Thursday, October 22, 2020
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Tatum-Lee Louw

The SA Springboks: Why They’re the Real Champions of World Rugby

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The South African Springboks first hosted and made their rugby debut in 1995, where the Springboks defeated All Blacks (New Zealand) 15-12. This moment is recorded as one of the greatest moments in South Africa’s sporting history

Winning the Rugby World Cup in 2019 has given more than 57 million South Africans the unique opportunity to unite as a nation and celebrate the excellent sportsmanship, talent and sheer resilience found in a country, which has been plagued with social ills over the past years. It has also provided the country with a golden opportunity to unite in addressing deep growing economic, financial and social challenges.

South Africa is now considered as one of Rugby’s most elite nations securing three world cup titles. The country’s victory is inspiring and there are a few great lessons we can take from this win.

Defy the odds

The Springboks went into Japan as the underdogs against an England team that played a sterling game against the legendary All Blacks in the semi-finals. This was undoubtedly a great challenge faced by the team. Not only was this challenging, but it was also intimidating. In spite of what they knew about their opponents, in spite of what they had witnessed in the semi-finals, they still performed, gave it their all and won in the end.

Develop resilience and agility

After England ended the All Black’s eight-year reign in the semi-finals, it was predicted that a tough game was on the cards for the Springboks in the final and yet again the Boks gave a colossal performance of sheer resilience in pursuing the victory. They struck the minute the opportunity arose and never backed down.

Pave the way

This time around, the Springboks was led by Siya Kolisi, the first black player to captain a South African Rugby squad. Siya grew up in the impoverished township of Zwide and was watched during the match by his father, who had never flown before. This proves just how true the saying is that where you come from does not have to be your ending. With the right level of determination and willingness to grow, you can overcome anything.

South Africa still faces various challenges economically, politically and socially, but the Springboks victory in the 2019 Rugby World Cup has inspired fresh and positive energy into the nation. South Africa is filled with hope, filled with faith and for now, as they live in the afterglow of this victory, there is so much to look forward to in this Majestic country.

Does age really come with wisdom?

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Stereotypes are prevalent all around the world, but none as common as the stereotypes that exist between youth and the older generation. Examples are quite easy to find. Our favourite movie series’ often depict the older relative as frail and feeble, available for a rare dose of wisdom and thereafter the victim of a crude joke among friends.

We’re taught at school to excel and that an education is the only thing that nobody can take away from us. They’re right! This happens to be the case. Finishing school will be one of the most glorious moments of our lives. Our degrees, certificates and other qualifications will be the highlight of our twenties and thirties. Being young is quite a thrilling experience, but what happens when we’re older? Is there really no more to us than what we have to offer in the prime of our youth?

Perhaps we should re-adjust the lenses when it comes to how we view those older than us. After all, education is not the only thing that cannot be taken away from us. 

Experience is another.

How often have you seen a job advertisement for a senior employment opportunity, that requires a degree and no experience? When we have zero to no experience we’re usually classified as juniors. Once were gain experience, confidence and the insight needed for the job, our educational qualifications are amplified. This is usually when we’re promoted to a new level, which is always more senior. During the process of being a junior, we’re always trained by someone who has more experience and who knows the ropes, and is willing to teach them to us too.

See, when we look at things through a different lense our perspective changes. As much as our independence has to do with our resolve and commitment to progressing in life. We cannot deny that from time to time we need to consult someone with experience. Someone who has been there before and survived to tell the tale. Who better to consult than the older generation?

This goes beyond the home remedies that ALWAYS work. The older generation has the wisdom to assist us through some of life’s most challenging situations. We all get to an age where we utter “If only I listened to my parents” or “I should have taken my dad’s advice”.

Not all advice may be sound, but this does not mean we should disregard it as such, before listening to it at all. Someday you’ll be older too. Can you imagine being ignored because you just not ‘young’ anymore?. By then you would probably agree that with age comes wisdom.

The truth is we all need a helping hand now and again. And, no matter what the world tells you, the older, wiser ones ahead will always be better equipped to show the way you should go. Allow yourself to learn from them. In the same breath, life has had a significant, abrupt transformation in the past 20 years. The problems we are experiencing now are things no one could have ever even dreamt about, let alone anticipate. Learn to lean on much stronger support than anyone you could ever find on earth. A personal relationship with Jesus is all you will ever need to navigate the chaotic crossways of life on earth. Let that be the foundation upon which you build everything else.

