The passages published here are not proclaimed as the truth.  They are summaries, interpretations, discussion starters and points of interest whose purpose is to cause thought and contemplation.  Our God created us with the ability for complex thought and  these have been published with the logic that, though we will never fully understand him, through the use of our human minds and through the intervention of the Holy Spirit we can come to a deeper and fuller understanding of our Lord Jesus, and a deepening of faith.  If you have any thoughts regarding what is written here please feel free to send your comments to mail@deanspiller.co.za

God is in the music

 The best way for you to glorify God is to be yourself. You were made unique and unrepeatable. You say to me "I can't sing, I have no rhythm, dogs howl when I try, I don’t have a good voice…” What if I told you that God doesn’t want you to? God doesn’t want music that is flawlessly pitched or perfect in timing, he wants your heart. The praise you give and service you do by singing yourself into your praise to him is equal to the praise given by the greatest singer in the world!

When we sing we need to add ourselves to the music, not just sing because we know how the song goes but sing with our hearts! What is more beautiful, do you think: singing to God because you have a nice voice that you know others will like or singing to God with your heart despite the fact that you are uncomfortable with the way your voice sounds? I can’t answer for you but I know that the second requires greater openness and sacrifice and therefore greater love for our Lord. We are each perfect in our uniqueness, and so why would we want to sing like anyone else? You have something inside of you that can’t be offered by anyone else, no one who has ever lived and no one who will ever live... Your worship.

Don’t water it down pretending to sing like anyone else. Take who you are and where you are from, who you have been, and what you have done and keep that with you when you sing. That is more beautiful than a thousand polished choirs, a million clear voices and all those worship leader’s auto-tuned vocals. Let’s try and let go of our judgements next time we worship and surrender these feelings of unworthiness and pride to him. He knows us anyway right? Why try to hide? If we want to see God we need to let him look at us first.


If I have all the eloquence of men or of angels, but speak (...or sing) without love, I am simply a gong booming or a cymbal clashing.

-Corinthians 12 (- ish)

Love and Responsibility

In his book, “Love and Responsibilty”, Karol Wojtyla (later, Pope John Paul II) began the framework for a body of theology that is slowly flipping the world’s view of the body and sexuality on its head.  When the Pharisees asked Jesus about the need to pay tax in Matthew 22, he answered their worldly question with a heavenly answer "Give to Caesar what is Caesar's, and to God what is God's."  He took their focus from the world and their problems and reminded them of heaven.  Wojtyla’s response is similar.  Instead of addressing the issue of worldly sexuality he turned our hearts above and began discussing human love and dignity.  He shows us that these topics are so closely linked that to discuss one is to discuss the other.

What is love?  Put simply, to love someone is to want what is best for them, in every way and in the fullest sense regardless of personal needs.  We use the word love in so many different ways that who can blame us for confusing its meaning?  We ‘love’ our new shoes or we ‘love’ our TV or we ‘love’ our new social media platform (just kidding Norman).  How is it possible to use that same word to describe the one person we long to be around constantly?  Think of every other minute?  Want to talk to about our hopes and fears?  Want to protect from hurt… perhaps you get my point.  The idea of love is sold to us every day and most of the time it is not the true authentic love that we are made for, it is the counterfeit.  Love sees the bigger picture and acts so that the other is a better person for encountering it.

Love is not just a feeling. Yes, feelings are a part of love - love can mean happiness at hanging out with a friend, the security and assurance of being with a caring family or that hopeful, burning feeling of knowing that “she/he likes you back”. But love can also be the frustration of being dropped by your friend for his girlfriend at the last minute, it can be the anxiety of wondering where your sister/brother is at 2am when they’re not home and it could be the pain of letting go of a boyfriend/girlfriend. Love is in fact a choice. It is not always a choice that we consciously make, but when we love someone we put their needs before ours. And to love means putting those needs before ours again and again, when the feelings are good and when they are bad.

In this book, Wojtyla outlines the idea of ‘giving versus using’, an important part of later work.  When we use someone as an object for our own personal gain we are disregarding who they are.  We are saying that this person’s dignity, their value and their wellbeing is less important to me than my needs.  We can see that this idea stands in firm contrast to authentic love.  Love never uses because it is selfless.  We come to see that the opposite of love is, actually, the use of another as an object for personal gain.

However we live in an increasingly utilitarian society.  We are told that we must do all we can to get what we want and that people are just another tool to get us there.  Love is sold as the very thing that love is not!  We are told that to use is part of love.  How many of our relationships are based on ‘how much we get out of the relationship’ or ‘how the other person can help us or makes us feel’?  How often are we told that if things don’t feel great, then they are not good for us?  Did Jesus’ dying on the cross feel good?  And yet we cannot find a single act of love that comes close to matching it.  No, true love is not always easy and not always nice but always has the good of the other at heart. 

