Sunday, 29 June 2014

What is Your Motivation?

Over the past few weeks I have felt a strong conviction….why are you doing what you are doing? If you are a workaholic like me, you may often get carried away with work, focusing on little else but the job at hand. With my thesis presentation looming at the end of the year I feel I have fallen into the trap (yet again) of calling it MY project, MY degree…MY life!

John 15:5 often flashes through my mind when I begin to lean on my own strength and understanding. It says “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”

Scripture often tells us to lay all that we are at His feet and let God use us as he intended. How much more fulfilling is it to be used by our Almighty Creator than trying to find our own way through life?!

Granted, we will always fall, but, if you are like me and sometimes lose sight of why you are doing what you are doing and for whom, then I want to urge you to re-evaluate your approach to whatever it is you’re struggling with. Lay your work, problems and aspirations at His feet for He KNOWS what’s best for us…so why continue to struggle for control?

From my personal experience I find no greater calm than when I submit my work to God, and find no greater joy than when I do my work for Him. I often find that Colossians 3:23 reconciles my work with God; it states “Whatever you do, do it enthusiastically, as something done for the Lord rather than for men.”  

I pray that if you are struggling in this area of your life that you will have the strength and courage to submit all you do to your Loving Father…what an incredible privilege that is!!

Peace and Love

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Gungor: I Am Mountain

Artist: Gungor
Album/EP:  I Am Mountain
Label: Hither & Yon Records
Genre:  Alternative Rock
Rating: 5/5

Gungor. So mysterious, so good.  The multi-instrumentalist, singer-songwriter and composer, Michael Gungor, along with his wife, Lisa, lead this fresh musical collective.  Gungor creates experimental, honest and really excellent music.  A deluxe edition of their latest album, I Am Mountain, is to be released on 8th July.

It is tricky to 'label' Gungor's music as one certain genre.  In fact, I don't think Alternative Rock encompasses the array of stylistic choices that can be heard in their compositions.  I Am Mountain is a journey.  The songs on this album are all so unique and stimulating, ranging from vibrant and uplifting to slow and sombre pieces.

I Am Mountain may not advocate outright Christian lyrics but after listening to the songs, I would say that the excellence with which the album has been created is a form of worship.  The songs are so beautiful and so different and the lyrics really describe the deeper subtleties and beauty of a relationship with God.

And if anything, listen to Upside Down:


Love Sammy

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Take Delight in the Lord

Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart” Psalm 37:4

Here is a verse that has been playing on my mind lately. I recently had a big opportunity that I wanted more than anything I’ve ever wanted in my whole life. It was an internship at a major company in their headquarters in Europe. I wanted it desperately. This opportunity was the desire of my heart. God surely placed it there, and God was surely responsible for the opportunity arising in the first place. Right??

While waiting to hear if I had been accepted for this exciting opportunity, I kept having conflicting thoughts…

Thought 1 - “Whether I get it or not, may God’s will be done.”
Thought 2 - “But I will get it, because God gives us the desires of our heart.”

I constantly went back and forth between the above thoughts. I wanted to be content with God’s plan for my life even if I didn’t get it, but I wanted to convince myself that because I desired it so much, that God would surely grant it to me.

Weeks past and the desire grew stronger…and... I eventually discovered that I did not get accepted for the internship I so dearly wanted.

It was only then that I realized the significance of the first part of the above psalm - “Take delight in the Lord”. I realized that it is essential to take delight in the Lord first - including His will for our life - and then He will give us the desires of our heart that are in line with His will.

I also realized, in my opinion at least, that this scripture refers more to the big picture of our lives. To me, this scripture means that if we devote our lives to glorifying God, He will ensure that our lives go according to His plan. There may be many paths along the way that we don’t expect or understand, but we will get the desires of our heart eventually if we persistently take delight in Him, even and especially in the face of disappointments.

So remember, in the face of major achievement *and* in major disappointment -
Take delight in the Lord, and He will give us the desires of our heart.

Peace amigos!

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Charmaine: Love Somebody

Artist: Charmaine
Album/EP:  Love Somebody
Label: Independent
Genre:  Rock/Pop
Rating: 4/5
Charmaine first made a name for herself in the CCM pop scene in 2010 with her surprisingly dazzling first project Love Reality. Since then we haven’t heard much from her, until now that is, with her new EP Love Somebody.

To put it simply, this EP is short but sweet. It is without a doubt worth listening to. There simply isn't anyone else out there who is making music like Charmaine. The synths and vocal effects are distinct, crisp and satisfying to the ear. You get a sense of her creative prowess, even though it can sometimes be overwhelming, the tracks come across as ‘beautifully chaotic’. Charmaine is not one to rely too heavily on technology though, as her powerful and captivating vocals soar through each track, leaving you truly satisfied. Charmaine is off to a great start with her branching out and has a promising future ahead with music like this. However, there does seem to be a certain character missing from this EP that we saw in Love Reality.