The danger in liking nice things

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Generation ‘ME’ is here and growing at an alarming rate…

Our Instagram stories and Facebook news feeds do a really great job of selling us dreams. Whether we’re following lifestyle influencers, travel bloggers, or just trying to keep up with the Joneses down the street, leaving our screens without some sort of FOMO is becoming increasingly difficult.

Somewhere and somehow, the inclination and pressure to live up to the ‘standard’ on social media and popular culture creeps in, and we find ourselves selling our souls for the latest smartphone, clothing and Instagram friendly hotel stays, just to get that perfect shot for the ‘gram’. Slowly, but surely our own choices lead us to a path where we hardly recognize ourselves and begin to encourage others to follow suit. Young people who do not live up to the standard find themselves being victimized online and at times we’re the perpetrators of these acts, no matter how low-key it may seem.

If you find yourself in this space and you’re eager to find your way out here’s some advice:

1.   Regular self-checks are important

As much as checking on others is important, we need to check on ourselves, not our physical appearance, but what is going on in our hearts. Are you frustrated, agitated or always in a state of discontentment? Never quite happy with anything, and you struggle to see goodness in any situation? Then it might be time for you to check your attitude towards life. God loves when we ask Him for help. This may be as simple as “God help me today to focus on the things I have that money cannot buy”. It pays to do some stock taking, especially where our emotions are concerned. The heart is, in fact, deceitful above all things.

2.   God loves you regardless of the ‘stuff’ you think you need

God looks at the heart. He is hardly concerned about the new car we think we need or a new pair of sneakers we desire. He is interested in what our heart and inner thoughts look like and it pleases him when we prioritise our inner lives. You’re not alone. He doesn’t love you any less because you don’t fit in. As long as you’re a part of His plan, you should not be worried about what anyone else thinks. And you being on this very earth is proof that you are His plan.

3.   God does not compare you to others

You were created the way you are for a reason. You were born into your family for a reason. God does not make mistakes and He has made all of us with different complexities because He knew exactly what the Earth needed, long before we were born. You are a glorious reflection of God’s love to others around you. The Bible speaks about how you were formed. God honours, loves and takes great pleasure in our differences. He created us with them. Why would you want to live a life consumed with looking like everyone else?

Even if you’re currently in this space, heading straight into it or you’ve been there in the past, nothing and I mean nothing stops you from being and doing better in the future. Life is a journey. Every day is a new chance to change the steps that do not bring any good into your life.

If you are in need of prayer or you would like us to tell you more about this man named Jesus Christ, feel free to send us a message today.

Millennials are lonely

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In 2019, it is no secret that social media has changed the way we live our lives. From the way we get our daily news to how we communicate and engage with our family and friends. For a millennial, it is unavoidable, it’s powerful and it’s not going anywhere anytime soon. While our newsfeeds and Insta stories may be thriving, can we truly say the same about our social lives?

Social media is being linked to the loneliness epidemic that’s contributing to mental health issues, such as depression and anxiety in the millennial generation. Many studies have focused on some key factors, including spending too much time looking at other people’s perfectly presented lives, or even spending too much time looking at ourselves can lead to feeling inferior or left out, which we now call FOMO, or fear of missing out -can lead to a downward spiral.

In all of this, there is a simple truth millenials are unaware or simply don’t know enough about- No matter how many friends we have, or how great our Insta following grows, our hearts will still have a void, a longing for a deeper sense of purpose and living, this longing can only be fulfilled through a relationship with God and His Son, Jesus Christ. He is a very present help in time of need and much more than this, He never leaves us alone.

Now, as a millennial, you may be wondering –how can God actually help me cope online and in various social media spaces?.

Here are three ways that having a relationship with God will help you cope with your millennial world.

  1. Having a relationship with God gives you a unique identity

God knows you and loves you just the way you are. Your character and personality are unique and He was completely intentional in creating you. The deeper your relationship grows, the more secure you will begin to feel and soon, you won’t have the need to compare yourself with anyone.

  1. Having a relationship with God gives you self-control

The more time you spend with God and in His Word, the more self-control you will gain. This is part of the gifts of your salvation and once you accept His son Jesus into your life, you have full access to this glorious gift. Self-control will allow you to spend your time online wisely.

  1. Having a relationship with God will influence you to be a blessing to others

The more you get to know God, the more you’ll begin to understand that He is a God of love and mercy and you will start sharing this truth with your friends and those around you. God selected you to read this truth for a reason, to share with others who are overwhelmed and who suffer from FOMO. Share your truth and God’s love with others.

If you are reading this and it relates to a situation you are currently facing, we would encourage you to get in contact with us and we’ll tell you a little more about this man named Jesus.

