Adventures with God

Syndicate content
Updated: 11 min 31 sec ago

Special Times!

Sat, 04/05/2014 - 05:42
Some of my highlights of being a dad have to be sharing a love of quality rock music with my boys, teaching them to ride their bikes and with Eli, teaching him to ride a unicycle.

Today my joy went a bit further with my boyjie as we went unicycling together on the road and then turned off to ride around the disused farm dam near our house.

Eli is super confident on his uni and to watch him riding in front of me is pure joy! Unicycling with Eli is my happy place.

Enjoy the video below of Eli riding.

Excuse the poor quality of the 2nd part but I was trying to keep up with Eli whilst balancing in the wind and keep an eye on the traffic.

Also watch on Youtube:

Happy Birthday Sunshine!

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 02:38
Happy Birthday to our amazing 11 year old!
It's scary to think about how quickly the years slip by but it's definitely a privilege and a joy to be your parents and we're enjoying every minute of it.

You are our sunshine!

Book Week

Fri, 03/07/2014 - 04:07
It's Book Week at the International School again and once again Joel has gone dressed brilliantly and is very excited to see how all his friends have chosen to dress too.

Joel chose to go as Mr Stink from the book of the same name by David Walliams. We had so much fun making him and his clothes dirty, cutting his shoes open and generally just making it up as we went along.

The biggest problem we had was finding rabbit droppings that Joel could use as ear plugs.

David Walliams has definitely been a big hit in our house having helped Joel to a few Cum Laude at Eisteddfod and now helping with Book Week.

Read more about World Book Day here.

Mr Stink by David Walliams

Miles 4 Smiles Assembly

Wed, 03/05/2014 - 14:14
Paula posted this on Facebook but it totally deserves a blog post.

Totally inspirational special school assembly at Helderberg International School led by Braam Malherbe to motivate the students to raise all they can at their Operation Smile sponsored event next week.

Braam is an ordinary guy who has done extraordinary things simply because he believes he can and that anything is possible. He has run the Great Wall of China for Operation Smile, which no-one had done before or has done since and even his team nutritionist Dr Tim Noakes, said it could not be done. That was the equivalent of running a marathon 6 days a week for 100 days!

If you are able and want to please consider sponsoring the boys as they “Slide for Smiles” next Tuesday and help them and the school to make a huge difference in the lives of children who cannot smile at the moment without their help.

See more of our involvement with Miles 4 Smiles.

Good Shot

Sun, 03/02/2014 - 10:08
Amongst the many blessings we've received over the last couple of months it would be rude not to mention the photo shoot we had at home.

One of our church members is doing a photography degree and for one of his assignments he asked if he could photograph us in the garden.

We were well chuffed to be asked and well pleased with the results!

You can see more of Chadlee's photos and designs on his blog.

Joel in thoughtful repose.

Eli was spectacularly uncooperative and yet Chadlee still managed to work some magic with his camera.

See the full album here.

The Best Start Ever...

Fri, 02/28/2014 - 14:09
2014 has been the best start to a year that I can ever remember.

That's not to say it's been perfect or without it's issues and problems, there have been plenty of those. No, it's been the best start ever because when I step back and look at the bigger picture so many amazing and wonderful things have happened that I feel incredibly blessed.

This is also part of the reason why the blog has been so quiet through January & February. It's not that there wasn't anything happening but rather, I just didn't know how to write about it all. However, I've had some inspiration now, so you can decide whether or not it's divine inspiration.

There have been a few stand out events that on the surface of it might look like the highlights so far. Two of these have to be taking Joel to see Bruce Springsteen live and another would most definitely be seeing Santana live just a few nights ago.

However, there has been so much more than that going on.

Firstly, the boys returned to school with a bang and Joel especially picked up where he left off last year and is having an exceptional year. We're grateful for a quality teacher who seems to love him and it's great to see his self-esteem being lifted.

