Highlights of twenyleven

With rain falling softly on the patio outside, the sound of children playing at the complex pool while their ‘rents set up for a NYE party of sorts and a steady stream of generic ‘happy new years’ texts coming through (I’m so thankful that I don’t have a blackberry right now!) I sit down to reflect on, and share, my highlights of “the year that was” as they say. Or do they?

Not the easiest thing, I must admit, to pick highlights in a year that was a year of starting over.  Tam and I have been Gauteng residents for 1 year and 3 days today – and I am overwhelmed at our distant our ‘previous life’ feels.  Just before Christmas, we spent a week in East London – our former hometown.  It felt like a holiday destination – nothing like the hometown we left just over a year ago.  This, I believe, is testament to what a great year 2011 has been.  So, in as few words as possible, my highlights of 2011:


That should actually say it all.  We have been blessed with the most incredible friends, had the privilege of working alongside some of the most talented musicians, and been welcomed into a circle of people that, as pretentious as it sound (and it certainly is not meant to sound pretentious) many others dream of meeting as they read about them in those (horrible) gossip magazines. If I stuck to the rule of speeches, talks or anything else that requires one to be PC, I would simply move on and say that I am grateful for the people of 2011 that have influenced my life.  But PC is boring and I want to give credit where credit is due. David and Jason have been 2 people who have made this year nothing short of incredible.  Their friendship, love, support and desire to be part of my journey is something I don’t deserve, something I don’t take likely.  They help me be a better version of myself, and when you find friends like that, you hold onto them!


I’ve been involved with Idols from a distance for a few years, usually attending one or two of the performances as media.  Being in Joburg this year meant I was able to be involved throughout the whole process and only missed one show/interview. Given, it was a terrible show to miss as I would have been able to interview Craig David if I was there – but these things happen.  I loved every minute of being behind the scenes, getting to know all the contestants and guest judges – particularly Unathi Msengana (who is an absolute lady), Leanne Kistan, the execs at Mnet, and Gareth Cliff.  We all keep in regular contact and I consider it a privilege to learn from such successful people in the media industry.


I guess you could say Rhema Bible Church was a bridge between what was, and what is.  The leadership team at Rhema display a professionalism, attitude to excellence and love for God and his people unlike I have seen anywhere.  It sounds very “groupie” of me, but growing up in a worship ministry, it was my dream to one day work alongside Janine Price – undoubtedly South Africa’s best worship leader, Anne Kartapanis and Lyndon Petersen.  Getting to work alongside Janine, Lyndon and Annie for 6 months will always be a special memory and I know that this journey is not over.  Thank you for inviting me to join you on stage tonight – I will be thinking of you all – wish I could be there!


Such a rough start! I don’t fit in too well at a conservative theological college, and that was made very obvious very early in the year. Having said that,  I have grown so much after spending day after day with people who don’t always agree with me.  Iron sharpens iron, and I am sharper than I was a year ago because of the lecturers and students at BTC.  On the 28th of November, a lot of work and effort came to be rewarded as I received my first theological degree.  It was a great night and I was particularly privileged to have lead worship at the event.  Without a doubt, my time as BTC has been a highlight of 2011.  It is not insignificant that both the people I mentioned in the first highlight, David and Jason, will be at BTC with me together… Dave for his second year, Jay for his first.


Without a doubt, the highlight of my holiday was conducting the wedding ceremony of my brother and sister in law in PE on the 17th of December.  We’ve come a long way and it was a deeply moving moment to lead them through their vows, sing to them and pray a blessing upon them as they started their journey together.  Tyrel and Trace – thank you for the privilege and honor!


This is my new Pretoria home – and I have been welcomed into a new family.  The people I have been surrounded by, the ministry hi’s and the many discussions about being the best possible people we can be in a world that laughs at the church have brought me great joy.  To all my friends in Pretoria – thank you for the blessing you are to Tam and I… we love you.

Like I said – in a year of so many highlights it was difficult to choose just five.  I have been exceedingly blessed with the most amazing wife with whom to do life, and look forward to many more highlights in 2012.  The best is still to come.

May 2012 be YOUR year of fullness!

Love, peace and happiness,


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