Thought for the Week
Week Four

What song do you need to sing?

Several years ago, during my time of ministry in South Africa, I was in a deep conversation with very regular church attender.

For the sake of illustration, I will name him Tom. Tom had struggled with cerebral palsy from birth, and life for Tom was more than complicated.

Our conversation that day was about singing. He loved to sing, but found it very difficult to do and with a glint in his eye, he said that to be kind to the person next to him in the pew, he chose not to sing. But then with real sadness, a tearful sadness, he shared his lifelong longing. He had never whistled. And how he longed to whistle. If God could grant him one wish, it would be to enjoy a moment of whistling.

My goodness, we can take things for granted. I do not often whistle, but when I do, I sometimes think of Tom and his sadness.

This memory got me thinking.

Imagine being able to whistle and never whistling.

Being able to sing and never singing.

Being able to whatever it is you can do, but then not doing it.

Calls for a moment of confession, “Lord for the gifts you have given that I choose not to use – please forgive me.” 

God bless and use the gifts you have. It is a blessing.


Thought for the Week

We used to build Go-karts as kids.
A simple construction comprising of a wooden frame with four wheels. A front “axle” that could turn (pulled by rope so that you could steer) and a wooden vegetable box as a seat, nailed onto the back axle where it intersected with the main wooden beam. And that was it.

It did not matter if you crashed, you would not be happy, but you simply rebuilt. The JOY, oh my goodness the joy of the race, well that came from deep within.

Did I mention there were no brakes?

Joy vs Happiness

“Joy and happiness are wonderful feelings to experience, but are very different.

Joy is more consistent and is cultivated internally.

It comes when you make peace with who you are, why you are and how you are, whereas happiness tends to be externally triggered and is based on other people, things, places, thoughts and events.”

From the international magazine “Psychologies.”


What can we do, recognising that happiness is often only momentary, to cultivate and nurture joy?

  1. There is much to feel negative about, but there is also that which we can feel positive about. What can we be grateful for? Joy is nourished by gratitude.
  2. Generosity is more than giving because giving can sometimes be an unkind act of power. Being a generous person is a disposition and a generous heart looks out for the needs of others.
  3. We need to be more circumspect about the problems we take on board. “Carry each other’s burdens” is about mutual support, it is not about being anxious about everything and everyone. (Galatians 6:2)
  4. We need to be kinder to ourselves. We need to do more of that which makes us feel settled and present in our day. Smell the flowers, notice the butterfly, look at the sky.
  5. Follow faith faithfully. Christ said, “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” John 10:10

Amongst other things, following Christ is good for our daily lives.

Grow in joy and may the joy of Christ fill your heart.


Thought for the Week

The sun was extremely hot and the temperature as I recall must have been closer to, if not warmer than, 40o C. We were hiking in the Imfolozi Game Reserve, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa.

It was unusually hot for the time of the year.

The riverbed was dry and the sand soft.  Given a rugby injury to my left knee years before, I found the soft sand tough going. Trying to find a solution to my predicament, I looked for firmer places to step on, only to realise there were none.

Just a lot of hot, soft sand.

The Ranger was walking in front of me and if anyone knew the best route to take, it would be him.

So, I followed him closely.

I then realised, to my dismay, because I wish I had seen this earlier, that if I step into his footprint, the effort from me to walk is significantly easier.  So, I did.

I followed in the footsteps of the Ranger.

Transformed my day.

Same heat, same sand, but a lot easier to negotiate when walking in the footsteps of the Ranger.

Micah 6:8 He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you?

To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.


As Christians, we have an invitation to follow in the footsteps of Christ.

There are many reasons to do this, and a few come to mind:

  • We follow the One who knows the way.

“I am the way and the truth and the life” John 14:6

  • We follow the One who invites us.

“Come, follow me,’ Jesus said, ‘and I will send you out to fish for people.’” Matthew 4:19

  • We follow the One who is always with us.

“And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:20

And so, may you walk in the footsteps of our Lord as you journey through this week.

Blessings and stay safe. 


Photograph by Bernard DUPONT from FRANCE – Black iMfolozi Riverbed, CC BY-SA 2.0,

Our Thought for the Week

A cheerful heart is good medicine,

but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength.

Proverbs 17:22

I watched a video clip of a chap on a train watching something funny on his iPad. He had earphones on, and he was laughing, belly-ache laughing, and he was oblivious of everyone else in the train carriage.

It wasn’t very long before everyone was laughing. It went through the carriage like a wildfire.

Like yawning, it is difficult not to laugh when other people are.

This is an abbreviated extract from the Mayo Clinic (

“A good sense of humour can’t cure all ailments, but data is mounting about the positive things laughter can do.

Short-term benefits

Stimulate many organs (Laughter enhances your intake of oxygen-rich air, stimulates your heart, lungs, and muscles, and increases the endorphins that are released by your brain. Activate and relieve your stress response. Soothe tension.

Long-term effects

Improve your immune system. Relieve pain. Increase personal satisfaction. Improve your mood. Improve your sense of humour. Laugh and the world laughs with you.

Laughter is the best medicine.

So here is this week’s challenge: Make laughter your goal! Go for it. Let yourself laugh and help others to laugh.

Have a laugh-filled week.