Another Bushveld Wedding!

This afternoon I have the great privilege to conduct the marriage ceremony of my younger colleague, and his beautiful fiancé, at a Lodge outside our town. My daughter is doing the photos for this wedding, her first solo gig…  Yesterday we went to go look at a lot of backgrounds for the family and brides photos. I also took my camera along, for I love this place- regular readers will recognize some of the scenes immediately…

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May they bring lorries full of love to this union…

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May love be the chain that holds them together when the road gets rocky

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May they be happy wherever the wind blows them…

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I don’t hope they will use the phone to call it off before 4 pm today!

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Wherever they will stay, may it be happy home!

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At 4 PM we will tie the knot…

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So may they be happy together from today onwards…

 

 

 

 

To share or not to share, that is the question…

What are the boundaries of blogging?

I mean- this is my blog.  I want to share the things that I care about. I love to paste my photos up here, even if they are only beginner level photography. I love to talk about travel, even if I do not get to travel anywhere at the moment. I love to talk about cooking, even if I would fall out in the first challenge in Masterchef.  I like to be challenged to do the Daily Post whenever I can find the time. And I am amazed that about 100 people choose to read my blog every day.

Tonight I am really having a hard time. Do I post on my blog, or not? Do I only entertain, or can my blog cover the whole spectrum of emotion. It is easy to talk about the good times and the beautiful things. And nobody would like to follow a blog that is always moaning and groaning about life’s negative things.

I am a pastor. I would never break the trust that people places in me, by telling their stories here. I would never want to harm or hurt anyone, ever, on this blog.  Maybe a few South African politicians could do with a nice “klap”.  (Any South African can comment on what that means…)

If  I told you that I held a newborn baby this morning, it would be ok. Nobody would feel offended, we would all wish the parents well.  I wish that is what happened this morning. But I experienced the complete opposite of that.

I deleted the next paragraph.

OK- let’s not leave it hanging in the air… I went to visit an elderly lady this morning, who lives alone. She told me about a lot of pain, and the next moment she had a massive heart attack. She died right in front of my eyes in less than 2 seconds… I then had to call the doctor and the undertakers, and help to remove her body. I have been in the Army. I have been at quite a lot of deathbeds. But today- it bowls me over completely.

I am not OK tonight…

Numbers- Cee’s Fun Photo Challenge

http://ceenphotography.com/2013/11/26/cees-fun-foto-challenge-numbers-or-letters/

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All Pilgrims of the Camino de Santiago knows this sign- the last 100 km to Santiago, the minimum distance needed to walk to earn the Campostelo Certificate. My Camino hat- I lost it on the last 10 km to Santiago, at a coffee shop underneath the Santiago Airport…  If you see it there, give it my regards…  

Fragrant- Ailsa’s Weekly Travel Theme

http://wheresmybackpack.com/2013/11/22/travel-theme-fragrant/

I grew up in the South African province of Kwazulu Natal. Except for the mighty Zulu nation, this was also the home of most of South Africa’s Indian population.  One thing I really learned to love is Indian cuisine…

The South African Indian population developed a dish called “Bunny Chow”. It can be a curry chicken or beef dish. They take half a loaf of bread, and hollow it out to make it the container for the meat. Where does the fragrance come into this story? The smell of that Indian spices brings back a lot of memories. This photo was taken last December when we were on holiday in Scottburg, Natal. The good news is: in two weeks time we are going again!  We made these Bunny Chows ourselves, with the genuine Indian spices. And with a bottle Slanghoek Camerca (from the Cape province!) it is so good!

IMG_0382How to make your own Bunny Chow:  try this recipe:http://www.picknpay.co.za/picknpay/content/en/recipe-search-results?oid=71232&sn=Detail

And for a real beautiful one- visit this beautiful website: http://www.cooksister.com/2009/01/bunny-chows-south-africas-own-street-food.html

I have confidence… Daily Prompt

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/11/24/daily-prompt-confident/

 

Daily Prompt: I Have Confidence in Me

by michelle w. on November 24, 2013

Are you good at what you do? What would you like to be better at.

Photographers, artists, poets: show us CONFIDENT.

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In my job as a pastor in a large rural church, this is not an easy question.  I think a lot of people wouldn’t know what we do every week, some make jokes about only working for an hour on a Sunday morning…  We are also at the receiving end of a lot of jokes, and worse, abuse.  Some pastors may deserve the bad names we are called. But most of my colleagues I know are honorable men and women who wants to live a life of love and service to their fellow human beings…

The object of this post is not to discuss the being or not of God, the sins of pastors, the huge mistakes that the Church has made over the years- I am just not interested in fighting with anyone over differing opinions. This post is just to describe what I experience and do in my daily life as a rural pastor.

