It is here…

It feels like a really long time since I last blogged (seems I even forgot how to 🙂 ) but as this year has commenced and seeing that I am also one year older, my birthday is in January, I have to realise that things change, have changed and will definitely change. I get tired more quickly (maybe that’s because I am unfit), I have different desires and goals for my life, my friendship circle is smaller and, well, just that life has become more meaningful and more fragile to me. I’m not even sure those things come along with ageing, but if it does then I’m probably on the right track.

This year began with introducing me to some new things (let’s hope it remains that way) with my first trip up Table Mountain via the Aerial Cable Car, which by the way is one of the new 7 Wonders of Nature (proud Capetonian 🙂 ). After all these years as a Capetonian, I can finally say “I’ve done it,” no more just hiking up the mountain even though it has given me amazing memories. The trip also made me realise how sometimes I can take things for granted, I mean all these years Table Mountain has been visible every single day of my life and not even bad cloud coverage can hide it and only after all these years have I gone up via the cable car. Sure we might not all be financially able to do that but it if we serious about things then nothing should deter us from experiencing things in life.cable car

This brings me to main point, my next thing….

I’ve registered my own domain, so this will be the last time that I will be blogging from the wordpress.com. Why, you might ask? Why not? I might add 🙂 here’s my new url: http://www.garthaziz.co.za. Obviously the site will become more populated as time goes on but I hope that you will continue to follow me on this journey.

It’s a new year with new beginnings, let’s see what all lies ahead for this year.

new beinnings

Garth

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Aside

Looking Back – Lookin Forward

Finally I can say it’s holidays.

It has been a while since my last post, it was just crazy busyness all around with Seminary graduation and tying up all the loose ends (as if that’s even possible) and just LIFE. I’m hoping this break would be exactly that, a BREAK! But by the Looks of it I doubt that, although there won’t be any complaints from this side.

Much has happened during 2012 (as I’m sure most of you can echo) that I am thankfull for and it has spurred me on to look at some new goals for 2013. But then again, it’s just the kind of person I am. Every year this time I have quite some introspection and evaluation of the year gone by. Have I achieved what I have set out to do? Has this year been a positive one for myself and my family? How am I any different now than what I have been at the start of the year? My responses to all of those questions can only be answered in a positive note. Sure it wasn’t all sunny days but then again what is life without some challenges?

It is said if we don’t learn by our pasts, we are bound to repeat the same mistakes in the future. So the one major lesson learnt is this: YOU CANNOT RECAPTURE TIME! So with that said let me give you some glimpses of what I would want to see happening in 2013.

I began blogging more than one year ago and it has really been a fun journey but soon i will be moving to my own site at .co.za but more of that to come.

I am also wanting to start a community venture focussing on school dropouts and youth on the fringe by giving them a “gap” So that their lives can be counted for something.

I am still busy completing my PhD studies (which is a long way off to being completed Ai) as Well as picking up some more lecturing opportunities at Seminary. I definitely will be doing some writing.

But what I’m looking forward to the most is that I will be married two years to the most amazing woman that I have ever met. My life has been awesome ever since. Mia-Cara you made me a believer.

At the end of 2012, I can honestly say that I am looking forward to and am excited about 2013. So bring it on. I am ready.

Happy holidays everyone and a blessed new year.

By the way this is my 50th post. So it’s a nice way to round up everything.

Time waits for no-one

There is a saying that goes, “the quickest way to move backward in a fast-moving world is by standing still.” Time really does fly and sure does not wait for anyone. Twenty years ago I was in matric (grade 12 for the newbies). Time not only accumulates things but also has a sense of making us realise what we are or have been missing. So what have you accumulated or missed over these years?

It’s a question I continually ask myself, some people might phrase it as, “are you successful?” The word successful really is a loaded word and can mean so many things to so many people. Ultimately, success should be seen as, “are you the person you are meant to be?” But how do you know who you are meant to be? How do you really know, without any shadow of a doubt that you are on the right track to becoming that person?

I listened to a speaker at chapel last week who said something like this, “sandwiched between gifting and passion lies life’s purpose.” In other words, are you living a life out of your gifts, truly your gifts and talents and not other people’s expectations and desires that have been placed on you? And are you living out your passion, that which makes you jump out of bed each morning leaving you feeling fulfilled?

For me, 20 years later, I still struggle at times to get out of bed, and still do not live completely in my gifting, does that mean I am unsuccessful? I think, I am on the path to that reality and that makes me more successful than many people out there.

Ignorance might be bliss, but it robs you of the life’s journey’s experiences…

so get to know your gifting and get to know your passion

for therein lies…

Busy? Me?

So, I haven’t blogged for a while, I might say that I’m busy, but when it comes down to actually penning it down on paper, then I can’t really call that being busy. But what exactly is being busy? A simple definition would be, “having a great deal to do.” So then it does explain the reality that if I had a great deal to do and there is nothing much to show for it then obviously I haven’t been doing a great deal much! So, then is that busyness or wasting time? But what is wasting time? A nice definition would be “Use or expend carelessly, extravagantly, or to no purpose”. But I know that what I have been doing has not been a carelessness of my time, energy or resources. So then my final question would be, “What have I been doing?”

I think, these questions only matter when there is a backlog of items to address, chores to be done, deadlines to meet and an endless list of “to do’s”. It is only when we reflect on these that these questions become pressing. So ultimately, you should be asking, “of what value do these lists of to do’s have to my personal well-being and if I don’t do them, what would the consequences be?”

