An inspiration for all achievers

Myan Subrayan -Unbelievable! - HRYou may not be a swimmer, but if you’re an achiever in any area of life, you’ll enjoy Unbelievable: A Book About Family, Values, and Perseverance (Penguin, 2014; Amazon Kindle edition). Author Myan Subrayan had done an excellent job introducing us to one of South Africa’s sports heroes, 2012 Olympic swimming gold medalist, Chad le Clos.

Mr le Clos surprised many when he bested the legendary Michael Phelps in the men’s 200 m butterfly in London. What has been equally impressive since that high moment is Chad’s down-to-earth way of handling success. Thanks largely to his strong family, he has stayed grounded, including throwing himself into a handful of worthy causes. These include the fight against breast cancer, following his mother’s battle with the disease, as well as the campaign to save Africa’s rhinos from extinction.

Unfortunately, on some topics, the book stays in the shallow end of the pool. As a person of faith, I would have appreciated more about Chad’s religion. From time-to-time there was a hint, such as this line : “God has given me talent and opportunities, and I want to use these to make a positive difference wherever I go” (location 1736, Kindle). Hopefully, future bios will confidently swim into deeper waters.

All-in-all, Unbelievable accomplishes what it sets out to do. At a time when some other South African sports heroes have spectacularly imploded, it’s refreshing to see a young man who has already accomplished much yet kept a positive and balanced outlook. Keep up the good work, sir.

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Photo credit: Penguin Books (South Africa)

Well-done, good and faithful servant!

Grace Ncube, Chair, Board of Trustees, awards Diploma in Theology to graduate Lindley April

Mrs. Grace Ncube, Chair, Board of Trustees, awards Diploma in Theology to graduate Lindley April as I look on.

Today was a tremendous day at Nazarene Theological College as 7 received their Diploma in Theology and 12 were awarded the Bachelor of Theology. Here is the address that I delivered to the graduates.

– Greg

“Well-done, good and faithful servant”

An address on the occasion of the 22nd Annual Commencement Exercises

Nazarene Theological College

Muldersdrift, South Africa

Gregory Crofford, Ph.D. — Regional Education Coordinator

March 16, 2013

Dr. Filimao Chambo (in absentia), Rev. Collin Elliott (in absentia), Rev. Mashangu Maluleka, Members of the Board of Trustees, District Superintendents, Pastors, Graduates of the class of 2013, students of NTC, parents, friends, honored guests, all protocols observed –

Jesus, teller of parables

Our Lord Jesus Christ was a man of the people. He knew their hopes and fears, their dreams and their disappointments. For 33 years, he walked among them as one of them, showing them both the dangers of self-love and the joy of loving God and others.

The Parable of the Talents retold

Jesus had a way of speaking to the people in their own language, and they loved him for it. His parables connected with people right where they lived. One such story is recounted in the 25th chapter of Matthew’s Gospel. The master was going on a journey, but before leaving, he called to him three of his servants. To the first he gave 5 “bags of gold” (as the TNIV puts it), to the second 2 bags of gold, and to the last servant, 1 bag. Some translations use the word “talent,” which was equivalent to 20 years of a day laborer’s wages.

Some time later, the master returned and called his servants in to give an account of the money that he had entrusted to them. “Look,” said the first servant. “You gave me 5 talents. I have gained five more!”  The master was delighted, and replied: ‘Well-done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’ Likewise, the man who had been entrusted with two talents came before his master, carry an additional two talents. He, too, received the blessing of his master. But the third man came before the master with a single bag of gold. “Here is the talent you entrusted to me,” he said. ‘I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed.  So I was afraid and went out and hid your gold in the ground.”

The master was furious. “So you knew I was a hard man?” he demanded. “Then at very least you could have put the bag of gold on deposit at the bank so I would have it back with interest.” The master confiscated the bag of gold and gave it to the servant who already had 10 bags. He concluded: “For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them”(Matt. 25:29).  The story has a very sad ending. The master orders that the servant be thrown outside into the darkness, where there was weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Traditionally, preachers have three points to their message, but today, let’s look at four lessons gleaned from the parable of the talents.

Continue reading “Well-done, good and faithful servant!”