to speak to, visit

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Why do bad things happen?

Why do bad things always seem to happen to good people? This is something I have never fully understood. It always seems as if the people who are the most generous, or the most kind are the ones that seem to always end up having bad things happen to them. But why? Why does the lady who spends her whole life helping the poor, end up dying of cancer, or why does the man who gives to charity end up losing a child in a car crash?

These things just don’t seem to make sense! Surely in a world driven by right and wrong, it’s the people who hate and are corrupt that should be the ones faced with these hard times, yet often this isn’t the case.

What makes it even worse is that often these “good” people can’t come back after this bad experience. It affects them in such a way, that it changes who they are. They blame God, in fact they blame everyone and anyone for this event. What breaks my heart is that a person who was once full of hope and joy, now no longer cares and see’s little point in living.

The hardest part about writing this blog is that I can’t say that there is some magical answer or solution, I don’t know of a pill you can take to make things better. I even find it hard myself to understand why my Dad had to pass away last year.

But is that it, are we suppose to just live our lives as broken people, a shell of our former selves, or is there a plan, something more?

I recently watched a video of a man who lost his daughter, and with it lost all hope. Here is how he managed to get through this tough time.

George’s story is one that I think a lot of us can relate to, we have all experienced bad things, things that we never expected, and probably thought that we would never be able to overcome, but the truth is, there is still hope.

And that hope is Jesus!

Now I know this doesn’t answer the question of why do bad things happen to good people, but what it does do is remind us that in those bad situations there is still hope.

Right when you feel like there is nowhere to go, that’s when God steps in and saves you.

I know often in these situations we blame God and honestly he is the last person we feel like speaking to, yet he is the only one who can truly ever give us life again.

Perhaps you are going through a bad time a the moment, I want you to know that you aren’t alone, and that there is still hope. Don’t give up! Instead choose to trust God, even though it might not make sense, I promise there is a plan.

 If you have any questions about this blog, or questions about God, please send us a message on the link below. We would love to hear from you.

 

Baby Born Without Eyes!

Life is filled with defining moments. Moments that change who we are, not only in that instant, but for the rest of our lives. Moments such as passing your drivers license, or getting married, and even perhaps the moment that has the greatest significance in our lives, the day our first child is born.

I honestly can’t say that I have experienced this yet myself, but based upon what my friends with children have said, I know that this experience is like no other. I suppose that life is the greatest gift we have and to know that you were part of creating a life must be extremely rewarding.

Having a child is supposed to be one of the happiest times in our lives, but what happens if it doesn’t all go to plan. What happens when this happy time turns into a nightmare instead of an exciting adventure?

The truth is whether it is having a baby or winning a race, we all have moments of great joy, but just as quick as that joy came, it can also be taken away and then what do we do?

I came across this really powerful video that seriously challenged my perception of joy, and what it means to truly be grateful for life. It’s one of those videos that remind you that there is no circumstance too big for us to overcome.

The thing that moved me so much about this video is that even though her baby was born without eyes, she still knew that there was hope and that God still had a plan. How easy would it have been to get angry with God and blame him for her situation? Yet, she did the complete opposite. She knew that God was in control.

Isn’t it amazing that when we find ourselves at the lowest of lows, that’s when God is closer to us than ever before? He is the one who gives us strength and I truly believe that He would never put us in a situation we can’t handle.

Perhaps you can relate to this story. Perhaps you find yourself hopeless and lost with no sense of direction. Well I’m here to tell you that there is a God who loves you and never leaves you. He can help you through any situation. All you have to do is trust Him. We may not always understand why things happen, but what we can hold onto the fact that we never have to go through those things alone.

If you would like to find out more about God, or perhaps would just like to chat about this blog, send us a message. We would love to hear from you.

Ever Felt Like You Are Drowning?

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With so much going on in the world at the moment, I often find myself overcome by the feeling of drowning. It’s like no matter what I do, I just can’t keep up. There is always something to do, and as soon as you finish one thing, there is something else. It’s a vicious cycle with no apparent end.

It doesn’t help that these days there are so many options to choose from either; it’s almost as if the reason we find ourselves drowning is because of the sheer amount of choices we have.

This combination of stress and choice often leaves you depressed and anxious. I’m actually convinced that this is the very reason that so many people find themselves with chronic anxiety in the first place.

