SILVER anniversary today!

I am still a young man. I still ride my bicycles, and motorbikes. I still enjoy Katy Perry’s music.

So how can it be that today is already my silver anniversary?

This morning, at 09h00, at the old Klipkerk in Bloemfontein 25 years ago, my bride walked down the aisle with her dad.






I was very young when I took the leap- just past my 23rd birthday. In the beginning, I was very insecure and it must have been difficult at times for my lovely bride. But we grew together, and as the Afrikaans saying goes, started eating our seven sacks of salt together.

There have been wonderful times, and we also went through extremely difficult times together. I still can’t go away from home for a long time, without actually having an aching heart when she is not near. Her smile still lights up my day.

In my work I see how few couples are really happily married, and stay together even this long. So I know I am truly blessed, being married to my best friend.

We are growing older- we are not as young and as beautiful as 25 years ago- that would be the world’s opinion, not mine! But the journey of life just keeps on getting better and better together…

Who would not love a wife who goes on a 3000 km Bike trip with you?


It was so good last week, on the Word Rider Tour, being so near Golden Gate, (Free State, South Africa) where we started our honeymoon 25 years ago…

Who would not love the mother of our 4 beautiful kids, and the calming factor when the storms of life hit us?

I don't know who posted this in the first place- but all respect and honor to you!

I don’t know who posted this in the first place- but all respect and honor to you!

Day Lily- Flower Friday

Just before our Word Rider trip, I went with a friend to a wedding ceremony at the beautiful town of Riebeek Kasteel. While he was conducting the marriage of Miss Fitness SA of 2009 and 2010 inside, I walked around outside. So much beauty inside!

Like most old town churches there is a old cemetery on the church grounds.  Telling tales of old sorrow long time ago- like this father buried alongside two of his children between 1883-1886.  The father lived to the age of 38, his child alongside lived only 6 months. The child on the right has a different surname but is buried in the same family plot. Maybe the widow married again very soon, and this child died before reaching 3 months old… It must have been hard times for the Hugo and Malan families in the old Cape Colony…



But next to this old story of sadness and suffering there stands a row of Day Lilies, reminding us to live TODAY!

IMG_2110 IMG_2111So: Carpé Diem! Because one day the second date on your headstone will arrive…  Make the hyphen count!


Now for some GOOD NEWS…

After yesterday’s sad news blog from my side, I had to go look for something uplifting for the spirit.  This morning, while having a coffee with my younger colleague, I found something inspiring to share.  Colleague, being married for 4 months now, took this photo and I (being married for 24 years Monday) stole it from him.

And here it is: really mindblowing and awesome and inspiring and amazing and uplifting… you get the picture?

These two lovely people are members of our church. Their daughter took them for coffee and cake. What is so really special about them?

Today is their 65 th anniversary!  That is a Sapphire Wedding Anniversary, they told me. And the best part of it: they are still in love, and really love each other deeply.

Now THAT is inspiring to me this morning! When I am 90, I would love to be happily married for 67 years! Working on it!

Movement- Daily Prompt

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!



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

Romance- Ailsa’s Weekly Travel Theme

I have the wonderful privilege to be a marriage official as well. And one of the most beautiful things for me remains when romance grows to a wedding…

At the end of November I had the honour of marrying my young colleague with his beautiful bride… I snapped a special moment between them on that special day…


And Romance in my own life blossoms still- going for 24 years of happily married life, here is my bride on our 20th anniversary…


TWO are better than one- Ese’s Word a Week Challenge

A Word A Week Photo Challenge – Two

There are two ways to live: you can live as if nothing is a miracle; you can live as if everything is a miracle. /A.Einstein/


First my Quote- From the Bible- Ecclesiastes 4: 9 Two are better than one,
because they have a good return for their labor:
10 If either of them falls down,
one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls
and has no one to help them up.
11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
But how can one keep warm alone?
12 Though one may be overpowered,
two can defend themselves.


Two are better than one… in marriage


Two wheels are better than one! Or four…


Two cups of hot milk and melted Belgian Chocolate, shared by loved ones, are better than one alone…


And Sometimes two are prettier than one…


Daily Prompt: A Bend in Time

by michelle w. on September 27, 2013

When you’re giddy with excitement, does time speed up? Slow down? Tell us about the experience of anticipation.

Photographers, artists, poets: show us WAITING.


