How to overcome denial


Renovate the family denial banner with darryl schoeman and thisiswhatihavetosay in conjunction with Glenwood Community Church (Durban, South Africa)

My church (Glenwood Community Church, Durban) started a new series this Sunday entitled “Renovate the Family”. As part of the series, all the Bible study’s and homecells are running with the theme, and the first topic that we dealt with was on denial.

The message is essentially that we are all living with some form of denial. For some, the denial is “big”, whilst for others it is “small”. It is even such that those that do not believe they are “in denial”, are in fact already exercising denial: Romans 7:18 (NIV) says “I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.” So the bottom line is that there ARE areas in our life that we are ashamed of or that hold us back, and the first step to recovery, to renovating the family, is to acknowledge this denial.

There is however a subtlety to denial too. For those that really and genuinely believe that they have “worked through” all their past hurts and issues, will genuinely believe (deny) that they have any problems. So the challenge is, how do we identify when we are in denial? How can we “measure” whether we are in denial or not? What do we look for in our lives – or look for the lack thereof – to help us determine our level of denial?

I think the answer is fruit… the fruit of the Spirit; love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). We can determine our level of denial by looking how we reflect or carry the fruit of the Spirit in our daily lives. All born-again Christians should have all the fruit (in growing degrees as we mature). But where there is a lack of or lesser degree of a particular fruit, then we need to be looking as to why it is not there. To ignore a missing fruit, is in essence denial itself.

Ask God to help you determine why it is that you are not as fruitful in a particular fruit. The answer may come immediately, it may not. It may come from God, or it may come from a friend/spouse. But don’t deny that there are no problems. Celebrate recovery and find the cause of your denial.

What else can help us overcome denial?

my name is darryl
and this is what i have to say

The Deception of Music


Image of Bookcover of Worship Matters by Bob Kauflin on thisiswhatihavetosay.org.za with Darryl SchoemanAs part of my theological studies, I am busy with a book by Bob Kauflin called Worship Matters. It is a profoundly theological book on the subject of Christian worship, especially as it pertains to the musical aspect of worship.

One of the key thoughts that he has focused on is how deceptive music can be. He writes that music can make theologically shallow or vague songs appear to be substantive, yet according to Jesus’ command, it is the Word of God that should be dwelling in us richly, not musical experiences. To quote Bob directly, “Sing God’s Word. Lyrics matter more than music. Truth transcends tunes.”

Truth transcends tunes.

But he shares the following story that illustrates the deceptive nature of music most profoundly:

I once heard of a Christian woman who spent time serving God in South Africa. While visiting a health clinic, she was deeply moved by the sound of the local Zulu women singing. Their harmonies were hauntingly beautiful. With tears in her eyes [emphasis mine], she asked a friend if she knew the translation of the words. “Sure,” her friend replied. “‘If you boil the water, you won’t get dysentery.’”

Now, coming from South Africa, I can truly relate to the harmonious capabilities of my fellow country-men. But this example highlighted acutely the reality of the power of music to “alter” one’s perspective, even negatively.

Follow me on Twitter as I periodically Tweet Bob’s pearls of wisdom from Worship Matters.

my name is darryl
and this is what i have to say

Your life is like a mayonnaise jar


cartoon golf balls in mayonaise jar with thisiswhatihavetosay and darryl schoeman

I stumbled across this again in my archives and thought it worth sharing. It’s probably been shared and viewed a number of times. But just as Peter said that it was good to be reminded (cf. 2 Peter 1:12), this too was a good reminder and refresher.

When things in your life seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours in a day is not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar and two cups of coffee.

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, wordlessly, he picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and fills it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was. The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured it into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was. The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous “YES”. The professor then produced two cups of coffee from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar, effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.

“Now,” said the professor, as the laughter subsided, “I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things – God, family, children, health, friends, and favorite passions. Things, that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full. The pebbles are the things that matter like your job, house, and car. The sand is everything else — the small stuff.” he said. “If you put the sand into the jar first,” he continued, “There is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you…” he told them. “So… pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Worship with your family. Play with your children. Take your partner out to dinner. Spend time with good friends. There will always be time to clean the house and fix the dripping tap. Take care of the golf balls first — the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.”

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the coffee represented. The professor smiled and said, “I’m glad you asked. It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there’s always room for a couple of cups of coffee with a friend.”

This was not my original work. Here is the YouTube video of it:

Photo Credit goes to pickhur.com

my name is darryl
and this is what i have to say

Scripture references:
2 Peter 1:12 NIV So I will always remind you of these things, even though you know them and are firmly established in the truth you now have.

Former Dawkins Atheist Richard Morgan Continues to Praise God | Christian Post


this is what i have to say - image of richard dawkinsI love to read stories like this of how atheists become Christian after engaging with other atheists. This particular atheist was converted to Christianity after spending time on Richard Dawkins’ website. Well done to the Scottish Pastor David Robertson for persisting on engaging the hostile atheists. And thanks to Steve Kryger from Communicate Jesus for his post highlighting this.

There are essentially two links for this article. The first (original) is at Apologetics 315. It is a full length transcript of the interview. The second is on the Christian Post which is an easier to read summary of the Apologetics 315 interview.

Leadership is Responsibility


leadership_lessons_from_monopoly_with_darryl_schoemanWhen playing monopoly, my 7 year old son thinks that being the banker is really cool because he “has” all the bank’s money to his disposal. But being the banker is one of responsibility. Much like many church ministries are.

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