To say that Love Somebody is a disappointing record would be pretty unfair I think. In my opinion this EP is just a simple and clean record from an artist that has clearly put in a lot of effort, and in doing so has produced a crisp product that will hopefully draw in more fans for the upcoming release of her full-length album. While Love Reality set the bar quite high for Charmaine's work, and the four year gap has not been sufficiently filled by this particular EP, the time is right for Charmaine to make a big splash. I really hope that there is more to come from her in future, and it had better be soon.

My favourite song is definitely “Love Somebody”.

Stay swanky Frankie


Sunday, 15 June 2014

Father's Day

A good father is one of the most unsung, unpraised, unnoticed, and yet one of the most valuable assets in our society."
Billy Graham, Christian Evangelist

I don’t know about you, but my Dad is one of the most incredible men I know. I’ve been abundantly blessed with a Dad who leads by example, who loves unconditionally, who walks a tight walk with Christ and who has always been there for us, no matter where we’ve been in our lives. He’s a major reason for my faith being what it is today and is the rock of our family. But for many people out there in this broken world, I know that this is not the same pretty picture. There are fathers who are absent, abusive, distant, weak, missing, passed away or who maybe do not share your faith. Many children have grown up without that sense of fatherly support and love and it breaks my heart, as I’m quite sure it breaks God’s too. Fathers are the cornerstone of a family. No matter the role they have in your life, they will have shaped you in some way and I pray friends, that it has been a happy shaping. However, we do not need to put all of our hopes in an earthly father because we have a Heavenly One who loves us so fiercely it takes my breath away. We can rest easy in that and hopefully find healing in Him, for those who have been hurt by the ones here on earth.

When I was thinking about writing this post and which direction I wanted to take it, two points came up. Both are slightly unrelated so allow me to deal with them separately. The first point was this: if I spend so much time with my Dad, investing in him as he invests in me and acknowledging the importance that time with him has, then how much more should my heart long to spend time with God. Talks with Dad encourage and focus me and quality time with him is the best. How much more then, should I be spending with God? A lot more, that I can tell you. It just dawned on me while thinking about this that God longs for us to call Him Abba, Father, Daddy. He longs for us to put that time aside with Him so that he can renew us and shower us with love and grace far beyond our imagination. It is always easy to sense when I haven’t spent enough time with my Dad; I need to get better at sensing my distance with God. No matter the earthly example of fatherhood that we’ve been shown, we need to remember that God is the ultimate Father. We are His children, His chosen ones and He just wants us to rest in Him. To take the time to tell Him about our day, our hopes, our dreams. He has our hairs numbered and holds our tears in His hands…who better to wish a Happy Father’s day than him? I’m not saying our Dad’s aren’t important; on the contrary, I think Dads are called to be mirrors of God’s love and affection for his children and are vitally important to society. But we must remember to see God in light of being the perfect father – His love for us knows no bounds. I wouldn’t sit on my phone while I talk to my Dad or only try squeeze time in with him just before I fall asleep – and then fall asleep mid-conversation with him! So I definitely should not be doing that with my Heavenly Father either. He knows your heart, just take it to Him.

The other point, and I’ll make it quick because this is getting long, is to the men: learn to be a father. And I’m not talking about necessarily starting a family and having children tomorrow (goodness knows you’re not all ready for that) but there are opportunities every day for you to learn to be a father to someone. One day, if God wishes it, you will be the head of your house. You will have your own family who is going to look to you for guidance, for strength and for an example of what God’s love is like. Start practising. Stand tall, be strong in God and support those around you. As it says in 1 Corinthians 16:13 - Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong. Ask God what you can learn from the men around you, be it your own Dad or other men you know. Allow yourselves to be enveloped by Him so that in turn, you can be an image of God’s love to His children. Women should do this too, in other ways maybe, but it’s Father’s day so let’s focus on the men J

I hope I’ve made sense. I’m just so grateful for the Dad that God has blessed with me that I sometimes forget how amazing my Heavenly One is. I pray you have a fatherly figure in your life who has shown you an inch of the love God has for us. This Father’s Day I’m going to spare a thought for all that God has blessed with me and be grateful for Him. I hope you will do the same. Let’s not let our lives grow so full (even with the good things like Father’s Day lunch with the family He has blessed with you with) that we neglect to spend time with the One who gave it all to know us.

Happy Father’s Day to all the Dads; thank you for being a blessing to us all.

Until next time; let go and let God.


Friday, 13 June 2014

Song of the Week: 13 June 2014

In anticipation for Casting Crown's tour to South Africa later this month, this week's "Song of the Week" is Thrive....

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Neville D: Beauty of Difference

Artist: Neville D
Album: Beauty of Difference
Similar Artists: Out of Eden, Dave Hollister, Capital Kings
Record: Active Music
Genre: R ‘n B, Rap, Pop
Rating: 3.5/5

Let me start off by firstly saying it’s great to know that there are more and more Christian artists in South Africa. It’s an exciting time and exciting things lie ahead for Christian music in our beautiful country.

Neville D is a talented singer and songwriter here in South Africa. He’s definitely an artist we should all look out for. All the songs on this album are unique, embracing difference. Each song has an awesome blend of an old school style of worship with some new sounds. The songs take themes from the Bible, and then Neville D, along with other South African artists, praise God for what he’s done. Almost every song on this album has an accompanying artist.