So what can be said about our sexuality today?  Well it is easy to see that if a man truly loves a woman then he will want the very best for her in every situation.  Would he put his sexual gratification above his girlfriend’s well-being?  Would a few moments of pleasure truly mean more to him than the possible regret, shame, guilt, disease, unwanted pregnancy that she may encounter?  Would he ever do anything that has the slightest possibility of causing her suffering?  No, not if his love is true and pure because these would be examples of using: an act that is everything that love is not.

I encourage you to look at all your relationships.  How can we love more fully: the way that we are intended to?  Do we use others for our own personal gain?  When I first encountered this message I was shocked at my answers to these questions.  I find it is an extremely challenging thing to ensure that my motives are pure in all my encounters with others.  I must continually be reminded to pray for a deeper understanding of the dignity and worth of others.  I believe that if I truly understood the value of human life and dignity as God does I would be unable to use others.  Already, how much worth has Jesus placed on each of our lives by dying for us?

This realization is not a condemnation of our lives, our relationships or who we have become.  It is a call, a challenge, to love in the way that we are all intended to.  It is a hint of the glory of heaven and a life that stirs something in our hearts.  It is the call to live a life free of shame and confusion by acknowledging the longing for living and receiving a love that satisfies.  This is the love that countless saints have participated in throughout the ages. It is the love of Mother Theresa for the poor and the sick, it is the love of St John Paul II for the youth, it is the love of the husband for his wife, it is the love of our saviour and God, Jesus Christ.

Love?

Don’t you think we use the word a little liberally these days? The Greek language has several words for love (love between a husband and his wife, love between friends…).  Why? Because, I think you will agree, there are different kinds of love.  I turn on the t.v. and hear people exclaiming how they “love your dress” or “just love this car” or “love this food”.  Can we use the same word to describe how we feel about some one’s shoes and then how we feel about the people/person most special to us in our lives? (Our families, our husband or our wife … our God)  It is easy to see that we live in a world that does not know, care for or even pretend to portray the real meaning of love.  To many love is only an emotion and to most love is what ever you want it to be to you.

We were created in God’s image.  God is the trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit; a constant relationship of love.  So we are created in the image of love and we image God in the most accurate way when we are in a relationship of love (not necessarily a romantic one).  So we were created for love!  So what does it mean if we do not know how to love as God intended?  It means that we do not have the means to fulfill our purpose, the very meaning of our lives that is written into our beings (minds, emotions, spirits and bodies). 

Jesus taught us to love by the way he lived and died for us.  He gave his life FREELY for our sake “no one takes it from me, I lay it down freely”.  He gave us his life, his being himself TOTALLY so that we could be totally free.  He was FAITHFUL to his promises and promised to “never leave you or forsake you”.  And his love was FRUITFUL in that his death set us free from sin so that we would have eternal life with him.  So to love truly, as God originally intended it, we need to love as Jesus loved.  We need to love:

FREELY:  Choosing without reservation to love another out of our own free will

TOTALLY:  Giving all of ourselves in the relationship of love with the other person, not holding any aspect of ourselves back from the communion.

FAITHFULLY:  Acting in accordance with the other’s wishes.

FRUITFUL:  Fruits should be evident in both you and the other as a result of the relationship (are you bringing the other closer to God?).

The Meaning of Life

What is the meaning of life?  How do we fulfill our true meaning as children of God?  I don’t need to tell you that this question has been around for centuries.  Man seems to have a natural longing to find an answer, the very reason for being.  I believe the reason that Blessed Pope John Paul II’s ‘Theology of the Body’ is becoming so popular is that it finally shows us an identity that (explains more fully who we were created to be)is in line with who we were created to be.  In my first article I spoke about the meaning of love and the counterfeit of love which is Using in light of Karol Wojtila’s (later to be Pope John Paul II) Love and Responsibility.  Understanding love in this way is important in answering the question of who we are as human beings, children of God and brothers and sisters in Christ.

We were created in God’s Image (Genesis 1:27).  We also read that God is Love (1 John 4:8).  So we were created in the Image of  Love.  This makes sense in light of the trinity since the trinity is a relationship of love! So we are, in essence, created in the image of a relationship.  This struck me when first I heard it and I had to agree.  Why else would I feel called constantly to be in relationships with others?  And why else would my relationships with others lead me to experience God more deeply?  I have come to realize that being with friends does not only feel good but helps me to be closer to God.  I first showed up at a youth group meeting (and then at band practice and then at a Singles for Christ retreat and then at a Theology of the Body course) because of friends that had made an impact on my life.  All these things continue to lead me to a deeper understanding of God.  My friends sustain me, encourage me and help me in my spiritual journey.  Also the nature of our relationships, as I am sure we have all experienced, severely influence who we are as people.  So we image (in other words, are more like) God when we are in pure, loving relationships since God himself is a relationship.  So we were created TO love.

The trinity includes the father and son in a relationship of love, love that is so incredibly intense and life giving, that it (results in) the creation of another, the Holy Spirit.  In marriage, when husband and wife express their love in the most intense and life giving way, this too results in the creation of another being (with the help of the Holy Spirit).  Nine months later he or she is born. We were created FOR love.

