September 2015 archive

Music Monday: Martin Smith – Back To The Start {GIVEAWAY!}

Photo: Jesus Freak Hideout

I really enjoyed reviewing Martin Smiths latest album for Gateway News last week.
Martin Smith has written for giants such as Jesus Culture and the Passion Conference collective. He is the real deal!
Gateway News will be giving away his latest offering as well as a collection of other albums. Such a legit giveaway.

Re-emerging as a solo singer, this album shows another side to Smith’s worship, with heartfelt anthems and dancey praise songs that really gets you going. The album poignantly opens with ‘Back to the start’ – a moving ballad that just messed me up when he sang “I’m coming home/Back to the start/Where you found me/I give you my heart again.” I love that it speaks about our first love and that it helps us to reach a place where we can say, “okay God, it’s me and you again.”

The second track on the album, ‘Emmanuel’, was the first radio single from this new collection and was co-written with Matt Redman and Nick Herbert. The song is based on the scripture in Joshua 3:10 which says “The living God is among you.” It is a beautiful worship anthem that is lyrically striking with a sound that has been described as “modern worship.” This sound is what Smith has become known for if you can remember other more mod sounding worship tributes that he has penned such as ‘Song of Solomon’ (which also happens to feature on this album). You will also find another oldie, ‘Fire never sleeps’, on this album. It is a groovy mid-tempo track that speaks about the fire of God, inviting it to “Burn O my soul/Set me on fire!”

Smith and Redman do a sort of a mod-worship revamp to the old hymn, ‘Great is Thy faithfulness.’ The song, which has the same message and foundation as the classic, has a warm melody with rich lyrics. One of my favorite lines says “When shadows fall/You never change/From age to age/You never change.” I love singing about the faithfulness of our unchanging God!… (more)

Visit the original Gateway News article to read the rest of this post and stand a chance to win an amazing collection of Worship albums!
This music review was originally written for and published in Gateway News

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I read and appreciate each one of them! 

Made in SA – Not in Japan

made in saI often find myself avoiding political debates on social media. I am ill-equipt when it comes to discussing the state of our country’s affairs (and some of those “discussions” are pretty irrational – so thanks, but I’ll pass). To avoid looking like a straight up idiot I rather keep quiet and say a prayer. I pray because I am “made in SA” – so yes, I am concerned!

The recent uproar about our weak rugby team and the fact that we “don’t have what it takes” as a country to win the world cup messed me up though. Look, let me not sugar coat things: I do not watch rugby, nor do I have an intense desire to. Whaaat? A couple of big looking guys, running around with a ball (and passing it to each other backwards, nogals), just does not make sense to me. And yes, we have bigger fish to fry than whether or not we win a sports game. But when it comes to big sporting events like, for example, the current Rugby World Cup, then I am without a shadow of a doubt an extremely big Springbok fan!

“Why?” You ask.
“You dislike rugby!” I hear you say.
“You can’t even name one player from the national rugby team!” You shout out in anguish. Just calm down, Margaret. Yes, these are all true facts. But even though I am not a rugby fan, I am definitely a fan of South Africa. And even though I can’t give you my opinion on the ‘Fees must Fall’ debacle or the ‘Give back the land’ situation, it doesn’t change the fact that this is my country too!

I love South Africa. I love it with its over-zealous car guards, power outages, crazy politics and embarrassing politicians. I even love it with its “we’re a rainbow nation but also, we’re not, but also, we are” mentality. I love South Africa because it’s mine. The same like with my children. I mean, my kids sometimes drive me cray cray and Hubstopher and I often look at each other and ask “can we send them back?” but they are mine and I am theirs and so, by default, my heart belongs to them. And it is with this sense of belonging that I love my country. I was born here, my roots are here, it is the place of my heritage and the home of my forefathers.

What is UP with South Africans now a days? We are a bunch of extremely passionate people who either love fiercely or hate even more fiercelier (is that a word?). We shake our heads and post updates about how disappointing South Africa is. We speak DEATH over our country, by moaning and complaining and being negative. We bring up the past and demand everyone to feel the way we do and if you don’t then sure woe on you!

And then we wonder why things aren’t changing! Life and death is in the power of the tongue. Your words create! We need to start watching what we speak over our country – whether it be dissecting the state of the government or bad mouthing Piet The Coach because our national rugby team lost to a “weaker” team. (Okay, I don’t know what the rugby coach’s name is. Don’t judge me. Let’s move on, shall we?)

Sure, I don’t understand the complexity of the team selections and the politics behind the players or the fact that the government didn’t *insert number of miscellaneous offences here*. At the end of the day, none of the above makes me any less of a South African. South Africa is STILL a part of me, and me of it. And I will always want the best for this country.

Some call it patriotic. Some call it faithful. Dedicated. Stupid.
I call it: Home. I was made here. My label says Proudly South African.
And not “Made in China”.

En ek se dankie vir dit.

Mean Girls: Are you one of them?

adult mean girls

Mean girls. You know who they are. The “know it alls” disguised as “better than” human beings, with the overbearing amount of opinion and the distinct desire to share it (to your face or behind your back). They know better. Scrap that: They know BEST. And they have a group of friends who agree. If you aren’t doing things the way they do it, then you are SO outdated/dumb/naive that surely the main dinosaur from Jurassic Park is more “with it” than you.

Mean girls. They are everywhere. Cleverly disguised like Leon Schuster. You know you’ve been “mean girl’d” when you suddenly feel the need to fabricate the truth behind where you bought your jersey (Mr Price. On sale. 4 years ago.) Or the times when you address a group of people and it’s as if they’ve all suddenly gone deaf… at the same time… because no one acknowledges you. Or worse, they do acknowledge you, in the worst kind of way, and you feel as if you’re an insect underneath a magnifying glass.
On a hot day. In Durban.

