Friday, December 30, 2011

Bible Reading

Last year, about this time I started a 'read the Bible in one year' programme - so how have I done? Actually, pretty well, although I'm not all the way through to the end. Somehow I have lost about six weeks during the course of the year! And I didn't notice, although there were many times that I had to double up readings. So somewhere along the line I didn't read and I didn't notice ???
In 2012 Stephen Murray is proposing reading through the Bible in the year on a blog. He is calling it 'honest Bible reading' and inviting participation, so here is a plug for his project.
I have felt for a while that we keep talking about finding God's will by studying the Bible in community and wrestling with contentious issues until we come to agreement but that we don't have fora to do this. I hope that Stephen's project might be a way in to this.
Find the blog at

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Yellow Table

I sorted out a bit of a work area today. Our house has a study with an outside door - a proper minister's study, where visitors can come and go without disturbing the family. The church work parties have left this room until last in their awesome efforts to fix up the house, but I really need to try and get myself into gear for the new year. So, I have cleared some of the stuff that we dumped here because we don't know where to put it. I have put in a little carpet on the bare concrete floor and put up a yellow trestle table left here by the church. I added a chair and my laptop and then spent a few minutes printing all the documents that have been emailed to me in the last three weeks. Now it looks like I am working!

Monday, December 26, 2011


Christmas marked my official beginning in my new station. I preached on Christmas Eve at Strandfontein Methodist Church and on Christmas Day at Wesley Mission in Lentegeur. These are the two societies of which I shall be part.
Strandfontein is on the edge of Mitchell's Plain and is a newish area. Lentegeur is in a older, more densely populated area. Both services were full and just about overflowing - a lot of curiosity to see the new minister, plus the usual attraction of the Christmas services! The Wesley building is a little bigger than Strandfontein. I guess they seat 150 to 200 people.
Both services were lively and felt good! I enjoyed the worship and the people seemed to respond well to me and my family.
The services were quite different to each other in some ways, but they both work for me. I am looking forward to getting involved.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Preparing to launch

Things are starting to wind up again. We now have ADSL installed - so I don't have that excuse not to blog! But I have managed to slow down enough that blogging seems like work. This is actually a good sign. It means that I have switched off enough to relax. I can feel that my batteries are starting to recharge - just in time as my first service is tomorrow night. But hopefully the week after Christmas will still be quiet.
I am looking forward to getting going - but I must admit that I have very little idea as to how to allocate my time. I know that I will work it out as I go along, but I have a tendency to get too busy that is exacerbated by a fear of being ineffective or of being bored. I also haven't managed to find myself a comfortable workspace at home - it always takes time and with many boxes of books still unpacked things are still a bit cluttered.
So the next ten days will be gritting my teeth and establishing some sort of routine and rhythm and plan for working - while, of course, the rest of the family is still on holiday!
But I am keen to get started and I'm not sure that there is anywhere I would rather be than here in 2012.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Country Bumpkins

We've sorted of had to admit that Mitchell's Plain is bigger than Pietermaritzburg! We find ourselves going around shopping centres saying 'oh wow, look what you can get here'. And there is more than one mall. The roads are big and wide. The only things we lack are Incredible Connection, (which we found that nearby in Somerset Mall as well as Dion Wired which we hadn't seen before) and we haven't found a good bookshop in Mitchell's Plain itself.
But then, of course, the beach is ten minutes away!
God is good.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Holiday Mode

We are very much in holiday mode and enjoying it! But one of our frustrations is lack of good internet access. The MTN data network seems to be very overloaded - sometimes we get on, other times we watch it downloading at 1Kb/s (very, very slow almost stopped.) We have applied for Telkom ADSL - hopefully conditions will then be more suitable for blogging!
Otherwise we are settling in well. The weather has improved and today has been beautiful. We had a good walk on an almost deserted beach this morning and then a swim.
I met with the society stewards of the two societies that are under my care last night. That was very cool! I am working with the Strandfontein and the Wesley Mission societies - but I am still technically on leave and I'm trying very hard to protect that, because I know I need the time to reset.
Everything is looking pretty good - we are grateful to God for all!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Still settling!

I am starting to think about the world beyond our immediate home, but only just!
Observations so far:
Cape weather is weird. Right now it looks like it is going to snow! The dogs are skulking around looking most put out.
The late evenings have us totally confused. We find ourselves eating supper when we would normally already be in bed. But we have to come right because our youngest is starting to look seriously sleep deprived.
I feel the cross-cultural nature of where we are staying far more than in Grahamstown where I was put in a Xhosa context. In Grahamstown, everyone shopped 'in town' and there was a total racial mix in most shopping areas. Here everyone is 'coloured'. Very few black people or Indian people and just one white family to be seen wherever we go.
The previously 'white' beaches are jam-packed with holiday makers, whereas our 'coloured' beaches are chill and relaxed.
But people are friendly and the house is warm. Curtains are starting to go up to help with the strange light.
God is good.

Friday, December 09, 2011

This is Cape Town

We have been in Cape Town for just over 24 hours. I  must admit that I am feeling exhausted. I don't know how many times over the last three months I have felt that I have nothing more to give and that I am all used up! But now, I hope, we get a few days to slow down.
We have spent our first night in Mitchells Plain - in a house that has just been revamped for us. It is very cool and the family and animals are happy. We just have to unpack gazillions of boxes!

Monday, December 05, 2011

Busy Moving

We are in the process of moving. People are carrying boxes out the house. Teenagers are armed with lists, ticking off every box and piece of furniture. The dogs, rabbits, birds and mouse are in the outside store room and patio.
Tomorrow night we will be camping in East London and the night after in Sedgefield. All being well we will be in Cape Town for Thursday night.
I don't have much head space for blogging right now - so I will catch up later!

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Bethlehemian Rhapsody

I've seen links to this all over, but it is cool. Even more cool if you actually know Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen! (Written by Mark Bradford and directed by Darla Robinson.)