Adventures with God

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Bak 2 Skool

Wed, 01/21/2015 - 03:45
It's always a bitter sweet moment when the new school year begins.

I really need to get back into some kind of routine and crack on with stuff but I also love having my boys around day after day getting in the way, making too much noise and generally just messing up the place.

It's nice to have the freedom this morning to work in peace and quiet but I'm missing them already.

Both boys were excited this morning as they begin new grades with new teachers, though I think it's the thought of seeing their friends that truly excited them.

The Gathering's New Year's Braai 2015

Thu, 01/01/2015 - 13:30
We have been planning a braai for The Gathering on New Year’s Day for quite a while now but I don’t think any of us could have guessed just how significant today would be. The day dawned beautifully and quickly turned into the hottest, calmest day we have had in months – perfect for a braai. We had bought enough food to feed a small army, ordered a jumping castle for the children, tidied up the garden and had had a stern talking to Rosie dog to behave herself!!

What a day of fun we have had! One thing that is clear is that in a relatively short space of time we have grown into a family who love each other, like each other and who would do anything for one another – what a privilege! We haven’t heard so much laughter ringing out from our garden for a long time as children devised new ways to jump onto the jumping castle (yes really!); Ziggy fell out of the hammock(!) and the new Chairman of the Ministry of Eating was announced from amongst us!

Amongst the fun and laughter, fellowshipping and getting to know each other better we also knew that God had told us to take time today to perform a symbolic act of letting go of the past in order to move forward into all that He has for us this year. Michael Angier writes, “In order to embrace the new, we must release the old. A trapeze artist cannot swing from one bar to another without letting go. An important part of preparing for the New Year is to review the past year—to release it—and to learn from it”. As a result we had all collected various items we had relating to Tree of Life church and together we threw them on to our braai fire before using the ashes to cook our meat to eat – just as Elisha did in 1 Kings 19:21. This was quite an emotional time but very healing as we all gathered with one heart and mind, all filled with a desire to be released from the past and to move into all that God has for us. What a privilege to serve together and to lead this special bunch of people – The Gathering (International)!

Preparing to burn the past

Burning the past, especially old Tree of Life stuff

Laying the past to rest

This was very powerful as we symbolically burnt the past

Everyone burnt something

Ziggy overseeing Dean's braai skills

Ziggy showing how it should be done!

Ziggy with Rebecca, Yanko & Sarah

Grub up!

Mercy led us in the "ministry of eating"

Ziggy & Eli

Gloria & Chiko

Terance leading the charge onto the bouncy castle

Go Terance!

Merry Christmas

Thu, 12/25/2014 - 06:32

Wishing you all a very happy Christmas and a blessed New Year.

From all at The Gathering.

Joel At Busy Corner

Tue, 12/23/2014 - 15:42
Following Joel's school speech on homelessness and his challenge to his fellow learners to contribute deodorants for the homeless (See Local News), tonight was the night for Joel to go to Busy Corner and give them away.

Joel was thrilled to be able to give to those he's already met and it was great to know that they all had genuine needs. Some folk asked Joel if they could also take one for a friend or family member and Joel was very happy to let them.

It's been great for Joel to go on the streets regularly and to build relationships with some of the homeless folk and it definitely helps in identifying the genuinely needy. Our boy has such a big heart!

Joel giving away the deodorants

Joel with Spooky

Happy Birthday Eli!

Sun, 12/21/2014 - 04:17
Our beautiful, crazy little boy turns 9 today!

Nine years ago our Christmas was totally turned upside down by his unexpected arrival and today our little world-changer is still having that effect!

Happy birthday Eli


Ghosts Of Christmas Past

Mon, 12/15/2014 - 17:57
Having posted a picture on Facebook of Joel topping off our Christmas tree with the angel we thought it might be fun to revisit the ceremony from years gone by. Joel was too young to participate in 2004 and Christmas 2005 was a bit of a blur what with Eli's planned arrival, delayed arrival and eventual arrival on the 21st. Also we're missing a pic from 2010 as we were in Blighty with family that year.

It's fascinating seeing how Joel and Eli have grown over the years, in the early pics Joel stood on a chair, steps or was carried to put the angel on. In 2011 Joel had to let Eli do it for the first time and they've shared the duties ever since, though Eli missed this year's because he's away on karate camp.

Here's to many many more Christmases of topping the tree off with the angel!

Local News

Sun, 12/14/2014 - 03:44
Recently our blog was criticised by some fools people who claimed that all we did on here was post snippets from the local press, so today we thought we'd post a snippet from the local press so they could feel justified in their smugness criticisms.

So here's a snippet from our local rag about Joel and his school appeal in which he encouraged his fellow learners to bring in deodorants for the homeless which he's planning to give out over Christmas.

So proud of you Joel!

Thankful Thursdays

Fri, 11/14/2014 - 13:03
Having launched The Gathering a few weeks ago we've wanted to spend time working on the DNA of church and what it means for us in our daily lives.

So last night we gathered for an amazing time of praise and worship and then we launched our Thankful Thursdays Challenge.

Ask for nothing, 
Give thanks for everything!

It's really very simple. We give Thursdays over to thanking God. No prayer requests, no shopping lists, none of the usual directing God through our prayers. We simply thank God!

The bible is packed with commands, instructions and examples of giving thanks and in 1 Thessalonians 5 verse 18 we read: "give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus". Being thankful is part of God's will for our lives and yet so often we spend time grumbling and complaining when we just shouldn't.

Being thankful to God is a massive part of the DNA of The Gathering!

So here's the challenge...give thanks for all God has done in your life, give thanks for all He's doing in your life, give thanks for the tough stuff. Ask for nothing, no shopping list. We're aiming to make this a new habit in each of our lives, why don't you join us?

"Always giving thanks to God the Father for everything" Ephesians 5:20

Miss You Dad!

Fri, 11/07/2014 - 14:02
I miss my dad!

My dad died 30 years ago today when I was all of 18. He was only 55 but looked much older as he'd been battling MS for twelve years.

They say it gets easier over time but it doesn't. All you do is put your loved ones out of your mind as much as possible. The hole left in your heart after they depart is never really filled! 

 How many conversations do I wish I could have had with him. How much advice would I like to have asked of him. But more than anything, I wish he'd met Paula and my boys.

I don't have any decent pics of my dad but this is one of my favourites amongst the few that I do have. This was taken in 1953 whilst he was serving his National Service with the RAF at Biggin Hill.