Saturday, January 31, 2009

Living simply

Today we heard Andre Bothma speak on the topic "A Christian response to the global economic crisis". Andre is a member of our congregation, busy with his MBA, and from the content of his presentation, we can be sure to still hear a lot about his work in the business sector.

The crux of his talk: Live simply and simply live. The consumer culture which has gripped the world is a chronic disease, which strips people of their humanity while trying to find self in the objects of our desire. The projected "cure" for this disease is to put more money in everybody's pockets in order to stimulate the economy by spending. Isn't this like a drug addiction, hitting a low just to get to another high?

A long-term solution to this problem is not in empowering people to fall into debt again. The answer lies in living simply, not buying with money we don't have (sorry for the double negative). Living simply does not mean being frugal either. It is the choice to deny being a slave to our consumerism and overspending.

He concluded his talk with a simple exercise, which was a real eye-opener to me personally.

Draw up a list of 10 things which you enjoy doing. If you struggle to get 10 (as I did), it may mean that you are caught up with other things and not allowing yourself joy and life). Now draw up a list of things that occupy your time. Compare the two lists. Is there any way in which you can change your habits to start focussing on the things that are really important?

I'll expand on this post later. Gotta think some more about my prioritites.


Thursday, January 29, 2009

Our little Bono

Ok, Nathan has something of me in him. Seems like my love for U2 is even in my genes!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

What a day

It's bad enough to go for a Vasectomy, but if things couldn't get worse...

I ended up next to a guy who fell asleep as soon as I arrived and continued to snore for the rest of the day. What was to be a rustige morning, became more displeasing as neither my remote nor TV worked. Hence, no cricket.

Then a nurse who looked like the stereotypical "nurse from hell" walked into my room with a razor in her hand. Helga von Schoonenshaven.

Excuse me, but nobody, but nobody, not even Jessica Alba is allowed near those boys with any sharp object!

Then they wheeled my in and put me under.

Near the end of the procedure I started coughing and choking, because my stomach fluid leaked through my faulty stomach-valve and into my lungs. So, the surgeon had to hurry the second half of the procedure and then wake me.

As soon as my oxygen saturation was up, they knocked me out again and I woke up 4 hours later with an oxygen mask on my face.

Now I'm home, and pretty sore, especially when I cough (to get rid of the rest of the acid) and particularly where the doc rushed the job.

Luckily I'm sensitive to meds, so I now sleep often and see interesting things all around me. Tomorrow's sermon will be worth recording!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Going to hospital

Today I'll be going into hospital for a Vasectomy. Not a topic for discussion? Well, I promise not to go into the details.

What has been fascinating to me, is the psychological journey I've had to travel during the past few days. Although Natalie and I did not make this decision lightly, I've bee surprised to see how I am currently dealing with the "finality" of the event. I've had to deal with questions of my manly-identity. The reality of our carnal-identity, as described by Freud, is very real. And so, I had to travel to a place where I know that I am more than my biological functions or desires. Then there is the question: "What will I do if something happens to my wife and/or children? Would I want to re-marry and/or have more children?". This was a tough one, but I realize that I cannot live with the "what if's" of life. I have to deal with "what is", and my family are doing well and I wish them no harm. Besides, I could never "replace" my children with others, should something happen. I am not proposing that these are good answers, but these are my answers to myself and I am able to walk into the hospital today knowing that we (Natalie and I) are ready.

This event has come at a difficult time. I have just finished writing exams and have slumped into "post-studying depression". What is there in life when you come home after work, and having done all the meaningful family-things, not having to study? Eish. Call me a sucker, but this is bad! Writing books, articles etc. is not quite the same. I remember the slump after my doctorate. I know others experience it too, so for those engaged in studies which absorb your life: Beware! Perhaps I'll do a study on post-doctoral depression for my Masters. No, I'll do it for my other PhD. I first want to study the psychological profile of religious ministers. I suspect that many ministers are in the ministry because they are overcompensating for something that lacked in their childhood. But more about this later.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

A great Mac fix

I recently installed ClamXAV (an freeware anti-virus programme for Mac) and did a check. Surprise, surprise, I had a Trojan hiding on my iMac, named java.classloader. I then went to the directory and deleted the infected file. Sorry to all Windows users whom I may have infected.

I then did a drive-check, which, by the way sorts your Mac out if it is behaving funny, like ignoring drives, or if you're on blogger find the photo toolbar missing..

Here's how to do it:

Restart your Mac, press and hold Command and s

It will give you a whole lot of stats. When it is done, type in fsck -fy and enter.

It will take a few minutes to sort out your drive and fix all problems.

Once it says that you Mac is fixed, restart and "there you go!"

Saturday, January 10, 2009

George of the jungle

Our little Nathan loves the movie 'George of the jungle'. Here is his version of George crashing into a tree.

A very moving story of a child's conversation with God

All I can say is "WOW!"

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Starting the year with lots of energy (budgetted energy)

What is worse than writing exams at the end of the year? Answer: Writing exams at the beginning of the year. In the next two weeks I'll be writing the first leg of my Psych Honours exams. The difference between undergraduate and postgraduate psychology is substantial! There are a lot of symptoms, equasions, formulae and research methodologies to be studied.

This is not all that is going on.

We have had two funerals since the beginning of the year (Beryl is taking charge of the most recent one),
Celebrating our book becoming available,
Editing the Ethics textbook which should be published by the end of the year,
Submitted a research article last night,
Wrote a set of devotions for Disciplines 2010,
Writing a book on prayer during financial crisis,
Writing a book of Lenten devotions (long overdue),
Preparing a proposal for a paper which I plan to deliver at the Theological Society in June on Calvin's pneumatology and the African spirit-world,
Gathering notes for an article on leadership and ethics (due Oct),
Planning another book with Dion on the relationship between church and state...

I am looking forward to this year. I am excited about these projects. By the way, this is my hobby and I do not allow it to interfere with my pastoral responsibilities. Besides writing and studying I also enjoy cooking (will try out a few more Gordon Ramsey and Jamie Oliver recipes to add to my repertoire), riding my Vespa (Dion is Vicars on Vespa's still on? Maybe September?), playing with my boys and loving my wife (my family takes priority over all the other items).

At the stroke of midnight, announcing 1 January, I reminded myself that this is 2009 AD, 2009 the year of the Lord. This, to me, means that these plans are subject to God's approval and will be dedicated to God's glory.

Our new book

Our new book has arrived and is available at all Methodist Connexion stores. If you prefer to order by post, then please download the order form by clicking the following link:
Order here

This book is a collection of reflections by South African Methodists on some of the pressing theological questions asked in our time.

If you have a few bop (money) to spare, buy it as a gift for yourself. You're worth it!

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Taking a drive on another bike

Took my brother-in-law's Bashan 250 for a drive. It is no GS, but for R13000, the ride is smooth with a lot of power. It was nice to go a bit faster.

And guess what? I was riding merely along when I spotted an insect flying on the inside of my helmet. You guessed it - a bee. This time I flipped open the visor before it could do any damage.