My favourite track on this album is “Power in your Name”. The song is another great example of the uniqueness of every track. This song specifically speaks about the awesome power in the name of Jesus, acting as a reminder to us all about His greatness. The featured artist in this song, Lindi Delport, compliments Neville D and the song beautifully.

Overall, I can say this album embraces its title, having beauty in difference. This concept mirrors the many cultural differences we find here in South Africa. I can say personally that this is not necessarily the kind of music that I normally listen to. Yet, there were some songs I could listen to over and over again. With so many different songs and unique featuring artists, Neville D has managed to blend these differences into a unique listening experience.

Stay awesome,

Sunday, 8 June 2014

A's Playlist

Helloooooo everyone! So I thought I'd compile my own list of songs that have bee keeping me sane over the past week or so....enjoy!....and yes, I know they are all random and rather eclectic, but hey...praise God for creating such a diverse world!!!

I will sing to the Lord as long as I live.
I will praise my God to my last breathe
Psalm 104:33
Josh Garrels: Pilot Me

Mumford and Sons: Angel Band

Hillsong United: Scandal of Grace

Hillsong Young and Free: Alive

All Sons and Daughters: You Will Remain

Thousand Foot Krutch: Breathe You In

Sugar and the Hi Lows: I've Got You Covered

Friday, 6 June 2014

Song of the Week: 6 June 2014

This week's "Song of the Week" goes to Wolves at the Gate, with Majesty in Misery, off their brand new album, "V x V"...enjoy.

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

All Sons and Daughters

Artist: All Sons and Daughters
Album: All Sons and Daughters
Record: Integrity
Similar Artists: The Civil Wars, The Avett Brothers
Genre: Worship, Folk, Acoustic
Release Date: May 2014
Rating: 4/5

If, like me, you are simply captivated by the modern folk scene, with bands like Mumford and Sons, The Civil Wars, The Avett Brothers (to name just a few) heading up your playlist ratings, then the acoustic, folk-worship duo of All Sons and Daughters will take your breath away.

The self-titled album is the third studio release since David Leonard (Guitar/Vocals) and Leslie Jordan (Piano/Vocals) joined forces in 2009. There are few words that are able to describe the beauty and power of the sound that define All Sons and Daughters. The sensitive acoustic style, combined with the raw (and sometimes imperfect) vocals, as well as their soul-bearing lyrics creates a unique sound that is making waves throughout the worship industry.

The heart they have for God and their desire to lift up the fallen and encourage the broken-hearted is so evident in this album. One just needs to read the titles of the various tracks to understand the message they are sending out. They are boldly proclaiming God's victory over sin...His unfailing love for us...that no matter the circumstances, GOD IS WITH US! Oh, what an incredible truth!!

If you are feeling down-trodden, tired or broken, I urge you to buy this album. Listen to, and take hold of, the truths in each song....meditate over them and I pray that you will encourage His peace in those moments.

You've come to bring peace
To be love, to be nearer to us
You've come to breathe life
To be light, to shine brighter in us

Peace and Love

Sunday, 1 June 2014


We've all been disappointed. Let down by someone or something you've really invested a bunch of love, prayer, thought, time, money or energy into. Disappointment over something small or disappointment over something you thought your life depended on. Our drive into the sunset is somewhat shattered. Consider dependency and expectations when reading this post...

"He went out, not knowing whither he went." Hebrews 11:8

This passage from Hebrews appeared in my daily devotion (January 2), My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers - really beautiful and challenging thoughts for daily devotions (so far as I've read). He speaks about continually 'going out' and revising one's attitude towards God, trusting in Him entirely. This passage and Oswald's thoughts relating to it really got me thinking about our response to disappointments.

My initial response to any disappointment is anger, very quickly followed by sulking. This is kind of ridiculous when considering what this anger/sulking is being directed at. Whether I am disappointed at myself or at someone/people who didn't make something happen to benefit me or my plans, can this disappointment be justified when we serve an all-knowing and all-powerful God?

Has anyone ever driven into a sunset? And I mean directly into a sunset? It sucks, up until the sun goes pink and is no longer blinding! The idea is completely romanticised... You aren't looking at the scenery upon which the light falls, you're looking straight into the blazing sun, shielding your eyes, only able to see the next step before you. I think we sometimes have sunset-expectations. Expectations that God will shed light on His plans and that His plans will always be positioned according to where we are in our lives and what we're 'capable' of.

Truth is, we aren't capable of anything that fulfills God's will WITHOUT 100% dependence on and trust in God. That means letting Him steer the direction of your life, especially when you can't see what the next step is. Trust God to give your eyes the ability to adjust to new light when you change direction, or to guide you when you cannot see further than the step before you.

This is the kind of dependence I'm talking about: 'Have you been asking God what He is going to do? He will never tell you. God does not tell you what He is going to do; He reveals to you Who He is.' - Will you go out without knowing?, Chambers.

Continue seeking God's heart, abolish the expectations YOU have for your life, push through the disappointment, and know that your God has the perfect will for your life and loves you so so much.

Peace and Love