Blessings and Shalom to all who visit this blog!
Monday, December 31, 2007
Blessings and Shalom to all who visit this blog!
Sunday, December 30, 2007
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
Monday, December 17, 2007
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Note what the Archbishop of York says
Comment from The Daily Telegraph (UK), 11 December
John Sentamu once again made us sit up
By Liz Hunt
John Sentamu is a world-class showman who is divinely inspired. To mark his enthronement at York Minster two years ago, he updated the feeding of the 5,000 by holding a picnic for 3,000, courtesy of M&S. Eight months later, he shaved his head, pitched a tent inside the minster and spent seven high-profile days fasting and praying. Not quite 40 days and nights wandering in a desert, I grant you, but it was the best a busy 21st-century archbishop could do to protest at the West's refusal to intervene in the bombing of Lebanon. This weekend, Dr Sentamu had his "money-changers in the temple" moment when a guest on BBC1's Andrew Marr Show. The Archbishop of York is a long-standing critic of Robert Mugabe, whom he describes as the "worst kind of racist dictator". His angry frustration with other African leaders who persist in supporting the Zimbabwean president emerged during a discussion about the EU-Africa Summit in Lisbon and Mugabe's controversial presence at it.
Suddenly, Sentamu whipped off his clerical collar. "As an Anglican, this is what I wear to identify myself, that I am a clergyman," he announced. With a dramatic flourish, he started to cut the collar into pieces with a pair of scissors that just happened to be handy. "Do you know what Mugabe has done?" he continued. "He has taken people's identity and literally, if you don't mind, cut it to pieces. So, as far as I am concerned, from now on I am not going to wear a dog-collar until Mugabe has gone." Some have dismissed it as an organised stunt (although Marr certainly looked startled); others say it was typical of the flamboyant former Ugandan high court judge who now holds the second highest office in the Church of England. It matters not to Sentamu what others think. He got the headlines he wanted: he always does. Attention was once again focused on the horrors endured by his fellow Africans whose homeland has been turned, in his words, "from a bread basket to a basket case", and whose lives and livelihoods have been destroyed by a shameless despot.
As I watched Sentamu, I wondered if Gordon Brown was watching, too, and what he might be thinking. His decision to boycott the EU meeting because Mugabe - despite a Europe-wide travel ban against him - would be there had, to some, seemed admirable. But German Chancellor Angela Merkel's spirited attack on Mugabe's human rights record had left the absent PM looking a bit of a wimp. Now, here was further humiliation, albeit unintentional, at the hands of a clergyman who preferred to speak out against Mugabe rather than register a silent protest. Dr Sentamu certainly knows a tyrant when he sees one. He survived savage beatings under Idi Amin in the 1970s after defying him on several occasions, once jailing 10 suspects whom he knew to be innocent to save them from being murdered by the president's thugs. He quit Uganda in 1974 after gaining a place at Cambridge to read theology, and since his ordination in 1979 has risen through the church hierarchy, his ebullience, humour and tendency to speak his mind undiminished by the gravitas attached to his position. Sentamu is now an accomplished media performer who never wastes a sound-bite or photo-opportunity. It would be wrong to say that he acts or speaks first and thinks later - he is too clever for that. But he is a man of instinct. Those instincts are rooted in principle and when he speaks it is with the absolute moral authority of a leader. Many are wary of him - his charisma does not sit easily with the Church's preference for monochrome clergy - but in truth there could be no better ambassador.
Monday, December 10, 2007
It's a double celebration, as Ian celebrates his 27th birthday today. Thank you for being a wonderful son, a tremendous brother, and a great guy to have around. We love you, appreciate you, and always enjoy your particular brand of humour. Be always blessed!