Eli gave up the drums having spent all of the Summer holiday saying he wanted to learn the piano and he's doing great at it. He never once came home after a drum lesson and practised whereas we can't keep him off the keyboard which is great.

Tree of Life continues to be a massive joy and blessing to lead with a great team and a truly special membership! The leadership was rocked quite significantly at the beginning of the year but we focussed on God and pulled together and now we're stronger than ever. I really feel like I'm living the dream after so many years of being held back and frustrated by leaders who really shouldn't have been leading. To see the growth in our members and to see how God is working in their lives has to be one of the most humbling privileges on the planet! To do it here in Cape Town where the sun shines everyday just puts the cherry on top.

Our greatest joy so far this year has been meeting up with our dear friend Ziggy and his fiancé Mercy. We worked with Ziggy in 2000 at the Just Children Foundation in Zimbabwe and we grew really close. Sadly after our untimely exit we lost touch, but thanks to Facebook we reconnected and then discovered that we were living a mere 20km's apart. Wow! We've had the privilege of reconnecting with Ziggy and getting to know Mercy and now they're about to join Tree of  Life.  We're believing for great things as we embark on new adventures together for the Kingdom.

God is truly awesome!
I've had the pleasure of spending some time with Ziggy, catching up and reminiscing about Zim and lost friends. We've had a few meals together and Ziggy played guitar, jammin' good with Joel (do you see what I did there?) so Joel can't wait to see him again. Being in touch with old friends is always a real joy!

I've often wondered about many of our dear friends from Zim and how they're doing. We're in touch with a few through Facebook which is brilliant, but we hope and pray to get in touch with more. It's been such a blessing to share meals again with a dear friend whom we thought we would never get to see again and to now have the privilege of them joining the church is mind blowingly brilliant. Hopefully this will be the first of many

Something that has caused much hilarity at home and amongst some of our friends here, is the fact that I've been elected to chair the school's PA Board. I'm not sure how it happened but I think I may have been stitched up by a previous board member. The PA Board is our school's equivalent of the governors in a British school so it's pretty serious. Not bad for someone who was once a persistent truant!  Our first meeting is on Tuesday the 4th so please pray for me as I step into an unfamiliar role of Chairperson.

So plenty has been going on and I haven't even mentioned the many problems and battles we've faced. But somehow in the light of all the good that God is doing, most of that stuff seems to pale into insignificance.  With 10 months of the year left the really exciting thing is knowing that this is a year of God's favour and He's going to far more than we could ever imagine. Bring it on!

So what else has been going on?
I got to take Joel to see Bruce Springsteen live.  Having come very close to giving the tickets away I have to admit I was blown away by Springsteen's showmanship. The highlights were an amazing guitar solo by Springsteen, I didn't know he could play like that! Also he did a tribute to Pete Seeger who had died the day before, it was very moving. Joel simply loved the whole experience and has decided that one day he's going to be a rock star playing guitar on stage. He makes me very proud! Special thanks go to our dear friends who blessed us with the tickets. You know who you are.

Our garden is maturing nicely and the herb garden is prolific but our granadillas are in a totally different league as they've been going wild. We've had over 300 so far and it's been great to give so many away. Eli's turning into a great helper in the garden and is developing a love for it.

We've been blessed with a heat pump so we're hoping our 'leccy bills will plummet. I've only ever seen these things on Grand Designs and never thought we'd get such a fancy bit of kit, but we're very excited to have it.

I finally installed an awning over our patio area which has made for a great place to chill on the hot summer evenings. It's securely fastened to the wall via chains and turn-buckles so even in the strongest winds it's quite fine.  having done this one Saturday afternoon I was very pleased with myself.

Granadilla Season

Mon, 02/03/2014 - 14:35
Eli has just counted our haul of granadilla's from the last few days and the tally stands at 145.

The dining room smells divine!

Anyone got any granadilla recipes?