There is a reason why we spend 6 years at university to be pastors in our church.  I have another 2 years of training with a Masters Degree in Practical Theology.  That is 8 years worth of my life at university! With that time spent at university I could have been a doctor, or a lawyer or somebody else rich and glamorous in our society. I chose the other way…

There is just so much to be and do for a church. I can’t think of any one person doing all the ministry tasks very good. So my answer to this question: Am I good at what I do, would be a very reserved “Sometimes…”

What do pastors do in a rural church in South Africa?

  1.  The most obvious: we preach on Sundays…  Our church has three worship services on a normal Sunday.  A morning, evening and a teenager service.  To do a sermon will take me more or less 10 hours of preparation. I am supposed to be able to read the Bible in the classical Hebrew and Greek…  (that is another long story…)  I think I can sometimes deliver a good sermon, touching people’s hearts. But the translation work- well, the Bible Society did that already didn’t they?
  2.  We teach. I have a weekly Bible study group, attended by about 50 people, where we study books of the Bible, verse by verse at a time. This year we have gone through the Gospel of John, and the three letters of John. I think I can do this really good.
  3.  We equip. I am responsible for the church’s small group material. They gather weekly at the homes of the members, to worship, study the Word, support one another, and plan how to be a good influence in somebody else in the community’s life.  I think this I am also good at.
  4.  We visit the sick, and people in crisis, to support them and pray for them.  I think I am supportive of sick people, I am not always that good with marriage counselling and especially not where people are having a hard time financially…
  5. We do “House Visitation“- We are supposed to visit every person in the church once a year. But we do have 1500 people in our church, so it is nearly impossible. I am not that good at this area of our work, as I am rather an introvert…
  6. We do weddings and funerals. I think I am good at both…
  7.  We have a lot of committee meetings and Church Board meetings.  I am not good at meetings- there are still some ADHD left in me…
  8.  We organize church functions. Here I fail miserably- I am no good at administration in any form! I run away from any church finances…
  9.  We are in a work where one telephone call can change a whole week in an instant. We deal with a lot of people’s hurt, relationship issues, happiness… we are only a phone call away day or night…   I do have a psychology degree, but not far enough to go into private practice.
  10.  We are supposed to be handymen– fixing everything that breaks. I am no good at fixing things, so I stay away from sharp objects…

What would I love to be better at?

  1. I would love to cope better with people’s expectations. I can’t be everything for everybody. I do not have all the skills needed to do everything in church. But a lot of people expect me to know everything, with all the books in my study…
  2.  I would love to be a better marriage and relationship counsellor. It really feels good when I can help people finding solutions to their relationship problems!
  3. I would love to be more sensitive to people’s needs and hurt, and way less sensitive to their criticism.

But that, I think, is enough about me…

Me conducting a wedding last year- a guest's photo...

Me conducting a wedding last year- a guest’s photo…

 

Direction- Ese’s Weekly Shoot & Quote Challenge

http://esengasvoice.wordpress.com/2013/11/24/eses-weekly-shoot-quote-challenge-direction/

Ese’s Quote:

Prompt 15 – DIRECTION

The great thing in the world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving.
/Oliver Wendell Holmes/

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Some of the Direction pointers on the Camino de Santiago in Spain…

“Sometimes the slightest things change the directions of our lives, the merest breath of a circumstance, a random moment that connects like a meteorite striking the earth. Lives have swiveled and changed direction on the strength of a chance remark.”
― Bryce Courtenay

Bushveld Wedding under the Marula Tree…

The Daily Prompt asked: Do you play in your daily life? I do! I take a camera along when I work. Like today…

I had the most amazing afternoon. I had to conduct a wedding at a Game Ranch this afternoon. It was an outdoor wedding, and it has rained this past week- we were rather anxious about the clouds forming.  But I did take my cameras, the 400D and the Powershot. Here is just a little view of a part of my work. If it looks like a wonderful job- just remember I stood in a graveyard conducting a funeral yesterday. We pastors must have the capacity to handle an emotional roller coaster. From a funeral to a wedding in a day!

IMG_1401I think it would not be good form to show the bride and groom while they are still at their wedding feast at the moment.

Maybe when they left the scene of the wedding itself would be ok…

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What are you humans up to?

What are you humans up to?

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Not a Chev Impala- the REAL Impala- a beautiful ram

and a very young Impala ram...

and a very young Impala ram…

So yes- some days it is so good to have my job, other days it is really, really hard…  Today was all good!