How Do You Measure Success?

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Living in a world that is accustomed to measuring success according to its tangibility, can be really lame at times. Across our social platforms, in the news, at school and even in our places of employment, we have come to measure success by its size.

On one hand there’s nothing wrong with that. Of course we need to celebrate people who are doing great things, but often the little successes people achieve daily are ignored, pushed aside and classified as ‘not important’.  I know many people, who have felt like failures more often than they should because of this. How you measure success is vital to the progress you will make in life.

I have found that my greatest successes happen when nobody is around to cheer me on.  When I am able to show gratitude despite my circumstances, when I choose to hold onto hope in the midst of heartache and when I am able to maintain my character even in solitude. These are small victories that I have chosen to measure as great successes.

This is a simple exercise that started through setting my own measure of success. Without external influences, opinions or the ‘norm’.  Some of your measurements may be personal and internal, that’s completely okay.  It is often the small victories we achieve that set us up for bigger ones.  Today, you may be celebrating the success of bravery, tomorrow you may move on to bigger, more tangible successes. In those moments, you will celebrate the little things that laid the foundation for where you were headed.

Make sure to always remember, you are the one who decides exactly what it means to be successful. Even when nobody is cheering you on, or handing you a trophy with your name on it.

 

We all need fixing

One of the biggest misconceptions Christians have about themselves is that they need to be ‘fixed’ before they can attract God’s attention. Of course, it is easy to accept this as the truth, when you have spent all your life believing that you cannot accept a love you haven’t earned.

It’s a reality, although cliché at times, just as our faces differ so do our situations. Sometimes a smile does a really good job of hiding what we are actually going through. Most times the turmoil we face is a raging war inside of us. This is fueled by our ambition to get ourselves to a point where we actually feel ‘worth fixing’, worth redemption and worth an actual chance.

I have learned that sometimes we intentionally make bad decisions which wound us. Other times, we fall victim to our circumstances and the environments we find ourselves in. But this does not mean that God has forgotten about us or that there is a special requirement needed before we can access His love.

We’re all broken in places. Some of us experience this brokenness in our relationships, or maybe we’ve been hurt by a close friend. The moral of the story is this: God is attracted to our brokenness.

Scripture in the Bible proves this,

The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God”. – Psalm 51:17

Attempting to fix yourself can be a really exhausting experience, because the truth is, we’re just not that powerful. You can rest in knowing that God desires to put all the broken pieces back together like only He knows how.

Did this piece encourage you? Go ahead and watch the video below:

 

Is Your Gift Making Room For You?

I have often heard the scripture

“A man’s gift makes room for him and brings him before great men” – Proverbs 18: 16

in church among leaders. At the time I considered this as a bit of a ‘pie in the sky’ idea, assigned to the elite. Never really exploring what this scripture could mean for me, until I experienced this principle in my life and it totally blew my mind.

As with most things, we learn best through experiences. Are you sitting on a gift and wondering if you will ever get an opportunity to showcase it to the world, or if you will ever be able to progress in what God has given you?

Here are four things you need to realise about your gift.

  1. You actually have one

I discovered my gift in high school. I never really thought I was good at anything until someone threw me in at the deep end. Perhaps you’re in the same place. It is important that you realise that each of us have a gift that God has given us. If you don’t know where to start identifying your gift, examine the things you’re really good at.

  1. Take time to cultivate your gift

The more time you spend on your gift. The better you get at it. If I look back at things I wrote 4 years ago, compared to now, I can literally see how I have grown. Don’t be afraid to seek advice from people who have already enhanced their gift. This can be really useful to your progress.

  1. You will face failure and you will arrive at stop streets.

Nobody is born with a deep sense of love for failure, and nobody likes stagnating in their jobs, home life, or relationships, but at times it happens. When it does, it is important that you have a healthy perspective on it. Choose to see the positive side to your failures, you’ll learn your greatest lessons.

  1. Don’t be afraid of the deep-end

I always had a thousand excuses when it came to using my gift or showcasing it to others, especially in church. But, I have learnt that people will throw you in at the deep end, but you can choose whether you’ll sink or swim.

Your gift will make room for you.

Your thoughts are powerful

We often hear the saying ‘The battlefield is in our minds’, but more often than not we forget and underestimate what a powerful statement this is. Our thoughts literally influence every aspect of our lives, our behavior, and relationships. We end up having a really bad day at work because we woke up thinking about how awfully long the week will be. We fight with our partners because we’re already thinking about how we’ll cope financially this month. We are miserable even before we get home at night because all the way on the bus we were thinking about how we really don’t want to go home.

