Tuesday, September 30, 2008


So now it is official. I will be going to Shaw Memorial Church in Grahamstown next year. Well, at the end of this year. Now we can start seriously planning.
I love the thought of Grahamstown. A new place, a new way of being, new people to observe and learn from. But I think my husband is going to have a bit of a rough time being a single parent. I wish we could be together. The possibility is still there that we all move to Grahamstown, but I don't think it is very likely!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Technology in Church

Safely back from the Kruger Park and sort of wishing we were still there! I've read so many blog posts written by people who are struggling with reliable technology in church - and now I am one of them. Our church has a wonderful problem in that our building will not hold the number of people who want to come to the main morning service. While we wait for things to work out so that we can build, we are trying to maintain an overflow area and also a Cry Room. For both of these we need sound and video to be sent from the main sanctuary. What a mission, when it should be so easy!
So this week we had no sound to the Cry Room and we had to choose between video to the overflow or video to the cry room because only one power supply was working. Suppliers on the internet advertise this or that wonderful device - but when you actually want to get one they don't seem to exist.
However, people are using the overflow area and that does make it worthwhile. But what a painful process. I guess missionaries in days gone by braved wild animals and disease. Today we must brave technology and frustration!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Rhino and More

We landed in the Kruger Park this afternoon and have already seen some cool animals. Rhino and elephant in the road. A herd of buffalo near the road. Dwarf mongooses playing and even allowing themselves to be photographed. An owl in a tree. Warthog and giraffe close enough to count the hairs on their heads. Bushbuck, grey duikers, kudu, a gnu - all in a few hours.

Our problem is that it took us about an hour and a half to do the first 7km and then we needed to move smartly to get into camp before the gates shut. Tomorrow we can be as slow as we like! That's what holidays are for. And for realising how fast the children are growing up. And for just enjoying the company of family.

My daughter saw me on the computer and asked me if I was reading 'work emails'. I can't think of church stuff as work, it has always just been a way of life. I need to make that adjustment in my thinking though - because increasingly my kids see church as my 'work'. That is a real pity and I would have liked to avoid that. I hope that they can come to see church as primarily the community of Jesus' people and only secondarily the place where their mother works.

Now I am going to write one 'work' email, but then it's back to holiday mode!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Hooray A Break

We are going to the Kruger Park for a few days. To give our poor stressed out matric student daughter a break and also my poor stressed out matric teacher husband a break.
I think I might quite enjoy the break too!
Someone lent me 'Questions God Asks Us', by Trevor Hudson, so I will be taking that with me. And I bought myself 'Jingo' by Terry Pratchett.
It's going to be good!

Friday, September 19, 2008


Friday evening and I'm wondering why I'm struggling to focus. Irritated with myself. So much I want to do.
Then I realise that I am stressing - if only quietly to myself. Methodist Church Conference this weekend. Stationing for next year should be finalised. They have a great website http://www.mcsa-conference.org.za/. I keep hoping that the list of stations will suddenly appear there. Nothing I can do about anything. No point in worrying. I'm not worrying. But I can't focus.
Eldest daughter is at her Matric Dance. She was pretty stressed. I guess I'm worrying about her too. For no reason. She can look after herself. She's gone with a great young guy from church. But, one does worry.
Sometimes I do forget to have faith. Maybe more often than sometimes. Yet I do believe with some conviction that God is with me, with my daughter, with Conference.
He is so very good to me and my family. How can I forget to trust him?

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Sleeping Beauty Goes Ballistic

Long, long ago - well in June 2007 to be exact - I wrote a blog post which mentioned that I told the story of Sleeping Beauty to my son. It also had a link to a picture of Sleeping Beauty. The popularity of that particular picture meant that my blog stats went crazy as people picked up my blog in searches for the picture. I was getting over a 100 hits a day. I took off the link to the picture and used an uploaded one instead, and slowly the number of hits decreased. (Very few people seemed to be actually reading the post). Now, all of a sudden, Google is returning that post when people search for Sleeping Beauty - and returning the old picture link even though it has been gone for ages! This happened for a week, then calmed down and now it is growing again. So my blog looks increasingly popular - thank to web accelerators that preload pages without people clicking on them. The link is now to the blog archive, so if people do go there, they are actually presented with my discussion on a theological paper written by Dr Dion! The link is here, if anyone is interested.

Could Google rule the world?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Large Hadron Collider

With all the hype about the hadron collider I thought I would link to Dion's post about it. He has a link to a really cool rap on the collider. Apparently the career of the rap artist involved has taken off as a result of this rather odd production.

Thanks to Google for the image!

Monday, September 08, 2008

Iridium Flares

This looks like fun for people interested in astronomy and 'things in the sky'. Apparently, a few years ago the Iridium Corporation sent a whole bunch of communication satellites up into the sky. They orbit at quite low levels. As with all satellites, when the angle is right the sun reflects off them and we can see them from earth. Apparently, these flashes can be quite bright - brighter than Jupiter or Venus. Somebody, who obviously understands plenty of maths has created a website to predict these flares for a particular location. So if you're interested click on the link :http://www.heavens-above.com/. There is also info on comets and asteroids and more.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Enlisted Soldiers

I grew up with the RSV translation of the Bible and still many verses come to mind from that translation before the NIV words, although I use the NIV now. The other morning I picked up my RSV, because my NIV seemed too have wandered off somewhere, and read from there. This verse jumped out at me. 'No soldier on service gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to satisfy the one who enlisted him.' I had read the same passage the previous day in the NIV and the verse just went past me, so I got the NIV and looked it up. 'No one serving as a soldier gets involved in civilian affairs - he wants to please his commanding officer.'
The RSV packs a whole lot more punch - to me anyway.
On service - serving as : the first sounds more intentional than the second.
entangled - involved in: involved is good, entangled not good and stronger word.
aim - wants: the first word is goal driven, the second just slightly more than passive
satisfy - please: the first word gives the idea of achieving something, the second of just raising the stakes
one who enlisted him - commanding officer: the first implies a personal relationship, however slight. The second gives no idea of relationship.

I really like the RSV translation - because I like things to happen - I guess I'm not that passive. Which one is correct?

The Greek for On service - someone (male or female) active in war. (RSV better)
Entangled - no Strong's word. Lexicon offers entangle or involve!
Aim/wants - better to say 'in order that' (NIV better)
satisfy/please - to be agreeable (NIV probably better)
enlisted/ commanding - no Strong's word. Lexicon - one who got the army together. (RSV better).
So two points to NIV and two points to RSV!