Sacred Spaces 533 – The Scenic Way

During my run this morning I noticed all this traffic on the way to work:


(There were more cars than what this picture depicts)

These people were taking the scenic route to work.

There is another way they could take to get to their workplaces.
There is a road that runs parallel to this beach one about half a kilometre inland.

But these people have chosen the more enjoyable way…
I liked that!

They’re taking ordinary moments and adding beauty to them.

There have been plenty of quotes about the journey like this one:


I couldn’t find a verse about taking the scenic way… 😉
But I couldn’t help but think of Jesus and the disciples.
Or Paul on his travels…

I am sure there were moments when they stopped and had lunch in a beautiful setting.
Or where they spent the night under the stars.
Or they stood on the edge of a cliff and took in a breathtaking view.

Sad thing is: a lot of folk are driving with their eyes darting between the road before them and the phone on their lap. 😦

Instead of looking at the views ahead and around, they choose a text…
Or a status update…


Sacred Spaces 532 – The community of saints (I still believe)

Wow, it’s been almost three months since I’ve last written a Sacred Space.
(Good to be back.)

So I work for a great Christian Student Training Centre called PNEUMATIX

We are really blessed to have such a diverse range of students. This week, each student go to share their story.

How they got here?
A bit about their childhood.
Their journey with God.
Their struggles.
Their strengths.

But I thought about this verse:

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us…” (Hebrews 12:1)

The whole “surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses” part got me thinking:

How in times, we have other saints who will carry us.
My wife and I joke about how “cynical” I am when it comes to God and the church. (Maybe in ministry, I’ve seen a sort of commercialism of faith that has messed me up…)

Any my journey back … is to regain the wonder and child like faith.


But I need to just celebrate and thank God for the students who inspire me.
Their unashamed faith.
Their joy and trust.

It’s so inspiring!

So maybe this just to celebrate the faith of these students.
Their love for God invites others in.
Even us adults, when we could feel weary.

And then, to celebrate, the fact that God would use a person like me.
He’d still whisper ideas and revelations to me.

That. Now that is so gracious!



Sacred Spaces 531 – Jesus in Buenos Aires

It’s a rainy morning here on the outskirts of the city of Buenos Aires.
I wanted to write one of these Sacred Spaces here in this wonderful country.
So here goes, in no particular sequence of thoughts:


It has to start with the flight. Does anyone else ponder how amazing it is that such a large piece of metal holds us in the sky for that many hours? (Jesus, made some bright sparks in this world! Starting with the Wright brothers…)

When we landed in Rio (our second stop over) and then in Buenos Aires, the Argentines applauded. I liked that! (Apparently, it’s a bit of a cheek thing? Because of some pilots in the past?)
But regardless! It’s no simple feat to land one of those things!!

How often, us humans, take too many things for granted…


Public transport makes for good reading time. I’ve loved it!
I’ve read a lot of my latest read. (Dan Brown – Digital Fortress)

On the trains and underground one can see a lot of people hiding in their headphones…and I thought of the Jars of Clay song called Headphones:

“I don’t have to hear it, if I don’t want to
I can drown this out, pull the curtains down on you
It’s a heavy world, it’s too much for me to care
If I close my eyes, it’s not there

At the Tube Stop, you sit down across from me
(I can see you looking back at me)
I think I know you
By the sad eyes that I see
I want to tell you (It’s a heavy world)
Everything will be okay
You wouldn’t hear it (I don’t want to have to hear it)
So we go our separate ways…

With our headphones on, with our headphones on
With our headphones on, with our headphones on
I don’t wanna be the one who tries to figure it out
I don’t need another reason I should care about you
You don’t want to know my story
You don’t want to own my pain
Living in a heavy, heavy world
And there’s a pop song in my head
I don’t want to have to hear it”

And that’s the one view of it.
BUT also after a long day of work or college, people like to have some “me – time” and hence they hide in those headphones or among the pages of a book.

Lesson: take some time out. Look after yourself a bit. Me time, is not a selfish thing!


I noticed the different species of birds here. One’s I’d never in South Africa. Another reminder of our BIG God. The birds chirp of who He is!


We came prepped with some promo dances and short skits to do in churches and schools… but God had other ideas.
We came to bless others…
He used those others to bless us…

I think a lot of my students were moved in ways they didn’t expect, on this trip! Thank you Jesus!\


Often one can see, people sitting at the many street corner restaurants. (One of my favourite things: the tables and chairs “spilling” on to the sidewalk where people can meet up.)