Sewer Inspection Update

Mon, 02/03/2014 - 09:36
After a couple of false starts the man from the municipality finally came to inspect the sewer pipe and concluded that they need to install a non-return valve on the streetside of the property. Sadly due to the extensive damage done by the floods last year the emergency budget is exhausted so he could give me no idea of when they will get around to doing the work.

Still, we've had a man out to inspect it and that alone feels like progress.

Sewer Inspection

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 12:52
Finally after two years of trying to get this issue sorted we've managed to get in touch with our local councillor who put us in touch with the right person at the municipality and they are coming to inspect our sewerage pipe on Friday morning.

During the flooding late last year and the usual heavy rains of 2012 & '13 we had the delight of sewage bubbling up in our bathroom. I was able to release the screws from the inspection cover very quickly which stopped the flow into the bathroom, directing it into the garden instead, leading to the discovery of all manner of unpleasant items in the garden.

This combined with the flash flood in November made for a very nervous few hours as we waited for the water to recede.

Please pray that the municipality will acknowledge the problem and resolve it ASAP, I really don't fancy another winter of having to pick up other peoples nappies and sanitary products.

New School Year

Wed, 01/15/2014 - 08:51
This morning saw the boys returning to school to commence Years 6 and 4 respectively and they do so with huge faith, hope and confidence. The holidays for them have been a time not only to rest and relax but also to do some thinking about this big year. We were quite surprised to find that both had set themselves goals for the year and for the first time ever both boys were looking forward to the return to school, albeit it for different reasons!

Joel has a brand new teacher whom we happen to know from years ago when we first came to South Africa. She is a committed Christian who upon hearing that she had got the job told us that she was going to “shower the class with love”. This is such music to our ears and we are thrilled at the way God has orchestrated this new situation for Joel and his peers. He faces big challenges this year but does so with great courage and a new self belief that has taken a year to restore.

Eli is also facing a big and very welcome change. His class size shrunk to 7 children last year and we were all concerned about its viability as 2 were definitely moving on at the end of 2013. Thankfully the school have taken the decision to merge Years 3 and 4 as a Form whilst continuing to teach the children at their respective levels. This now makes Eli one of the “big boys” for a change after years of always being the youngest and we believe this will do wonders for his self esteem and learning ability.

We're really excited for them both as they should have a great year!

Delia I Am Not!

Thu, 01/02/2014 - 14:34
Having read my mate Hazel's Christmas 2013 blog post I was inspired and encouraged to confess to my own shortcomings in the Christmas cake department.

Like Hazel I made two cakes, one came out very well (see left) and once it was iced etc. it went down a storm.

Sadly that's not the whole story though...
My second cake turned out to have a few flaws, not least of which was its height. Just as Hazel struggled to find any real help for real world problems so I failed to find any advice or warnings about the best height for a Christmas cake. In fairness I was limited by the available cake tins, we only have two. No worries, I pressed on.

Once baked, both cakes looked and smelt great. The extra brandy may have played a part in this. So having left it all a bit too late, I set about icing the cakes on Christmas eve. Yes there's plenty of trolls internet advice about this being way too late! The first cake went well. The marzipan was a dream and the icing followed nicely.

Sadly cake two was not quite so good. The marzipan started slipping down almost immediately and once the icing was added they seemed to collude in their southward drift. To add insult to injury the apricot jam and the egg white used for gluing the constituent parts together decided to join the southward drift. Nice!

The southward drift in all its glory!

Still, the boys seem to be enjoying it.

New Year's Day

Wed, 01/01/2014 - 11:02
I've not blogged about Palace for a long time so you'll have to excuse this post.  Though in reality it's not entirely about Palace.

It's exactly six years since I've been to a Palace game (see Palace Result - With A Difference) but what an occassion it was. I got to take Joel to his first ever match and he absolutely loved it! As a dad and a Palace fan it made for a very special afternoon for me and one I'll never forget

So what triggered the memory?  Well six years ago Palace played Norwich at home and this afternoon we have a repeat of the fixture, though sadly we have no repeat of our attendance.

