Afgesonder vir diens…

Dit is Maandagoggend half tien. Ek is veronderstel om die siekes te besoek. Daarna hard te werk aan more se Bybelstudie oor Romeine 9- dat die gemeente kan verstaan waarom het die Here Jakob liefgehad, maar Esau gehaat. My selfoon is veronderstel om aan te wees, ek moet al die navrae hanteer oor die onduidelikhede in gister se preek. die klagtes oor die musiek te hard was, of te sag was, te vinnig was of te stadig was…  Intussen loop daar erens op die vlaktes beeste rond wat eintlik by die kerkbasaar hoort- Steaks vir Jesus! Daar is nog duisend wat wag vir huisbesoek, dat hulle die Here kan vind en dien…  deur die koeksistertjie vir Dominee te gee, keurig aangebied op die Royal Doulton bordjie met ouma se goue vurkie…

Dit is Maandagoggend vyf en twintig voor tien. Ek is die sieke. My vrou het my selfoon afgeneem. Die dokter het my drie weke lank afgeboek. Ek mag nie eers kar bestuur nie.   Ek sit net hier. Drie weke is darem maar hel lank! EK mis my selfoon!

Dis Maandagoggend twintig voor tien. Die foon lui nie. Beethoven se Klavierkonsert no 1 in C Majeur, opus 15, Largo speel kliphard in my studeerkamer. Agter die helder note van die klavier klink die mooiste klarinet en viole in die agtergrond.

‘n Stille Teenwoordigheid het saam met my in die studeerkamer ingekom. Vrede. Rus.

Ek moet niks doen nie. EK mag maar net… wees.

En dit is goed genoeg…

 

 

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Good Friday- another view…

Today is Good Friday for us Christians, a very holy day for us. We went to church at 08h00 this morning, and I did not have to preach- it is good being more than one pastor in our church…

After church we went with our younger colleague, his wife and a doctor friend to our town’s Golf Estate for a hearty breakfast. So good so far…

Then, I was not wholly holy today… 🙂  My son is having his 18th birthday in less than a month. I want to give him my old VW Beetle. This Beetle is a very valuable Beetle. Not money wise, it is probably not worth any more than the scrap metal value. But my grandmother bought this Beetle brand new when I was 1 year old…I know this Beetle my whole life long so far.

So I have engaged my two eldest sons to help me today.  We have to repair years and years of rust. The problem: I really have NO mechanical skill whatsoever. Between Youtube clips and Jim Tyler’s fantastic book: “How to restore Volkswagen Beetle” we are stumbling along merrily…

Here is some evidence of the crime scene, My Lady… (someone has been watching too much Oscar Trail…)

In any case- here goes…  And yes, I am working hard on weight loss too for next year’s Argus Cycle race, lost 10 kg since February, still a lot to go…

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IMG_2335Damn, when I looked at the photos just now, I thought it was my father! He also worked on this Beetle for me, but he had more of an idea what he was doing.  But he did not have much skill in teaching his son…  Me neither, but me and the boys did have a very good Friday anyway!  Most probably the Beetle will disintegrate when we finally turn the ignition key… But it was fun so far…

Oh yes, while we are working on the body, the seats is being renewed elsewhere, I really hope the guy does a good job on the upholstery!

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When did the Beetle manage to get itself in such a sorry state? Slowly but surely it is coming back to life. The rate of restoration is directly equal to the drainage on my finances…  But it seems to be good for father and sons relationships!

I will post IF there is any progress…

PS- This is a LONG term project if you look at this links…
https://vosperdruiter.wordpress.com/2013/08/17/vw-beetle-restoration-is-the-devil/

https://vosperdruiter.wordpress.com/2013/05/02/old-die-hard-needs-new-life/

https://vosperdruiter.wordpress.com/2013/08/16/todays-project-vw-beetle-seats-for-my-barbeque/

 

 

Need a smile? Go watch a kitten!

I have been on sick leave this week, with a nasty stomach bug, leaving me dizzy and weak.  I really needed a smile this week…

We have been thinking for a while now. Our Einstein Cat went on a walkabout 2 years ago, and still have not returned. But there are a lot of little grey and white kittens turning up all over the district.  Our lady cat, Pandora, is now the Queen of the Castle. She is the most peaceful cat, fitted with a diesel engine (it purrs a lot…)

We are being overran by a lot of the neighbours’ cats, making love or fighting World War III on our lawn every night. So I thought to start looking for another cat male. It must be ugly, his mother must have yielded her virtue to a Wild Cat one evening, and the kitten must be vicious. That is what I was looking for.

