Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Ancient codices found in Jordan

I read about this here, with thanks to Stephen Smuts. One of the greatest indications of the authenticity of Christianity is that in general Christians are really excited about new archeological discoveries. We do not feel the need to hide them in case they contradict all that we have preached. We are eager to investigate and learn more about the Bible and our history. God is not our invention. He exists without our help!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Long Weekend

We have a long weekend and we are going to the beach! The kids are busy packing the tents and camping equipment. My eldest daughter is sorting out food and kitchen stuff. At this point it's best if I stay out of the way! God is always good.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Wesley Guild

This photo is for all those who find my blog by doing a Google image search for Wesley Guild - especially for the uniform. The photo is from Facebook and I've blurred the faces.
The Wesley Guild uniform is white shirt, royal blue blazer, royal blue Wesley Guild tie with the 'One heart, one way' logo and black shoes. The men wear grey trousers while ladies have a royal blue skirt and beret. The ladies also wear stockings. The rule is no jewellery and no make-up.

While there used to be Wesley Guilds in all Methodist Churches in South Africa, they are usually only found in traditionally black churches now. Sometimes they are considered the youth component of the church, but one may only join the Wesley Guild after confirmation which is usually at about 16 years of age. There is no upper age limit to Wesley Guild membership. Young Methodists will often join the Wesley Guild as their 'first organisation' and then progress to the Young Men's Guild (YMG) or Young Women's Manyano (Izintombi) - although they will retain membership of the Wesley Guild. But this is not a rule - just what generally happens. When a woman marries she will join the Women's Manyano (or Mothers' Prayer and Service Union) and must leave the Young Women.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Heated

I had a long accidental session with one of my PhD supervisors today. Accidental because I was meeting with one of his colleagues who is helping me sort out my thoughts and he walked past and joined in. The discussion was great and useful, but I found myself 'losing it'. It felt like all my ideas were being trashed and I was drowning.
The thing is he wasn't listening to me - he didn't have the discussion document and he wasn't letting me get a word in. It was like trying to paint the blades of a windmill while it's working - slosh a bit of paint on every time the blade comes past.
Eventually, I think we worked around to what was my original idea - and it seems to be good. It is just frustrating that it took an hour to get to my starting point. Now I need to think through all the bits that were said and see what I can use to move on - because there was useful stuff said, it was just a bit random from my point of view!
Even if I don't get to doing a proposal soon (my supervisor is in no hurry!) I need to build a structure within which to read.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Take a risk and . . .

This statement (instruction, recommendation?) was made to me by our chaplain Pete Grassow: Take a risk and trust the seminary.
I just love it for all the possible meanings that it could have. Of course, it was said with good humour, so it shouldn't be heard with any sense of the dire!
What does it imply? About me, the seminary? Why did he need to say it? What does it say about the past, about the future? What was the context of the discussion? Why does it seem like it is ambiguous?

Monday, March 07, 2011

Having a well job

When I speak to a Zulu audience I tend to spontaneously mix in some Zulu as I go long. This morning speaking at Phakamisa I knew that I had the words wrong, but I also knew that it was almost right and I couldn't bring myself to switch to English. Driving away afterwards I became aware for the first time of how my broken Zulu must sound to real Zulu speakers. I could feel myself in the place of those who speak English as a second language and put together odd sentence constructions.
I figured out that while I was trying to say, 'he had a good job' I was telling the group that he had a 'well job'.
It keeps me humble and learning!

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Weekends are good

Just got back from our 5km run with my middle kids. Down Warwick Rd, across the river, up The Gentle Hill. Turn left at the T-junction and take the Way By the Wood. Enjoy the moderate uphill before hitting Pig Hill - 10 minutes of extreme up! And then the road that has no name and a near sprint down through The Plantation and back home.
I am breaking out the downward spiral of 'the nothingness of life' - helped by taking yesterday afternoon off and going sailing with a friend. After that my husband and I had a crazy candlelight meal at home while all the kids were at Youth.
I think my seminary programme is now settled - I was really afraid at the beginning of last week that they were going to place me in a community organisation for two days a week and I was feeling a bit desperate timewise, but it looks like all will be well. So in between household chores this morning I worked out a rough timetable for the next few weeks - which helps me feel more in control.
My focus will be on my PhD - so 15 or 16 hours a week go there. 10 hours on Greek. I've also allocated 2 hours a week to Zulu. 8 hours for other stuff that keeps coming up - seminary web page, contempory worship team, seminarian executive, fieldwork reflections and occasional things like sermons at seminary. There is also two to three hours a week for my community project (which IS Phakamisa). And lastly the 7 hours per week that is compulsory seminary activity such as chapel services.
I don't think it's going to be easy, but I think it will be ok. God is good!

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

The Nothingness of Life

I used this song in a sermon nearly a year ago. It speaks to me more than I'd like right now. It's by Matthew West.

This might hurt
It’s not safe
But I know that I’ve gotta make a change
I don’t care
If I break
At least I’ll be feeling something
‘Cause just ok
Is not enough
Help me fight through the nothingness of life

I don’t wanna go through the motions
I don’t wanna go one more day
Without Your all-consuming passion inside of me
I don’t wanna spend my whole life asking
What if I had given everything?
Instead of going through the motions