Sunday, December 9, 2007
- having a caesar under general anaesthetic, then waiting in a semi-comatose state to hear if the baby was born alive
- driving through the Transkei in the evening, returning from a shopping trip to a town 11/2 hours away, and having your toddlers jump up and down on the back seat singing 'bumpy road, bumpy road, bumpy road' – before there were such things as safety belts for kids
- watching your 6 year old, who has been petrified of heights since birth, doing gymnastic manoeuvers on the high bar during a competition
- watching blood pour from wounds under the chin and over the eye-brow of your young children after various playground accidents
- having someone else's parents bring your child home early from a hockey match because he has fallen on his shoulder and snapped his collar-bone – this before cell-phones were the norm
- seeing a tackle from the wrong side end up with a hockey stick in your son's face, blood pouring all over the field, and the first-aider on duty yelling at you not to touch the injury because of the possibility of HIV, and you're not wearing rubber gloves
- letting your teenager take the car out on his own immediately after passing his driver's license
- having a blow out in the rear left tyre on the freeway when your 20year old is driving the 'combi' with seven people on board - and the car didn't roll but was brought to a smooth halt!
- hearing that your Intern son has had a needle-stick while sewing up an HIV patient
- saying 'bye' to your son who is driving down to the Eastern Cape on his own in a car stuffed full of his life's possessions
- driving over Van Reenen's pass in torrential rain, at night, with lots of trucks on the road – less scary if you yourself are driving and not someone else
- having your son drive in parking-lot type traffic with others taking chances in changing lanes – and have his father make comments, suggestions and warnings from the back seat, increasing the levels of irritation
- driving down the very steep, rocky road, hairpin bends at the top of the Sani Pass, and not be very au fait with how to co-operate with the ABS, TCS etc systems of your 4x4 vehicle when you get into a slide
There are many more of these, but the bottom line is that the level of scariness is directly proportional to one's ability to be in control of all factors. I guess that makes me a control freak?
Friday, November 23, 2007
Perhaps we can get together for a feast?!
Friday, November 16, 2007
Eugene (the missionary we support in Mocambique) was telling us how well the Ndau version of the Jesus Film was being received and understood in the region in which he ministers (compared to the Shona version - Shona being a related language). After a showing of the film and time of ministry with the leaders in the area, one man expressed his desire to give his life to the Lord but said that he was in the process of taking a third wife, and wanted to know how this would affect his decision. Eugene asked why he was acquiring another wife, to which he replied that his first wife was getting old, his second wife had children, and so he needed another wife to work in the fields. Eugene then asked why he didn't just hire a worker - to which there was a stunned silence. And then the elders started laughing - and then Eugene said he 'clicked', and expressed what was not being said by the others: it wasn't about having someone to work in the fields - it was about having sex. Typical fallen humanity - trying to cover up the real issue at hand with something that seems more acceptable or reasonable.
I learned the other day that donkeys are very territorial and will defend their territory and all that is connected to it 'viciously'. Thus, one of the cheapest and most effective ways of defending one's sheep from predators like caracal or jackal is to have a donkey with the flock. Some farmers put out dogfood pellets for the jackal - which helps of course to prevent them from tring to feed off the flock. And this is better than shooting them out - which in turn would cause an increase in caracal attacks, because the caracal prey on the jackal. A seemingly simple way of keeping the balance and succeeding in a farming venture.
Another agricultural 'trick' - this time with a pest like the stalk-borer that is the bane of any mealie farmer's life - is to use a sort of 'push-pull' system, in which a plant which repels stalk-borer is planted between the rows of mealies, and a plant that would attract stalk-borer is planted on the perimeter. The mealies are happy, the stalk-borers are happy, and of course the farmer is happy - and the consumers would also be happy to not pay for imported maize.
Have we become so technically minded that we are no longer able to think of simple solutions?
Do we, perhaps, imagine that the simple solutions are not good enough - much like the lady who asked if she wanted a local anaesthetic before having her tooth filled said indignantly that she would prefer the international kind!? Do we think that we have to go to great expense in our endeavours to overcome difficulties in life? With all the visual media and aids to understanding that are available to us - are we perhaps forgetting how to really think? I wonder!
Monday, November 12, 2007
This picture was taken when he visited Ian towards the end of Ian's Internship year (2005)
Then another week visiting brother Allan in Somerset West. Allan and Paul seen here together on Christmas Day 2006, just before Allan left to commence his Internship in Uitenhage - from whence he has transferred to Somerset West.