As it is his 13th birthday today: here is my take on WAITING:


Sport has so much WAITING!

  •  Waiting to get a chance to go on the field of play
  •  Waiting for the ball to come your way,
  •  Waiting for the chance to go for the goal line
  •  Waiting for the glory

But: You have your mother’s adoring look:


Whatever the score, whether you score or mess it up- she still loves you a lot!

Are YOU looking, dad? My heart rate is up, time is slowing down, I just want to be YOUR hero today!


Look, Dad, I have the ball!


The try in the game of Rugby came later…

The Lesson for today:  Don’t let your son beg for your approval. Do not let them wait to hear that you love them…  They don’t have to perform to earn your love, they just have to BE!

Spring is in the Air…

I live in the SOuthern Hemisphere, remember?!  On Sunday, spring will start in all her glory… but where I live, we just can’t complain about the weather at all. The sky is blue, the sun is shining, and it is already touching 30 degrees Celsius here in the Bushveld. (In winter!)

I am supposed to sit behind my desk. I have 3 sermons to deliver in the next 72 hours! Tomorrow morning I have to lead a funeral. And Sunday Morning and Evening worship services are just waiting around the bend…

But while I am sitting here behind my desk, I hear the joyful sounds of nature. The hummingbirds are outside in the Bauhemia tree, collecting their nectar. As I look outside, I see a new season unfolding in all it’s glory… So- how could I resist the call of Spring? I just had to go and grab my Canon 400D, and go for a walkabout in my garden. And that is the beauty of life, sometimes the most precious experiences wait for you just outside your door, if you would but open your eyes…

Just outside my front door I planted a Day lily two weeks ago. And it is happy there…

Day lily

Day lily

At the front gate there is this bush that my wife said I must cut down. I told her about the beautiful white little flowers, and she argued with me, she has never seen white flowers on it…  I am not that good at gardening, I do not know the names of more than half the things in our garden. So Bridget Jackson and my other friends with green fingers must help- what is this bush called?

Little white flowers bush thingy...

Little white flowers bush thingy…

And then I saw the hummingbirds in the Bauhemia tree on the sidewalk. And I am extremely sad that the longest functioning lens I have, is 250 mm… this photo is already cropped a lot:

_MG_0051They look black, but when the sun catches them just right (which I obviously didn’t) they have the most amazing metallic dark green colour…

On my way around the house, my eye caught the Strelitzia, a bit worn after the August winds around here, but still one of South Africa’s most loved indigenous plants:



I walked around the house to the back yard. My honeysuckle is still having one or two blooms- I planted it in a pot in front of my bedroom window, to draw the hummingbirds and other nectar feeders near-

Red Honeysuckle

Red Honeysuckle

Just outside our bathroom we planted a pomegranate bush in the autumn. The fruit is so filled with natural goodness that you just can not live without them. They cost a lot for one fruit in the shops, it is a beautiful bush anyway, so why not have your own?  It lost all it’s leaves during winter, but is jumping right back for another season of fruitfulness (i hope!)


Pomegranate bush

I also planted 6 River Bush Willow trees (Vaderlandswilg) outside our bedroom on the lawn, because, as you can see from our winter temperatures, it gets really hot in the Bushveld- we need all the shade we can get during February, when you Northern guys goes skiing… then we have temperatures around 40 degrees Celsius (would that be about 110 Fahrenheit?) The Bush Willow loses it’s leaves in winter, another plus for the compost heap and the warming of the house by the sun…

Bush Willow tree

River Bush Willow tree- Combretum erythrophyllum (River Bush-willow) or Vaderlandswilg

I have no idea what all these plants are called, they are drought resistant, and grows in front of my youngest son’s window…


And so, in a space of 5 minutes, I had a fantastic morning in my own garden, looking for some inspiration for tomorrow’s funeral sermon. And that is the beauty of nature, even in the death of winter, there is always the promise of new life in spring.

So sorry for my friends in Cape Town, they are having enormous winter rain, and snow on Table Mountain. And we are having this amazing winter weather, much better than England’s summer!  I hear there is a cold front moving in from the CApe, and we should also expect some cold weather to hit us over the winter. The winter witch gives her last parting shot. But then, then it is Springtime, an amazing time of year in our part of the world…

If you could forget about politics and crime, we live in a very special place indeed!

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.


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…