Then one of my wife’s fellow teachers, living on a farm outside of town, announced that her cat was molested in just such a way. And the kittens are now 6 weeks old.  So yesterday, while firmly clenching my sphincter muscles, we went to fetch our new wild beast- I do not wish to call it a pet… yet…

And here he is:

The face of a monster- turning grown cats into salt pillars...

The face of a monster- turning grown cats into salt pillars…

It still must earn it’s name. My thought would be “Terminator” or “Killer”. But the children are starting to call it “Eduardo”… And they usually win these fights… by pure numbers.

There are a few problems however (in a Jeremy Clarkson droopy voice…)  I never knew it would be so difficult to distinguish between the kittens sex organs to know if  it is a male. This kitten  monster’s mother was also named “Stoffel” because everyone thought it was a male, till it gave birth to the first litter of kittens… That must have been a surprise…

The second huge problem- our peaceful loving female cat, Pandora, suddenly became the vicious bitch out of hell. She hates the kitten, and wants to kill it.  Now I have two monsters on my yard, and it is not my mother in law and my wife… (*this time…).

This is the very first meeting between them- look at the demonic glare of Pandora’s eyes:

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But we are starting to train our monster to do all vicious kinds of things. It must be proficient in a vast array of weaponry and driving skills. A real terror in training, that is our Terminator Eduardo…

IMG_1029Before the SPCA or Greenpeace descends on me- we love kittens, and we look good after our cats, They are delicious in a Thai style samoosa… no, just joking.

But seriously, I need some advice to win my Pandora’s heart back, she just hates me and tells me and the kitten monster to Fffffffff….

Thank you…

Daily Prompt: Thank You

by michelle w. on September 11, 2013

The internet is full of rants. Help tip the balance: today, simply be thankful for something (or someone).

Photographers, artists, poets: show us THANKS.

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I am thankful for being away from people this week. I am thankful for the beautiful part of the world that I live in… and that beauty is all around me. It is spring in the Bushveld. It hasn’t rained since March. It is dry, and the veld are prone to runaway bushfires. Yet the trees are flowering in the hope that rain will soon come. The birds and animals are mating- a new season of life is starting to happen. When the rain comes, everything will be just alright…

Let me show you just a few things I have seen this week, that I am thankful for…

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No, not Cape Buffalo like last time… this one is not so dangerous… it is a Blue Wildebeest that is asking: What are you looking at, punk?  They tend to be a bit grumpy…  But their best friend is always somewhere near- ask anyone who has seen the Wildebeest Migration in the Serengeti (I did not yet…)

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Hopefully everybody recognizes a Zebra… They and Wildebeest are best of friends… the one can’t see so good, the other can’t hear so good, so together they have a much better chance of survival… I wish all the people of South Africa could take this to heart…  We do not have to be the same to help each other to be great!

And one of my favorites of the Bushveld: Pumba from Lion King. There are thousands of them around our town…

How can you not love the Warthog? And this one has a spring in his step…  (Mating season?) Image

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Dombeya rotundifolia

In the veld, all around our town, the Dombeya Rotundifolia is flowering… It has the most beautiful and ugly names in Afrikaans… Beautiful- “Nooientjie van die Bosveld”-  or Bride of the Bushveld. And “Drolpeer” or Pear looking like a turd… describing it’s fruit.  As I said- the Bushveld is very dry. But the trees are flowering- new life has begun in spring…  And for that I am thankful… the Spring coming after every Winter…

Can a piece of paper change a life?

Daily Prompt: Everything Changes

by michelle w. on August 6, 2013

Walking down the street, you encounter a folded piece of paper on the sidewalk. You pick it up and read it and immediately, your life has changed. Describe this experience.

Photographers, artists, poets: show us TRANSFORMATION.

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Today, on our radio in South Africa, they are advertising the Powerball Lotto in America, which pays out $ 400 000 000 tomorrow evening.  If somebody did predict the numbers correctly, and then lost the ticket, that ticket would certainly change someone’s life if found on the street.