And now, after a week of planning and booking, off to visit cousin Nicky in Edinburgh along with her two children, Matthew and Lucia - pictured here with Paul. He'll be there for 3+ weeks - visiting other friends and family as well, and fitting in a Haggis Tour of Scotland too. What has actually caused of the recurrence of my itchy feet is that I have been doing some of the bookings - and I am not travelling anywhere - and my system feels that that is a great injustice! Since I last went overseas with Paul on a soccer tour to England at the end of his Gr.7 year, travel seems to have become even easier. Booking and making payments of International and local flights and tours via the Internet from the convenience of the computer corner at home - and printing the various tickets straight away; no more booking of and waiting for traveler's cheques - just get an International Travel Card for a mere cost of R50, load it up with foreign currency from your account and off you go - a great saving in bank costs; even London transport options can be explored and maps printed out in advance - so he already is at ease concerning how to get from Heathrow to Gatwick.
I'm going to have to do some serious thinking about travel plans for myself. I did go to Mozambique with the Outreach Team for two weeks in July, and I spent a week with a very close friend in Barberton. But does that count as travel? - no, not really - hmmmm!!
If Moses had demanded cash, perhaps the journey through the wilderness would have been differently recorded?
From The Financial Gazette, 8 November
Governor: Why we believed n'anga
Clemence Manyukwe, Staff Reporter
A senior government official has revealed why government officials ignored advice that a rock could not produce refined diesel. A strong belief in spirit mediums convinced top officials, including members of the Presidium to authorise expenditure of $5 billion in taxpayers' money on a woman who claimed to have powers to cause diesel to flow from a rock. The advice was given by a number of people, including Cabinet ministers, who had expressed scepticism over Nomatter Tagarira's claims, that she could induce diesel from a rock at Muningwa hills in Chinhoyi by pointing her "sacred stick" at it. The Financial Gazette established this week that police have recovered $3 billion of the $5 billion that government paid to Tagarira alias Mavhunga alias Sekuru Dombo. In an interview yesterday, Mashonaland West governor Nelson Samkange, who is believed to have been one of a group of senior officials involved in selling the diesel story to President Robert Mugabe, confirmed that advice for the government to proceed with caution were ignored. "There are reasons (why the advice was ignored). The government and the President believe in African culture, we believe in spirit mediums. She said the diesel was coming from our ancestors, so we had to pursue it," said Samkange. "The second reason is the current fuel problems. If we had not pursued it, she was going to blame the government."
The other reason was that in the initial stages, those who were sent to collect samples from Tagarira came back with "pure diesel", but it later turned out that the fuel was not coming from the rock. Instead, it emerged that diesel bought from truck drivers was poured into a tank rigged with pipes, from which Tagarira drew the fuel, thus duping government officials into believing that it flowed from a sacred rock. Samkange said if prosecutors asked him to be a state witness in Tagarira's trial, he would be keen to testify against her as she had taken the government for a ride. In addition to the $5 billion the government also gave Tagarira a farm, a farmhouse and food among other rewards. Court documents seen by The Financial Gazette this week show that police had recovered $3 billion of the amount showered on the n'anga. On Tuesday, Tagarira appeared at Chinhoyi magistrates court and was remanded in custody. Resplendent in new prison garb – distinguishing her from other detainees – she seemed crippled with fear as she walked into court. She faces charges under the Criminal Law (Codification Reform) Act for fraud or alternatively, for being a "criminal nuisance." The state says in court papers that as a result of the misrepresentation by the accused, national interests were compromised, resulting in human and material resources being wasted.
Sunday, November 4, 2007
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Saturday, October 27, 2007
When will our nation, and the various sectors of our nation, begin to take responsibility, stop blaming or forcing fouls, grab the ball (as it were) instead of booting it around without making a difference, pass to team mates (those on the same responsible side), break through the opposition, and run full tilt into the future that is there for us to embrace?
Or did we lose, really?
God help us - you're the only one who can.
Thursday, October 18, 2007
What has happened to the one hope to which all have been called - one Lord, one faith, one baptism - one God and Father of all (Ephesians 4:4-6)?
or perhaps I shouldn't ask?