Hopefully we can see a trend here.  We were created TO, FOR and BY love.  Not a love that puts our feelings above the good of the other person or a love that is periodic or partial, but a love that is self sacrificing, total and a constant decision.  This kind of love is not an easy thing to keep up.  When feelings have faded and work is thankless and hope is almost gone, this decision to put others before ourselves seems not only joyless but pointless.  However, as Christians, we know that anything worth doing is going to be a challenge.  As Mother Teresa said for "Love to be real, it must cost-it must hurt-it must empty us of self."  While the world we live in is a place that laughs off this idea of real love as a bit too much effort, it is important to remember that we do not live for this world but for heaven where love is eternal.

But since we are created for the love of God that is self sacrificing and never ending, how can the love we experience on earth ever measure up?  We are drawn into relationships (especially romantic ones) by the call to experience the love of God.  When the love we receive in these relationships does not satisfy this longing, it is easy to think that it is the person that does not suit us and move on to the next person.  This is said to happen because we make the other person a type of idol, making them the end of our love.  We are actually called to love God through and with them.  In doing so we realize that God’s love is the only love that will satisfy our longing for love. God’s love is infinite.

So what is our purpose? Why were we created? What is the reason that we are all here? The answer is simple… Love.

Worldly Logic?

Defintion: Axiom: Unproveable rule regarding the nature of a system and thereby defining the perception of the world to which this system is applied. 

Mathematics is a man made concept.  And this concept has various rules that govern it.  These rules were made because of certain observations of the world and the ease of these rule’s uses.  Things like what zero is, what one is, what addition does to two numbers.  These rules define the very idea that is meant by maths.  From these basic, in essence made up, rules we learn that we can prove many more complex theorems, the formulation of which the broad field of mathematics is ultimately concerned with.  These theorems are useful in dealing with real world problems (finding the area of a circle say) and therefore we can see that maths has some grounding in reality, the tangible and calculable.  Were the basic axioms decided upon slightly different we would still have a maths system that works adequately, and the application of which could still be very useful in solving real world problems.  And thus, our perception of the world of maths would still have the illusion of manageability.  However we would not be able to use this new maths system to prove anything in our currently adopted maths system as the same basic rules (axioms) that govern this new system do not apply to ours now. 

In the same way we each have our own set of axioms that we use to apply to the world and make sense of it, just as mathematical axioms are applied to the mathematical world to make sense of it.  These axioms could include things we have learned as important and constant in our development. Such axioms could be: the sun shines every morning (unless you’re living at one of the poles), love exists, God exists.  Now we can see that a person whose axiom list does not include the line “God exists” will have a different perception to someone who does.  The latter mentioned person may have drawn conclusions (with God existing as a proof) that the former may not have.  And in this way we can also see that while both systems give the illusion of a world tangible, or at least understandable, neither can be used to prove anything in the other system with any real meaning on issues that may have God somewhere in the proof.  But when a person whose axiom list is Godless encounters something so totally of God too often then perhaps he or she begins to question his or her axioms after putting these events down to chance too often.  This may be caused to happen because of the very laws of logic this person may have developed through observance of their world, based on their axioms.  So from the logical point of view (indorsed by the world) we can see why those without a belief in God may differ in thought patterns to Christians.  Through our encounters and experiences with God and the continual way in which he blesses us, we Christians have formed this extra axiom, or rule to deal with and perceive things in life.  Just as the first mathematician encountered a rock and another rock lying next to it and decided that there were two rocks and thus created the addition axiom, so we have seen God’s wonderful works and felt his presence and have come to the conclusion (consciously or subconsciously) that God loves us.

Do you think God is the only one who can change a person’s axiom about him?

Do you agree with this logic? And if not could it be because your axioms are different to those of the person who thought this out?

Temporal Sin

When Jesus died on the cross to save us from our sins, in order for us to be able to enter heaven, he took those sins upon himself.  He suffered the penalty for the sins we committed.  The nature of this event, Christ’s death on the cross, is such that it transcends time: meaning that he died once for all the sins we (his children) have ever and will ever commit.  So when someone suffers, or sins, or leads an immoral life; Jesus’ suffering is intensified. Surely then we who claim to love Jesus should wish to minimize his agony and suffering (the pain he feels on the cross) as much as we possibly can given all that he has done for us.  Can this not then be done by minimizing the suffering, sins and immorality of ourselves and our brothers and sisters?  So in the future possible sins they would have committed, or pains they would have suffered, are destroyed and hopefully the sins of some of those around them.  Perhaps this is may be a way of understanding why we love Jesus when we love others and, perhaps, a motivation to change as many lives, heal as many hurts, and win as many souls for Jesus as possible?


"I alone know the plans I have for you.

Plans to bring about prosperity and not disaster, plans to bring about the future you hope for.  

Then you will call to me and I will answer. You will seek me and you will find me because you

will seek me with all your heart."


Jeremiah 29:11-13