My wife and I sometimes daydream about what we would like to do if we came into money unexpectedly. Well, the first worry that would go away, was to pay the university fees for all our kids, when they need it.   As some of my regular readers would think- a lot more travelling would be a given.  There is just so much to see in this big, wide world. I have spent my entire life in just 3 time zones, Mostly Central African time, as far west as Spain, and as far east as Turkey.  I would love to see the Americas, North, South AND Central- with my wife… I would love to visit the Far East. I would love rugby matches in New Zealand, and cricket games in Australia.

We would not worry where we are going to live when I get to retirement age and have to move out of the comfortable church house…

But I would not need $400 million to reach that.  I am not that interested in Things, but in Relationships, and Experiences.  Such a piece of paper could probably take a few worries away. It would certainly bring on a lot more- to know who is really my friends, who really need my financial help. Would it still be as much fun to just sit under the African starry sky at night and count the shooting stars with my kids? Would the joy of a camp fire at night, with the howl of a jackal or the roar of a lion in the distance still be so amazing?

Would it still be as much fun to gather my equally broke friends on a Friday night, and we share whatever we have to eat and drink in my Lapa (a South African’s favourite place to linger, with a fire involved…)

Maybe such a piece of paper would kill the joy and happiness of the every day life, of the not exactly knowing how everything is going to turn out- maybe the sense of adventure. Would it be worth it? Maybe, if I could see the future, and the influence of too much money on me, my kids, my friends- maybe I would just walk on by that winning Lotto ticket?  Would you pick it up?

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Would you be willing to risk this simple experiences of life for a lot of money?

Raising boys…

In South Africa we have the midyear school holidays at the moment. It is winter, and the school closes for 3 weeks. The South African academic year stretches from January till end of November. Our Summer holidays stretch over 6 weeks around Christmas.

This is the final week of the school holidays, on Monday it is back to school for the 3rd term.  We did not have the opportunity to go away as family this holiday, as I was on duty in the church.  This is one of the mildest winters we have experienced so far, maybe the Global Warming has finally reached us too. In these long holidays the children are getting really bored. They played a huge amount of Playstation, they watched DVD’s and Wimbledon. They have visited with friends, played tennis, and cycled around town a lot.

So when they complained that they are bored this morning, I really helped them out. We have this beautiful old cast iron garden bench that we bought as newlyweds- it was much cheaper than a lounge suite then! Although it resides on the front porch, it eventually also needed a new layer of varnish.  And so I commandeered my sons to do the job…

I showed them how, and then let them loose with brushes and varnish. And it became a valuable time between us.

When I was much younger, I was afraid of becoming the father of sons. I was afraid that I would not be able to raise them to become men of value to the community. A part of this fear is because I am not handy at all. Any DIY project is intensely difficult for me.  My father was much better at these things than me, but he always became so impatient that he chased me away when I was a boy, I never learned to do any of these DIY stuff.  Now I am the father of 3 boys.  The Lord truly has a sense of humor… 🙂

I am so glad for the Internet. When I want to do something DIY’ish I first have to Google it, hopefully to see how something is done on Youtube. Then I have to go to our hardware store, and try to explain what I am trying to accomplish. Do you know how difficult it is if you do not even know the right names for the tools/ varnish/ paints/ thinners needed to do a job? Extremely frustrating.  When all the stuff are bought, to try figuring out the sequence in which to apply all the gooey stuff on to the wood.  And in the same time trying to teach my young men how to do it in a patient and calm way, that they can have confidence: their dad is on top of this game…

So it is really tough to raise boys, teaching them the skills in life that will help them impress a young lady one day. To show that they are able to maintain her in a house that will not fall apart around her…

But we are having a lot of fun in the process, even though we used more than double the amount of Woodoc 50 Marine Varnish that we were supposed to. So maybe my sons will turn out OK when they are finishing their school career. Maybe they will be able to stand on their own two feet and make their own responsible choices in life.

Meanwhile, I am proud of the men that they are slowly growing up to be.

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Stop the Human Trafficking!

Daily Prompt: Bookworm

by michelle w. on June 16, 2013

Tell us about the last book you read (Why did you choose it? Would you recommend it?). To go further, write a post based on its subject matter.

