Movement- Daily Prompt

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/02/27/prompt-dance/

I want to do the Photographer’s Challenge for today’s Daily Prompt- Movement. The moment is my younger colleague, dancing with his bride for the first time as a married couple on their wedding day. I enjoyed it a lot, I married them!

IMG_0177

 

I am a hopelessly lost romantic at heart, there is something so beautiful about this first dance together for me…

Work- Ailsa’s Weekly Travel Theme

http://wheresmybackpack.com/2014/02/21/travel-theme-work/

While Ailsa is asking about work, let me share a small view of my work with you…

Well, I once had the chance to visit Turkey on a work related trip. I love your country, Uncle Spike!  Here I am hard at work… (or not…) at the ruins of Ephesus, near Selcuk…

052

IMG_0178

Sometimes we get to dress funny in my work…

IMG_0923b

I even get to ride my Bike in the rain sometimes as part of my work!

Sometimes I preach…

My office on a Sunday…

2013-03-28 18.28.49-1

Sometimes I give people bread and wine…

Sometimes I marry people…

 

20130710_113351

Sometimes I cook for them…

Sometimes I drive people around in a bus…
2013-06-21 12.27.59

Finally, sometimes I have to bury people…

And so it is really hard to define all the different parts of my work, being a rural country pastor in a church… I love people, and love serving them in so many ways…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bushveld wedding… the Bride and Groom

This part of my work I really love…

Here is my younger colleague and his new wife yesterday after I married them. My daughter was the official photographer, these are just 3 of mine, because every woman reading my blog the past two days were wondering how they look…

He is our Youth Pastor, and she is a Physiotherapist, (and a professional cyclist….)  They both really kick my butt on a bicycle…

_MG_0055 _MG_0065 _MG_0077As you can guess, I really love these two young people, and wish them a very happy journey together!

https://vosperdruiter.wordpress.com/2013/11/30/another-bushveld-wedding/

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…

_MG_1515b

May they bring lorries full of love to this union…

_MG_1829

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

_MG_1856

May they be happy wherever the wind blows them…

_MG_1849

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

_MG_1835b

Wherever they will stay, may it be happy home!

_MG_1845

At 4 PM we will tie the knot…

IMG_1876

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…

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.

___________________________________________________________

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…

 

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…

IMG_1404Now-the guests…

What are you humans up to?

What are you humans up to?

_MG_1722

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!

Still Cycling…

This morning my younger colleague drag me kicking and screaming out of my bed, to go training with him. He has already done a leisurely 29 km with his fiancee before that. And then he pushed me to do my first 30 km training ride in a while- definitely the furthest I have ridden since this year’s Argus Cycle tour in March. You don’t believe me? Endomondo tells no lies…

15 NovemberOn our way back we were seduced by our favorite coffee shop, to have a breakfast there. And the Endomondo for some reason did not stop, so the time given is much more- we actually did the 31 km in about 90 minutes.  Very, very slow for my young colleague, and quite taxing for me…

In any case- I have now done 148.63 km so far for November on my bicycles. I forgot to mention, this morning I have taken out my Schwinn Fastback- much lighter than the Trek 800 Trail (which weighs 20 kg with a full water bottle… and has knobblies on…)

Slowly it feels as if my body remembers that it was fit, some time, a long time ago. Just hints of joy crept into the training, and the burning desire arises to be fit again, and feel the miles fly by without feeling like the angel of death is hovering right behind me…

We talked on our training ride about all the lovely things we have seen on this route. It is wonderful to be outside the city, and riding on a quiet country road. We have, between us, seen snakes, I had a close encounter with a Green Mamba once, another with an Egyptian Spitting Cobra,  he has seen a serval- very rare, they thought it was a baby leopard… a beautiful member of the wild cat species.  We have had our funny encounters with warthogs, who did not hear us approaching, and they are very funny when they get frightened, spin on one place in their pull away, before they find the right gear and head off to safety.

There is a world famous wetlands nearby, the Nylsvley Wetlands Reserve, and the small river Nile that feeds it (no relation to the one in Egypt…) is passing underneath our training route. There are the most beautiful bird life around there, with a lot of different coloured finches, swallows, sparrows, hornbills, and other beautiful birds. The fresh air around our town is so good for exercise.  So it was a good start to my day.

Unfortunately, when I reached home, I have received word of another of the elderly ladies of our church that has passed away peacefully in her sleep last night. I will be conducting another funeral next week…

Now it is time to start work on Sunday’s sermon. I am thinking of John 13:34 as the text… let’s get back to work…

A good Blind Date…

The ladies of our church had this wonderful idea: let us have a blind date, to make us more sensitive for the needs of the blind. And in the process collect a little money for a school for blind pupils. This afternoon we had our Blind Date… A Sunday lunch where everybody eats blindfolded.

In our church there is an amazing lady. She lost her sight due to illness a few years ago. But she still competes in sport, she is a very good runner (unlike her pastor…) She still goes on hiking trails. She still bakes. She start the reading at our Bible study group every week by reading from her Braille bible. We invited her to just give us an insight into being blind. And her message is: she is still a normal person, she just can’t see…

IMG_1582

Magda is an inspiration to our church!

After she has spoken, we made sure everybody’s plates was filled- the ladies chose to prepare spaghetti bolognaise, with a Greek salad. Everybody poured their chosen drink in the glasses. Then we made sure everybody was blindfolded, before we gave thanks, and then the fun started- everybody had to eat and drink blindfolded. Young and old… and here is some of the moments we enjoyed…

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I had some fun taking the photos, and laughing at everybody else. But then I had to eat too, and one of the clowns of my children grabbed my camera and took a picture of me…

IMG_1646

By this time everybody else has finished eating… so I won the prize for the person making the biggest mess of lunch…

It was all in good fun, and we raised a little money to send to the Prinshof School for the Blind.  I was just so gratefull to take of the blindfold afterwards, and be able to see… But I do have huge respect for blind people like Magda, that still see the beauty in life much better than most sighted persons! There are amazing people in this world, who rises up above adversity, and live extraordinary lives to inspire the rest of us. And they have my deepest respect!

Word Riders trip to Marken

The past two days I had two beautiful days at the office!  First I had to do a Bible study

Photo: So hou ons Bybelstudie in die Bosveld!

at our own church- we went through the second letter of John. This is how I looked during the Bible Study- might be a bit hard to take for more conservative church members…

Afterwards we met a small group coming from the Bible Society in Kempton Park for brunch at a local Coffee Shop. Then we saddled up, and rode the scenic 210 km to Marken, a VERY small town in the Limpopo Bushveld.  It is ironic how distances work in our country- this town is further away than Johannesburg from us (just the biggest city in Africa…) but we do have a lot of contact with the pastor and people of Marken. It is a very small town. We were invited by the local church and 8 of the rural schools to bring bibles to the Grade 7 learners.

And so we went.

IMG_1119In front of the church building in Marken.  We stayed over  at a bush camp, part of the local pastor (a friend)’s farm- he is in part time ministry in the region where he was born…  This pastor’s sister in law now also lives here- she grew up in Minnesota in the USA- maybe the coldest place in the States, and came here, to one of the hottest parts of our country- their winter is usually on a Tuesday every year.

IMG_1113

It was extremely hot in this part of the world- we rode through temperatures of 37 degrees Celcius, and the sun burnt us a lot. But is was so good to visit these schools, far, far away from civilization…

IMG_1137

Motorbikes, Bibles, Children… It was such fun!

IMG_1140

My BMW underneath a Boabab tree…

IMG_1146Good friends, scenic routes, mountain passes…

This is the stuff life is all about! I had a good two days at the office!