If I am allowed to keep it real, and I shall, allow me to point out that “mean girl syndrome” is not only a high school thing. I was “mean girl’d” all through my 20s and did not even know it until I got home one day and thought of a clever answer to someone’s reoccurring snarky remarks (don’t you hate it when that happens?). It got me thinking: why am I still fighting this battle?! Adults shouldn’t have to be mean girls. We are adults for goodnessakes! We have other things to think about! (Bills, kids, supper, is Madonna STILL releasing albums?!) But nope, it’s still there.
Like a ninja. Hidden, but everywhere.

Now a days you’ll find the “mean girl syndrome” strewn all over social media in the form of “wisdom”. You know what I’m talking about… It’s the people who seem to be sitting around, waiting for someone to update their status so that they can leave a snooty comment, explaining why your thinking is of a lower intellectual level than a spoon. Sometimes they’ll go that one step further and update their status with subliminal messages aimed at putting others down or “on their place” (as is the aim). Everybody is wrong. Except them. It’s a bit of an Oprah situation…


Yep, mean girls. You’ve either felt a little less of a human being because of them OR (let’s be honest) you’ve been one of them. Hey I’ll put my pride in my pocket and admit that I’ve been ‘mean girl’d’ AND I’ve been the mean girl on many occasions.

Let’s think this one through… Have you purposefully avoided someone because they’ve annoyed you or did and said things differently to how you do? Or maybe you snicker behind someones back, with one of your friends, because “does she even know how weird her hair style is”? Or maybe you have the innate desire to ‘school’ people on Facebook… in the queue at the shops… while you’re driving… At the parent/teacher meeting (and you’re not even the teacher). Hmmm… a bit of self-reflection is needed.

So how do we nip the “mean girl” spirit in the bud? I think it all boils down to identity and being secure in who you are. It is such a big lesson to teach our young girls.

Value yourself! You are important! You are unique! 

Getting these foundations down will help them to grow into confident, bold, women who are aware of other peoples emotions. You don’t need to break some one else down, in order to feel bigger. I always ask Hubstopher: “Do you KNOW who I AM?” – Meaning, I am aware that I am precious, valuable, intelligent and a child of the King. Knowing who I am leaves no room for ANYONE to make me feel bad about myself. But it also makes me aware of the little things that do not add value to me (eg. when I act like a poophead = not adding value).

Anyways… so there you have it. Oh and yes, as the pics would explain, Mean Girls happens to be my most favorite movie of all times. It’s like SO fetch!


Nail polish finds: Beauty Secrets Nail Enamel

Walking through Clicks with a Sinful Colors in my hands, I spotted a polish that I hadn’t seen before: Beauty Secrets Nail Enamel.
They were quite cheap and I could get 2 bottles for the price of 1 Sinful Colors… so I automatically thought that they would suck. I mean, R15.95 for a bottle of polish? How good could it be at that price, right?

Anyways, logic kicked it and I took them anyways…just to check it out, you know?
I ended up with 2: Pewter Pot and French White.

Tested them out at home and I was quite impressed with how well they went on and stayed on!
Tried them out with my nail stamps, and they worked quite well, as you can see in the very first pic which was done with The Polish Diaries plate M69. The mani below was done with my Fashion Passion purple Woolies polish and the Beauty Secrets Pewter Pot, using my The Polish Diaries plate M65.You can read all about those and the other plates I got from them over here.

All in all, I was impressed with the Beauty Secrets polish… at R15,95, I think it’s a good deal.

What are your thoughts on buying cheapie nail polishes?


Music Monday: Planetshakers – Outback Worship Sessions {GIVEAWAY!}

I remember being introduced to Planetshakers for the first time. I found their sound to be big, electrifying and full of life! I was fortunate enough to enter the “Planetshakers loop” when they dropped their 2008 album, “All for love”, so my first taste of their music was with megahit ‘The Anthem’, which so famously sings “Hallelujah! You have won the victory!”
Boy, what an introduction!
If you are not familiar with the Australian based band, Planetshakers is a young adult youth movement, affiliated with the Planetshakers Church in Melbourne. The church is pastored by Russell and Sam Evans and has over 10 000 members. The Planetshakers band is the church’s worship band and is the central part of their events. Their albums are known for a more electronic rock sound, with deep, hard core worship sets and praise anthems that are full of energy and zest. So with that said, I was both pleased and surprised when I heard their latest offering, ‘Outback Worship Sessions’. True to its title, the album, which was recorded with multi Dove Award winner, Ed Cash, has a more homegrown, organic vibe to it. You can definitely hear the band’s Australian roots coming through on this compilation of songs, which happens to be their 31st release. How crazy is that!
The album opener, ‘Like a fire’, sets the scene for the rest of the album with a retake of the classic that debuted on their 2009 album, ‘One’. The track is acoustic guitar and keys driven, which is a bit of a nice change from their usual array of synths and the likes.
I am totally smitten with the “outback” sound of the hymn cum lullaby that is ‘My soul longs for Jesus’. If you did not know what the team meant by “outback worship sessions” then have a listen to this one first! It is so beautifully ministered by Sam Evans and is a ballad suitable for corporate worship and, in my case, even more perfect to sing your baby to sleep with! It speaks right to my heart….. (more)
Visit the original Gateway News article to read the rest of this post and stand a chance to win an amazing collection of Worship albums!
This music review was originally written for and published in Gateway News. 

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