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I have finished David Baldacci’s The Forgotten in this past week.

It is one of the John Puller series, in which the main character is a CID detective for the US Army.  His aunt dies under mysterious circumstances, and he goes to Florida to investigate, in the ironically named town of Paradise. In the process of digging for the truth, he stumbles upon a large syndicate, dealing in human beings as modern slaves. Beautiful girls gets prostituted, able bodied men gets to be slave labourers, and ordinary people gets to be drug mules.

The book, in my opinion, was brilliantly written and kept me engaged till the last page. It is not that predictable, and have some serious deviations from what I expected. I really enjoy David Baldacci’s writing.

The subject of this book remains a huge crisis to this day. I think it would be heartbreaking to know how many girls in this world has been abducted, got to be hooked on drugs, and then sold off to the slave trade in prostitution.  So many people also disappear in our own country, and one of the biggest remaining mysteries in South Africa remains the fate of the six girls abducted by Gert van Rooyen in the 1980’s. This problem endures throughout Africa, South America, and the former eastern European states.  I think it could well be an international problem all over the world.  Young girls are taken against their will, and their families never have news of their fate again. ANd even worse, in places in Asia girls get sold by their own parents.

This remains, with rape, the most shocking human behaviour I can think about.  The solution lies in every community, caring for every child as if it was their own. And societies all over the world who will not tolerate abuse of any people in their midst. By cutting off the demand, supply should stop.  I wish and pray with my whole heart that this situation will change.

I really believe, on this Children’s Day in South Africa, that every child has the right to grow up free, without any shadow of sexual abuse or slavery endangering them in any way. May we never forget…

Have a little bit of faith…

Daily Prompt: In Good Faith

by michelle w. on June 14, 2013

Describe a memory or encounter in which you considered your faith, religion, spirituality — or lack of — for the first time.

Photographers, artists, poets: show us FAITH.

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Maybe my regular 3 readers thought that I would write a long long story on this one, being a Christian pastor.  Maybe you expected photos of my church building, or St Peter’s in Rome, or the Santiago Cathedral where the Camino de Santiago ends…  Maybe you expected stories of high church and low church, of Catholics or Evangelicals, or Orthodox or Pentecostals. Maybe you wanted to know who I think is right or wrong, maybe a kick at those damned atheists… Sorry to disappoint you all…

My faith is not about church buildings, or who is right or wrong, adult baptism or infant baptism, I do not care if you have the eucharist with small glasses or big mugs, bread or matsos, I do not want to be the judge over what is sin or what is not…

My faith is a relationship. I believe that Jesus has said it so beautifully when all the religious folk of that time confronted Him in Matthew 22:34-40: My religion is to love God with all my heart and soul and spirit and strength, and my neighbour as myself.   My  faith is about love changing the world, nothing else. No violence in the name of God. No fighting with people who have other beliefs than mine.  No throwing stones at people who society said are sinners.

Love changes everything. God’s love changed my life. And I want to change the people around me with love. Nothing else.

So I dearly wanted to write just this one word, and it would be enough: LOVE!

Ok- a photo of faith- in my church- the remembrance meal the Thursday evening before the Good Friday: Each time you eat this bread, each time you drink this wine, Remember Me! Then go into the world, and love your neighbourImage

 Sorry for the red hue- there was a red spotlight on this table and the photo was taken with my cellphone…  I am not that good in Photoshop to change it…

Person of the year…

Daily Prompt: Person of the Year

by michelle w. on June 13, 2013

You’re asked to nominate someone for TIME’s Person of the Year. Who would it be, and why?

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In my life I saw quite a lot of statues for “The Unknown Soldier”- somebody who has died in the service of his country, and who could not be recognized. One unidentified body was buried with the greatest honor to remember all those who died in a similar way for their country. It is good to remember their sacrifice, also as a warning to not do stupid things like starting wars again…

But If I had the chance to pick a person to be nominated by Time, and to get a front page, I would randomly pick: The ordinary woman.

  •  She does not look like a supermodel, she does not even think that she is pretty…
  •  She is a mother
  •  She is a wife
  •  She has her own career
  • She still has to cook her family’s meals
  •  She probably has not reached any of her dreams when she was a young girl yet, and sometimes forget that there was a dream in the first place…
  •  She is the shelter in the storm for her family…

I know this may sound very sexistic. It is not intended that way.  I do not think that is how the perfect woman should be, I am saying that this is the life a lot of women I know are leading.

