Monday, July 31, 2006

Preaching Theology

We had one of those rare opportunities to go to church and worship.

Visiting home (Carletonville) is always special, but more so having experienced a worship-service that offered insight, "meat" and great participation between preacher and congregation.

This is a "Thank you" to Kevin de Beer, the minister at Carletonville Methodist Church for the great work which he is doing there. It was wonderful to listen to his explanation of Jonah and how he made it applicable to our lives, and explained how it speaks about what is happening in the middle-East.

God bless you Kevin, and know that our prayers are with you as you faithfully follow God's will in a corner of our country that is not always remembered. You are special!

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Global warming

With summer on the way, here is something to think about.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Miracles of Community

This past Thursday we started on a 10-week journey, doing the Manna and Mercy programme. For those who are not familiar with this course, it is a striking course proclaiming God's work of reconciliation in a very broken world.

Here at the Glen, God is speaking to us again about COMMUNITY. Then, I watched a movie called "Crash" and I saw that COMMUNITY is not only spoken about in church, but is also something that Hollywood is aware of.

Switch on the news, and you find an obvious "LACK OF COMMUNITY" that results in strikes, war, discrimintation and all kinds of evil.

"Deus dixit!", Barth proclaimed. It is God who speaks, but speaking about what? Perhaps about being intentional in seeing my neighbour as my brother and sister.

That is hard to do. Being one of the victims of crime in our country, it is hard to even want to be in community. This is evident in my reaction to gunshots in the middle of the night, when without theological reflection I sometimes pray that the victims should hit their target. Perhaps the we will be able to sleep in peace?

God's miracle of community starts here, in my heart and in yours. Hopefully this miracle will grow to the extent that it captures Israel, Lebanon, Palestine, the States, Iraq, Africa...

Let us pray!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

A bit of a holiday diary

3 July – Car trouble

We left early on Monday morning. Matthew slept most of the way. Near Harrismith (about 300km’s into our journey), our car broke down. After waiting for over an hour, we were towed to Harrismith. Matthew enjoyed riding in a big truck – perhaps the highlight of his holiday. It turned out that our outer-CV loosened and damaged the driveshaft. They didn’t have the right spares in Harrismith and managed to patch it up, just so that it could last to Pretoria. We returned home.

4 July

Our mechanic in Pretoria fixed our car and we were soon on our way. Traveled safely.

5 July – The fit hit the shan.

At about 9pm, sewage started coming through the drainage system, overflowing into our bath. The toilet almost overflowed. At our flat, the ground floor consists of garages, followed by two floors of flats. Ours is on the first level. On calling the plumber, we came to the conclusion that the blockage was on the garage level. The garage underneath our flat belongs to an old oomie who is known for being a pain in the backside. He was fast asleep by the time the plumber arrived, but we managed to get hold of his garage-keys as well as permission from his daughter to work on the pipe. Problem – his car was still in the garage and she couldn’t find the keys. This car was shining from top to bottom – evidently polished at least once a week. The tires were even spotless. We had no choice. We opened the pipe and about 80 liters of raw sewage poured out on this man’s car. After fixing the blockage, I spent the rest of the night washing Mr Foster’s car laughing and gagging uncontrollably. I managed to see the last 5 minutes of the World Cup semi-finals.

6 July

I went to tell Mr Foster about last night’s event. He took it very graciously, but I could see his eyes mist up when I came to the part about his car’s baptism.

7 July

Today we went to uShaka Seaworld – one of our favourite outings when we are here. This is without doubt the best aquarium and theme park in South Africa. Overseas visitors must experience this place. Absolutely brilliant!

8 July

Went to Crockworld. Matthew loved it! Had supper with Natalie’s cousin Sergio, Janessa and their three boys. Supper almost didn’t happen as Scottburgh was plunged into darkness for about an hour at about 6pm. Looks like whatever Cape Town has is contagious.
9 July

We spent a lazy day on the beach.

10 July

Another lazy day on the beach. Our friends, Eric and Sheryl, Lee-Ann and Jan (and little Ethan) arrived. Eric recently had a knee-replacement. He fainted on the beach and we had to bring him back to their flat.

11 July – 17 July

Can’t remember much. Was sick in bed for a day. Had a good chat to God about ministry, a chat that always comes up when I’m on leave or on furlough. We will continue this conversation at a later time

Overall reflection:

It is very difficult to get away. I feel so conditioned to always introspect that I stand the danger of not enjoying the moment. The moments that I treasure are having uninterrupted conversations with my wife, playing rugby on the beach with my son and hearing him say “Thank you Mamma and Pappa take Matthew to sea” each time we returned to the flat from the beach.