But maybe another reason we all have this “stress” is because we feel that in order to be successful and find true happiness, we need to have lots of money, and be seen wearing the latest clothing. Now I’m not saying that there is anything wrong with wanting those things, what I am saying is that often the stress of achieving these things ends up leaving us worse off.

But what is the alternative, or is this just how life is?

I came across this video, and I think it might help put things in perspective.

This video made me realize that as much as the world has to offer, ultimately Jesus is the one in control. He is the one who gave us life, so surely he will look after us. So next time you find yourself overwhelmed, know that Jesus is with you, and that you are not alone.

If you are struggling with anxiety, or are struggling with feeling overwhelmed, or perhaps you would just like to know more about Jesus. Send us a message, we would love to hear from you.

Has The Media Made Me An Outcast?

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Since when did being myself mean being an outcast? It seems that these days people are more concerned by what I have to offer, instead of loving me for who I am.

But why? Why are my “gifts and talents” more important than me? Perhaps it’s because in our modern world we recognise someone’s gift as being who they are, not their gift being a by product of who they are as a person.

Let me explain: we have become so obsessed by the media and celebrity culture that we no longer see the person behind the name, but rather what the name has to offer. What this does is create a constant pressure, as people we become known for our gift, so in order to maintain our reputation we need to make sure that our gift is constantly in the spotlight. We become pressured into a situation where we are forced to act and look a certain way, not because it’s who we are, but rather because it’s the YOU everyone else wants.

Now I’m not saying this only happens to celebrities, quite the opposite in fact. I honestly believe this is something we all struggle with, the desire to be loved and accepted is something we all have in common. That’s why we seek approval, even if it means loosing ourselves in the process.

Woman become obsessed with their weight and appearance, because being “too fat” seems to make you less of a person. But is this how we are supposed to live, surely there must be more to me, to us, than this shallow world?

I believe there is, and I think this video will help you understand why.

You see we are fearfully and wonderfully made, by a perfect God, who gave his best when making you. In his eyes you are the most beautiful of creations. We don’t need someone to tell us we are beautiful because we look a certain way, because we already know that just by being created, we are beautiful.

You were made unique for a reason; so don’t waste your life trying to be a copy. There is no need for all this pressure we put on ourselves to be something we are not. So choose to see yourself the way God does, and live a life in freedom and acceptance. No one knows you better than God, so allow his voice to be the one that guides you.

Perhaps self-image is something you struggle with, well if that is the case, we would love to chat to you about how God made you perfect, and that he loves you the way you are. All you have to do is send us a message on the link below.

We would love to hear from you.

Can My Life Tell A New Story?

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I always wonder why we often compare our difficulties and pain to that of others, thinking that what we have on our plate is as overwhelming as it can get, and that people who are not in the space we’re in probably have it easier. Truth is, life is challenging for everyone. Whether employed or unemployed, single or married, short or tall, you have great challenges of your own and you wish things could get easier in this or that area of your life. A colleague of mine couldn’t have put it better when he said “Just being on earth is a challenge!”

One challenge we often encounter – if I could speak for myself – is fear. Fear can become even more paralyzing when you have big dreams for your life, you want to succeed and not be a failure, but when look in your family, people closest to you, you see no reference to the life you have envisioned for yourself and you begin to wonder if this dream you have will ever become reality. If you are one person who likes to find out a bit more on issues happening in society and in our world, you will notice that some reports online or even people would say that children of divorced parents are more likely to divorce themselves, or that people who have been hurt usually go on hurting others. It’s all just a cycle! These kinds of reports can be destabilizing for people concerned, and make one wonder “Can my life tell a different story”? This isn’t a situation of being unable to dream big, I personally have big dreams and I know what I want for my life, but…….fear!

But then again, more than our direct families, we live in a world populated with people whose stories are comforting and inspiring. You may come from a divorced family but think of those who hadn’t even known their parents but made something meaningful of their lives. One inspiring story, carrying a poignant message is told in the movie “The Pursuit of Happyness”. Chris Gardner (played by Will Smith), the man whose story is told in that movie, came from a very humble background, was homeless for a whole season in his life, but today, his life certainly tells a new story, totally different from that of his predecessors. Here is one of his many inspirational quotes:

“The future was uncertain, absolutely, and there were many hurdles, twists, and turns to come, but as long as I kept moving forward, one foot in front of the other, the voices of fear and shame, the messages from those who wanted me to believe that I wasn’t good enough, would be stilled.” 