I have a lot of respect for the ordinary woman- doing all those things, and maybe never even getting a proper thank you. She might think that she is just ordinary, but somebody like my wife, and all the women of the world like her, are exceptional people in my eyes. They deserve much more recognition in life, because they make this world a place worth living in with their love and care…

Even the oldest statue in the world of a woman agrees: They are to be treasured and honored…

THE STATUE OF WILLENDORF

“Willendorf” is the name that was given to the first known human figurine, a woman. The statue was found in 1908 near the town of Willendorf in Vienna. It was carved from limestone and colored with red ochre. It measures 110 mm in height and is dated 30,000 and 25,000 BC.

Go Love a woman!

No, this is not in the sense you would normally think! I am not talking about erotic love this morning…

Let me tell it the long way round. It is my privilege to work out the material our church use in Cell group meetings.  One of the important things for me is that church need to be much more than holy words.  We need holy deeds. We need to change the world with love. Therefore it is always on my mind to look for opportunities where we can serve our community, and make society and people’s lives much better than before.

After working out 3 weeks worth of material, my eye falls on 9 August 2013- a Friday.

It is a national holiday in South Africa.  Maybe I am sounding a little bit too politically correct these days, it is not my intention to talk politics. But I am moved by certain things that I never understood before.

It is Women’s Day on 9 August in South Africa. It goes back to the days of the old South Africa. on 9 August 1956 20 000 women marched on the Union Buildings in Pretoria, the seat of government where the Prime Minister’s office then, and  Jacob Zuma’s office today is located. These ladies had children on their backs. They were marching to protest the new pass laws, that required certain people in society to move to designated areas far away from their place of work. They needed passes to enter into other areas.

This law created a situation where a mother had to leave her children in a “township”, and start very early in the morning on unreliable and dangerous public transport, to go to her place of work, carrying a pass that says she may be there.  She works a long day, and long after dark returns to her home, hoping that her children would still be ok. All this for a very small pay.

I know, these things started happening before I was born. As I look back on this history, I feel the same guilt as people should feel about making the Jews wear yellow star of Davids in Europe during Herr Hitler’s crazy party.  I am sorry that people in my country were treated like that. I am sorry that it took so long for me to realize that. So yes, I support Women’s Day in respect to those brave women who stood up against injustice. They must weep in their hands seeing what their struggle has become- all the corruption and greed nowadays…

They sang a song that day- and I wish I knew all the words- the title is: Wathint’Abafazi Wathint’imbokodo! – If you strike a woman, you strike a rock… 

It is the women who suffer the most when men play political and power games.  It is the women who hold a community together when the men are lazy, drunken bums…  It is women who get raped and murdered in this country, mostly by men they know.  The women of South Africa have some of the hardest living conditions in the world.

I am glad there is a day to honor the courage of South African women.

My challenge to my church: In that week of Women’s Day, each cell group must identify one woman in need, and go change her life.

We have a big number of widows in our church. Some of them are getting older, and can not see- some would love somebody just to read their Bible to them once in a while. Some of them can not drive anymore, but need groceries and other supplies- just take them to town, or go buy their grocery list. Some need a handyman just to fix something in their home- how do you change a light bulb when you are 85?

We have a lot of single mothers. How would it be if the older ladies could take care of their kid/s for just an hour or two, that they can rest/ do something for themselves for a change? There are a lot of hurting women- being abused, divorced, could someone just be that shoulder to cry on for a change?

There are so many unemployed ladies in our community. We have our programs that helps to give them food. But we can only afford the most basic foodstuff. How would it be to treat one of them with a luxury chocolate, or take them to a restaurant for a meal which they could never afford?

This is my challenge to my church: Make a practical difference in one lady’s life. And pray about it- could you do more? But start with just 1, then we are already becoming a part of the solution.

My colleague has this favorite saying: How do you eat an elephant? Bite by bite… How do we change our world? One small deed of love at a time.

This is what I am working on this morning, thought I would share it with you, maybe, just maybe, you can make one woman’s life a little better today as well. Just one small deed of kindness is all it takes…