People are good at having quality time here with one another.
Something all people need to be reminded of.

Time with people. Best idea! Tell and share stories. Listen. Listen again. Just sit. Be with one another.


Perhaps, most Christians are “lukewarm?”
They live a lot of their lives with God on the fence.
But on the fence, nothing remarkable happens because you have to spend all your time and energy “balancing” there…

Maybe if Christian people become more HOT in following Jesus. Diving in more. More committed. Then they would see Jesus more often in their lives.
They would see and hear of prayers answered.
They notice the Spirit prompting.
They’d see the movement of God in far more real way.

I really could add more. But trying to keep these short. Thank You Jesus for meeting me everywhere!

Sacred Spaces 530 – How would you respond?

Sacred Spaces 530 – How would you respond?

I recently read the letter (book) of Philemon. Its Paul writing to this guy, Philemon, pleading to welcome and accept back: Onesimus.
Onesimus had wronged Philemon. But Paul urges Philemon to forgive him.
Then Paul ends the letter with a request that he’d keep aside a guest room for him. Because he plans on visiting Philemon soon. And then the letter ends. That’s it!
Only 25 verses.

Just like that! No verdict. We never know how Philemon responds? The scriptures don’t tell us anything more. The ball is in Philemon’s court. We’re left wondering how he would have responded…

Then another well-known preacher speaks about the Prodigal Son story where the old man goes out to the field and invites the older son to come in and join the party.
Then that passage ends too. What happened? Did the older boy go in and join the party or did he stay out in the field. We’re left wondering there too…

I like this about the scriptures. It reminds me of those “choose your own adventure” books.

What is your ending?
Both these passages are about holding grudges. The thing is; how will you respond?
Has someone wronged you?
Do you need to forgive someone?

The ending is open. You choose how it ends.
Will you be enslaved by unforgiveness and grudge holding

Or will you step into a better ending? A better response…

The choice is yours!

Sacred Spaces 529 – Friend of God

Yesterday, in Chapel, we sang an old song “I am a friend of God” (by Israel Houghton – 2004)

The simple line of the Chorus:

“I am a friend of God”

Got me thinking… of the profound theology and philosophy of that statement:
If we really lived that out. It would be a healthy and deeper relationship with God. Right?

God is approachable like a good friend.
But yes, He is far more than just a mere human friend.
He is the all powerful God who holds the stars and He holds our scars (Yes, I made that rhyme on purpose. A little bit cheesy, I know. But just go with it.)

If we saw our life and our approach to God as “He is our friend” it would move us into this intimate and beautiful relationship with Him.

He is not a task master!
Or a rule giver!
Or someone who is watching our every move waiting for us to slip up…


If we look at the “friend” part.

With our human friendships, a lot of us, treat them (and we can see them) not so well.
We disrespect our friends. We let them down more often that not.

True Friendship is a rare thing these days.

But we can (and should strive to) have a true friendship with God.

This little chorus carries a big message. Live it!

Sacred Spaces 528 – Name above all names

series graphic - names of god 720_0.jpg

Everything has a name.
Everything is named.

My name is Darrel.
Today is named Wednesday.
This post is known as a blog.

We name all items: coffee cup, table, bicycle, laptop and mobile phone.

We name illness too: bronchitis, pneumonia and depression…
We name our sins too: pornography, gossip and murder…

Philippians 2 reminds us:

“Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor
and gave him the name above all other names,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue declare that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.”

Matt Redman sings about it like this:

“Let all the other names fade away.
Until there’s only You.
Let all the other names fade away.
Jesus, take Your place.”

Isn’t that powerful? Isn’t that beautiful?

All names, are under the name of Jesus.
(It just got me thinking… about the name we utter so carelessly, sometimes)

Not realizing:

In Jesus’ name…

Sacred Spaces 527 – Nahum!


Scripture is full of little gems.
No matter how old you are, you can still learn new things.
And discover new things too.

Part of tour (with my team from Pneumatix) we spend each day in devotion (as a team) where one of the students will share something.

Recently one of them shared from Nahum 1: 3.

He spoke of being in awe of God.

Reading Nahum 1: 3 should do exactly that!

Think about it? The massive clouds above your head are like mere dust to God’s feet.
That’s how incredible huge and powerful God is.

And this big God pursues both you and I.