Are you one who desires to break free from the cycle of poverty, instability and broken families but feel bound by a fear whispering to you that you can’t? Those who rose above the same limitations you have right now and paved a way for a new generation to come first believed it was possible and secondly committed to seeing it come to pass. It is our desire here at 1Africa for you and everyone visiting our page to write a new story. More than it being a desire, we are committing to taking you through the first steps into breaking free from fear and beginning to write a new story. Click on the banner below and the video you will watch can mark the beginning of a new life if you chose so.

Can your life tell a new story? Yes it can! We are confident about it, so should you!

 

International Model Finds True Beauty

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Meet Sydney Bailey, an international model from South Africa. Having modeled in New York, London and Paris, she is part of an exclusive club of women who can truly say, “Yes, I made it in the fashion industry”. When it comes to international fashion modeling, being given the opportunity to walk the runways of New York Fashion Week is probably as rewarding for a model as it is for an Actor in Hollywood winning an Oscar. It is the ultimate nod of approval by those in the industry and the pinnacle of modelling success. You are living the life that so many ‘other’ models can only ever dream of.

To the outside world it appeared as if Sydney had it all. An international model, travelling the world, rubbing shoulders with the rich and famous on a daily basis. What more could you possibly ask for?

The problem is, people will always just be people. No matter who we are we all have struggles and just because Sydney was now living her dream professionally, this didn’t mean that she had everything figured out. In fact, quite the opposite. We all desire a life of influence and prosperity, but at what cost?

Here is Sydney’s story

Sydney’s greatest desire was to be a world-renowned model, but the cost became high. In the process of trying to achieve her dream she somehow lost who she really was, she lost her identity. She found herself doing things that she wasn’t proud of, leaving her depressed and alone.

To ‘fit in’, be ‘accepted’ and be ‘loved’ is something we all want. Whether we are famous supermodels or not! The hard reality is however, we will never truly feel whole and loved until we first discover who we really are, and the only way to know who you were created to be, is to know the one who created you.

Jesus is the author of life.   We were created in His image. So, to live a life without him would be the same as trying to drive a car without any fuel.

He is the one who sustains us and gives us purpose and direction and it is only once we know Him, and who we are in him, that we will truly find love and acceptance.

With God, you don’t have to be something fake in order to be loved. All He desires is for us is to be who we were created to be. His children.

Perhaps you can relate to Sydney’s story. Perhaps you feel depressed and alone, looking for anything to fill the void you’re feeling in your heart. Well, I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to look any further. Jesus is alive and he wants to have a relationship with you. He is the one who will make you whole.

So, take a step of faith. Ask him to reveal himself to you. I promise it will be the best decision you ever make.

If you would like to chat about depression, and being alone or perhaps you have some questions about God. Send us a message, we would love to hear from you!

Why It’s Good To Question Things

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Life is full of questions, it’s almost as if the more questions we have, the less answers there are. The fact that we have questions is a good thing though, because it means we are invested in this life that we are living. We want to know more, whether it be what the meaning of life is, or something as small as, will I ever find love?

I’m convinced that without people questioning we wouldn’t be where we are today. Legends of history, would just be another face in a sea of people if it weren’t for them questioning and pushing the boundaries.

But what about the questions that just don’t have answers? Are we supposed to just let them go, to live a life of constant uncertainty?

If you, like me, are one of those people who are looking for answers, this video may really help.

God is the only one who knows the answers to all of life’s questions. We might not always understand things, but by trusting him, we know that everything will always work out for the best.

God wants to have a relationship with us, he wants to forgive us for all the stupid things we have done. And all we have to do to receive this forgiveness is to choose to have a relationship with Jesus. To live a life that brings glory to him.

If you have a question, you won’t stop until you have found the answer. I’m here to tell you that the answer to all your questions is Jesus.

So why not give him a go, allow Jesus to not only answer your questions, but be the Lord of your life.

If you have any questions about God or faith, or would just like to chat, we would love to hear from you

How Learning Can Help You Reach Your Destiny

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Learning is one of those things we know we need to do, but hate the process. Here is an example; how often do you hear people say, “I hate having to study for exams”, or “school was such a waste of time”? For some strange reason, as humans, we think that we know everything already, which is weird because if we did, then why would we need school?