The crazy thing about all of this is, you actually have the ability to choose your thoughts! You have the ability to decide what stays and what has to go! What is good for you and what is bad! What will make you entirely miserable and what will give you hope!  This may seem like an impossible task when emotions are high, but think about this for a few seconds. How many times has acting without thinking landed you in some serious trouble?

We live through our thoughts and because it is such an important part of who we are, we should make it a priority to be intentional about it.

Joyce Meyer has this cool saying that just stuck with me:

“Make sure that you think about what you’re thinking about.”

The mind is complex in understanding most times that you not only purposely think right thoughts, but that you go the extra mile and speak them out loud as personal confessions of faith (see Mark 4:24).

Our thoughts are not excluded from our reverence to God. It is a big part of it, choosing to think positively, choosing to believe what God says, choosing to think about His goodness is a sign that you’re acknowledging His place in your life.

The Bible tells us very simply that ‘As a man thinks, so he is’.  Your thoughts have tremendous power, set them straight today!

The perfect gift you can bring to your relationship

Desiring to have someone to do life with is admirable. God created us to gravitate towards relationships, no matter the nature of it. On the face of it a relationship may seem like it’s all holding hands and roses but truthfully, relationships are hard work.  Relationships are important in our character building but they are also something we need to prepare for. Sunsets and Valentine’s Day gifts are amazing, but the best gift you can give someone who you are in a  relationship with is knowing who you are. Here are some of the benefits:

Knowing who you are  includes knowing what you bring to the table

This takes time, which is why you often hear the constant lecture about embracing your singleness. It is that period when you are alone that you will best discover who God is and what He has called you to be. This includes having the capability to clearly identify your strengths and weaknesses.

Knowing who you are positions you in a place of security.

Someone who is secure oozes confidence and has the capacity to think things through. They also understands that people are vulnerable to making mistakes, and is not moved when these errors occur. A secure person finds their roots in God and not in unfair expectations of people.

Knowing who you are protects your individuality and validates that.

I constantly remind myself that:

“Although I may be dating now, my partner is not all there is to me. I have ambitions and goals that I need to reach, that are my responsibility to complete”.

You had a life before you met your other half and you need to continue to live after you meet your partner. Your life is not a stop street of stagnation.

Knowing who you are keeps you focused.

Though your boyfriend may be great, on the days when he’s not around you need to be able to figure things out on your own. Your life is not in his hands, it belongs to God.

Knowing who you are enhances your relationships

Any relationship that is built on God is a fantastic candidate for marriage. When two people who know what God has called them to be combine their vision powerful things take place and a solid foundation is a fantastic base to build a home on.

Are you confused about where you are at in life, or would you like to find out who you are and what God says about you? Please watch this video to find out.

Surviving the Friend-Zone

Have you ever wanted to take your friendship with someone to the next level, only to find out that the object of your desires doesn’t want to move with you and rejects your advances.  If you’ve experienced this, I’m sorry to say but, you’ve been ‘friend-zoned’. Being ‘friend-zoned’ is probably one of the world’s top 5 most embarrassing things that could happen to you. It makes everything awkward, your friendship suffers a blow and so does your self-esteem.  Although, at the time it may seem like the end of the world, trust me, it’s not.

Here are 5 keys to survive being Friend zone.

Accept that it happened.

The sooner you realize that this actually happened, the better. Often, when we are humiliated we tend to brush it off as if it never happened. The reality is bad things happen to great people all the time. It’s one of the complexities of life.

Forgive yourself

You are not a loser. You took a risk and it didn’t pay off, that’s fine. Forgive yourself and do so quickly, because beating yourself up will just make everything worst.  Besides every failure presents us with an opportunity to learn.  Take the lesson and run with it.

Channel your disappointment

Most times when we feel disappointment, we project it through our behavior. Make sure you find a healthy release. When I experience disappointment, I pray. Sometimes I really don’t feel like it, but it’s better than sending that awkward text message because you’re acting out of emotion.

Don’t run

You’re not a prisoner to anyone or anything. You still have the freedom to do whatever you did before. Don’t allow the disappointment to keep you bound to the humiliation of what happened. You are going to be okay.  That’s a promise.

You are enough

Being friend-zoned is not based on your value. You are enough! You may not have received what you thought you would, but take this in your stride. A time will come when you’re going to think about this and say  “I can see it now”.  All your disappointment and every stumbling block will finally make sense.

 

 

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