Hopefully this time Palace will run out with all three points rather than the draw we had to settle for in 2008.

Blessing Jar

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 03:57
I'm not a journaling kind of person and keeping a diary of any kind is something I'm appallingly bad at, so when I came across the idea of a Blessing Jar late last year I thought it was a great idea and was determined to give it a go.

So here's how it works... each time you receive a blessing from God, no matter how big or small, no matter how important or trivial it may seem, you write it down and pop it into the blessing jar. Then at the end of the year you revisit the jar and the blessings it contains.

It really is that simple!
The joy of this is that there are so many blessings that you've completely forgotten about, and it is truly a joy to look back on the year and remember just how blessed you were. It's also a great reminder that God has us in the palm of his hands and he really does mean what he says in Matthew 6: "But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?"

Overall I'm quite pleased with my efforts. I tailed off in the latter part of the year but for a non-journaling kind of guy it's not a bad first attempt.

Some of the amazing blessings poured out by our awesome God into my life in 2013:
  • The first blessing of 2013 was three of our church members rocking up to our New Year's Day braai sober. This really blessed me.
  • On the 20th January I was tremendously blessed as I was appointed/anointed as the lead elder at Tree of Life. God is good!
  • I was blessed with a gift that allowed me to buy some new clothes. A rare treat.
  • We got to spend an afternoon with a wonderful couple called Lionel & Rose who prayed and prophesied over my family, especially my boys. What an amazing privilege this was!
  • At a leader's meeting in August I was thanked for trusting my leaders and giving them the freedom to grow. This made my heart soar!
  • I was privileged to deliver a food hamper to a family who had nothing because they had just had their pension stolen. God's timing is impeccable!
  • Whilst in Blighty we met a guy in McDonalds in Wimbledon who is battling with MS and the fallout from his wife leaving him because of it. It was a huge blessing to pray with him on a couple of occasions.
Here's my favourite from 2013:  The battery on my bakkie died and after battling to push it out of the garage my mate Rod suddenly rocked up and was able to help me jump start it.The blessing in this is that he had felt prompted by God to detour from his usual journey to work to come and help me. God is awesome!

There were many other blessings, but many of them were deeply personal so I'm not going to share them, but I will enjoy revisiting them again and again.

So I will definitely be doing this again in 2014.
The opened jar...

2014's Blessing Jar is ready for action

Are You Good Enough For Christmas?

Tue, 12/24/2013 - 14:31
I could just follow the crowd and wish you a Happy Christmas, but I don't want to do that.

Rather, I want to take a moment to think about what the Christmas story really is.

We all know that it's about God coming down and living amongst us, experiencing our pain, grief and joy, but there's so much more going on in the story.

Firstly, God allowed himself to be born into the weakest and most vulnerable form we know; a baby.  Also, God allowed himself to be born into poverty in a crappy stable. No-one was expecting him so no-one had thought to clean the stable.  As Proverbs 14:4 tells us: "Where there are no oxen, the manger is clean, but abundant crops come by the strength of the ox.". In other words, where there are oxen there's also crap to be dealt with. Let's not forget, the straw on the floor isn't there to make things cosy, it serves a real purpose!

Secondly, just after the visit of the Magi, Joseph was warned about Herod's plot and he fled with his family to Egypt. God became a homeless immigrant in a foreign land. I wonder how the British media might have reported on this?

Jeremiah 22:3 tells us that there are three groups of people we shouldn't mess with:  "the resident alien [immigrant] the fatherless, and the widow,".

Herein lies the real Christmas story; God came down to live amongst us, to live as the lowest of the low, to serve and ultimately to die a brutal death so that we might be reunited with our awesome creator.

No matter how bad we feel we may be, or how unacceptable others may think we are, Jesus still died on the cross for us. We are all worthy, we just have to respond by confessing with our mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in our hearts that God raised him from the dead, and we will be saved.

For "everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."Romans 10:13.

Happy Christmas!