So, for me…. let’s just say I will be needing to get busy, but like the cartoon below says, “I don’t have time to be this busy”.

Weekend or Weakend?

So it’s that time of the week when most people wind down. Except when you are in the ministry. For some strange reason the weekend tends to be the busiest time for those involved in ministry. And if you are bi-vocational, it also means you will be sacrificing some rest time as well as family time. So there are two huge sacrifices asked of us.

The results of these sacrifices?

Firstly, there is no time to rest. If anyone has been in ministry you know that preparation doesn’t end when you put the pen down. It continues up until the actual event and often times lingers on beyond the striking of the clock. So one tends to move from a busy week to a busy weekend back into a busy week. No wonder people in ministry are tired!

Secondly, because of the busyness in the week, family time is usually on the weekend but if you followed point one closely you will see that yet again there will not be any or much family time. So in this sense, family time has been sacrificed for ministry time.

Finally, with all this busyness how does one reflect and meditate on personal matters? Because whatever free time you will now have, will be taken to fill up with either family time or rest. So how do we keep refreshed when there is no time for that?

But to add further injury to the above is the confusion and guilt that comes with all of these.

Firstly, if we don’t “DO” ministry then we tend to feel guilty in letting the Lord down when in actual fact we are afraid of letting the church down and what their responses and opinions might be of us.

Secondly, we feel guilty for once again making our family secondary to that of a ministry, which is a misplaced guilt feeling. And although we know it but choose to rationalise it, our families begin resenting our shallow commitment to them and our increased commitment to the church and other people.

Finally, we just start hating our calling and the place we find ourselves in because it all just tends to spiral out of control. We begin experiencing burnout, escapism from the ministry, family break-down and personal devotion with God starts waning.

What’s your weekend/weakend like?

One Year Later…

One year later, and I am changed!

Yes, I know we all change and a year is more than enough time for many things to change. But let me explain and put that statement into context.

Exactly one year ago I  left Exclusive Books (EB) under very struggling circumstances to an unknown future. Honestly, sometimes the fear of the unknown is just so much brighter than any present circumstance and reality that we might have. Sometimes the seeming safety and security of the present can rob us from achieving greatness and satisfaction in our lives, but instead we remain with what we are familiar with. It’s like that saying rings true for so many of us, “rather the devil you know than the devil you don’t.” This was true in so many ways for me, I opted to dine with the proverbial “devil” and I settled for less than what could be possible. But toward the latter part of my stay I began asking questions, deep and honest and sometimes down right scary questions about myself, my purpose, my skill and ability and if I am found in the right place. Obviously, the answer to that question was a loud resounding NO!

These questions that I began asking led to a challenge in my belief of myself and my belief system. Now questions are not bad and neither is doubt because questions can lead to answers we never knew existed and if we do not ask, how will we ever know any different from where we find ourselves? And doubt can lead to faith, and when my present looked so bleak and dark, I could only hope and believe that God had something better in store for me and that he would catch me when I jump (or maybe I was pushed?).

And so in June 2011, my stay at EB ended and a new chapter in my life began. Just what that new chapter would offer was beyond my wildest imaginations! It’s alot like the Habakkuk 1:5  story where I would not believe what is possible and about to happen even if God had told me. I definitely was a Habakkuk. And so this journey continues to surprise me and overwhelm me at times, but what a ride!

The path I chose not to travel… what it could have offered? I think it could have offered me countless opportunities that would be great but I wonder if it would have that WOW factor? I declined a call as a youth pastor to an amazing church that offered great opportunities. I also declined an opportunity to work abroad, which I could imagine would be just as amazing with international travels and cultural experiences. I never made a good choice or a bad choice but I made a choice and it has made all the difference.

The path I chose to travel… and what it does offer? I began “working” but actually it’s more ministering and fulfilling a dream that I have had for many years. I am currently at the Cape Town Baptist Seminary as Registrar and Youth Lecturer. I have also commenced with my doctoral studies and I continue to be involved in youth at local church levels where invited to be part of. But I am here! And I love it. I lecture and admin and study and smile and live.

So, one year later and I am saying, don’t be afraid to make a choice and enjoy the journey that God will let you begin, a journey that hopefully will be shared with people who matter in your life. I am on such a journey and I am sure you would be able to say what I am currently saying, “what a ride! WHAT A RIDE!

Free At Last?

27 April 1994, I can remember long queues of people about to cast their first democratic vote. I can remember rain. I can remember excitement and I can remember fear. I can remember what this day was for and what it was about. I can remember pride as a South African.

This day was for freedom. This day was so that each and every South African had an inalienable right to be a person in their own country, in their own home. This day was for each South African to be able to earn a decent wage so that we could put bread on the table. This day was so that we could tell our youth, our children that every person, irrespective of culture or colour, is a person. This day is about sacrifice, because people, young and old, male and female, black and white, laid down their lives so we could have this freedom. For some it was forcibly taken. For others it still lingers. Freedom came at a price.

While we may not be satisfied and pleased with what is happening today, we realise that true freedom cannot be brought about politically because someone will always have the power. Whether it be economic, politically or in any other form. True freedom is about being free from the control of  others and ultimately ourselves. In this sense freedom is an illusion because we will always be subject to someone with authority, someone who has a say over our time, our economics, our lives. We will always be enslaved to someone or something.

So what is freedom then? And how can we attain true freedom?

The person who the Son sets free will be free indeed (John 8:36).

Freedom will come at a price.

It will come at the surrender of yourself.

It will only truly come with Jesus Christ in your life.

You want to celebrate freedom?

Celebrate Christ.