As much as we apparently hate learning, it is something we need. If we don’t learn, how will we ever get better?

I think the problem most of us have is identifying areas in our lives where we need to learn. I can imagine that this is probably a result of the world telling us that we can be our own bosses and that we don’t need anyone telling us what to do. We have been taught that above everyone else, we are the most important people.

Now I’m not saying that you shouldn’t be proud of your achievements or have a desire to be better, but what I am saying is don’t let those things become your focus. These things shouldn’t define who you are.

We should constantly have the desire to grow as people and the only way that this can be done is through learning. Identifying your weaknesses doesn’t make you weak; it allows you to turn those weaknesses into strengths.

We have to learn to set our pride aside and allow ourselves to be vulnerable to criticism because only then we will see growth.

I recently came across this video that reminded me of the importance of learning,

Check it out

This video reminds me that that we need to constantly have a child-like spirit when it comes to learning. An attitude that enables us to make mistakes but also learn from these mistakes and grow.

So, while we are in the process of learning, why not learn to be more like Jesus? After all, he is the author of life. If life was made by him, then surely he has the answer to all of life’s problems. Just like an architect knows every inch of the building he designed, God knows every aspect of our lives.

The key to true greatness and wisdom is God, so let’s not settle for second best. Instead, let’s choose to learn straight from the source of wisdom.

Just like the video says “Stay open to God, be teachable”

If you would like to find out more about God, or are just keen to chat, please send us a message on the link below.

How to deal with Insecurities!

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We are all born with certain characteristics that make us unique. One characteristic of mine is that I often say things before I think about what I’m about to say. It’s safe to say that, yes, sometimes this can get me in to (deep!) trouble, while other times it just gets people laughing. What this means from my point of view? It’s become one of those characteristics about myself that I have just learnt to embrace!

The interesting thing about characteristics is these are the things that make up who we are, yet they are often the very things that we are most unhappy about. Over and over again you hear people say; “I wish I was more like her”, or “I wish I could sing like him”. We have this constant desire to be something else or like someone we see as being ‘better’.

To some degree I think we all have this problem. Now, I’m not saying that wanting to be a better or improved version of ourselves is a bad thing, but rather suggesting that maybe we need to identify OUR own gifts and talents and maximize those, instead of wanting to be something else or live someone else’s life. What makes this problem even worse is that we put so much pressure on ourselves to be what we perceive to be this, ‘cool, perfect’ person. We go to extreme lengths to change the very things that make us who we are. You start acting a certain way, buy certain clothes, even change your friendship circle in the hope that you will be seen as this “perfect person”.

It’s easy to assume that the reason some of us have become like this is because of all the pressure the media puts on us, with its displays of perfectly photo-shopped cover models and latest trends, but I would like to suggest that there is something much deeper to it than that. Meaning, if that was actually the case, then surely everyone would be like that. Instead, I meet people on a daily basis who are happy and who love life, just the way they are. So, what makes them the exception to the rule?

I personally think it comes down to our own insecurities. We have become insecure in who we are and as a result feel we need to somehow change to fit in, even despite our friends and the people closest to us always affirming us as “perfect just the way we are”. Yet, we can’t seem to see what they see.

Now, I know it’s easy to just say “Hey, so we have insecurities”, but what can we actually do about it? Well, the answer is actually pretty simple. In order to find out why we were made the way we are, we need to first find out more about the one who made us.

Here’s a video of someone who did just that.

Tyesha struggled with terrible insecurity. She felt out of place and outcast, but that all changed once she realized who she was in Jesus. You see, Jesus is the author of our lives. He made us and knows us better than anyone else ever will. Every distinct characteristic that makes us unique has been given to us by Him. He gave each and every one of them to you specifically to make you the individual that you are. There is no one else in the world that is like you. You are not some carbon copy, but rather a unique and perfect creation.

In Jesus, Tyesha found freedom, forgiveness and purpose. She felt loved and accepted for the first time in her life. I know you may watch the video and think well, that’s just for her, but the truth is, this love and acceptance is available to all of us!

All God wants is for us to have a relationship with Him. There isn’t some secret password or some price we need to pay to have this relationship with Him. Jesus has already paid that price.

So, why not take a chance and give Jesus a go? I promise you won’t be disappointed.

 

If you have any questions about insecurity or being unique, or perhaps you would just like to chat, please send us a message. We would love to hear from you.

 

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