Monday, October 15, 2007
Friday, October 12, 2007
It's a bummer if you are a 22year old 3rd year going into 4th year electronic engineering student, who needs to write or use a computer keyboard a lot, and who needs to put together circuits and things that require accurate, fine motor skills.
Medication is not helpful. Botox injections may help. Occupational therapy could help develop the other hand and arm. Any advantages? - depends on your mindset:
- develop the other side of your brain
- develop patience and forbearance
- develop creative ways of dealing with frustration
- investigate the best buys in small keyboards that will fit the span of the other hand - to prevent shoulder and arm stress in that other arm
- invent cunning devices that will help make life easier for other sufferers
- gives non-sufferers the opportunity to say "There but for the grace of God go I"
Some things our children have to negotiate through themselves in life.
We can stand by and encourage and pray.
Tuesday, October 9, 2007
Tuesday, October 2, 2007
Monday, September 24, 2007
Saturday, September 22, 2007
Monday, September 17, 2007
Tribute to our Aunt Sue Reeves-Moore
(Memorial Service held on 6 September 2007)
Sue Reeves-Moore married my mother's brother Lt. Col. Robert Reeves-Moore in ~1948., thus entering a family of nieces and nephews, which grew in numbers over the years, now to 3rd and 4th generations!! She was very friendly with my mother Elaine Arkell, and Meg Spiers, sisters of Uncle Robert. On our side of the family she became known by the fun nickname of “Aunty Cheeks'.
Cheeks was a most gracious, loving and caring lady, greatly loved by all of us. She loved to have the little children with her while the parents were occupied elsewhere. She entertained them without spoiling them, and so very often took them to the Zoo in Johannesburg, near her home. She would talk to them about the animals and birds, as well as stories of the trees and flowers, not to forget the butterflies, bees and little insects, and the colour-changing chameleons. It was always her plea when parents came to fetch them “You will bring them again, will you not?” As the children grew older many of them spent holidays with her and Uncle Robbie. Such holidays remembered with great joy and sparkling eyes to this day. Times spent on the miniature farm in Sandown where chincillas were bred and fancy, exotic pigeons never to be forgotten.
“Cheeks” was a great lover of nature. The trees, flowers, beautiful birds – no; all birds even the humble sparrows – and the way they made their nests, fed their young amazed her. All insects intrigued her. One day she picked up a wee insect the size of a pinhead, and exclaimed “Runa just look at this creature. It has lungs,heart, digestive and reproductive system. It has eyes, ears and wings. What a very wonderful creative God we have, who loves and cares for all His creatures. The glorious ecosystem where everything in creating depends on another for survival”. She found all this quite awesome, and loved to pour through all my books on creation, nature and evolution when she spent weeks or weekends with me. Seasons that come and go in rhythm, nature awakening in their correct sequence always made her exclaim or call out in wonderment.
Ballet and Operas we attended always delighted her, and admired the artist's performance, showing her appreciation, and never critical.
Cheeks was very family conscious, visited her brothers and sisters regularly and enjoyed family gatherings, When they were ill cared for them and gave freely of herself in whichever way was needed, in a humble loving way until they died. In the same way cared for and nursed Uncle Robbie, who became extremely ill until he died, having to be hospitalized for a short period of time where she stayed with him. She and Uncle Robbie were a very devoted and loving couple, who loved and praised God regularly for their life, and for His mercy and care, especially thanking Him for their place of worship “St. Martins in the Veld” in Rosebank; for all the clergy and caregivers who attended them during Uncle Robbie's invalid days. She was always grateful for the care and concern afforded her by the Rev John Main during her first year of widowhood.
Eventually time arrived when she no longer could remain in her lovely Killarney flat. Her brother had become frail and was in a care centre in a Retirement Village, having lived in the same block of flats for many years as she and uncle Robbie.
By wonderful insight and inspiration led by the Holy Spirit, Ned, my son-in-law, found a cottage which was newly vacated in Serene Park Garsfontein where his mother resided. He fetched Cheeks to view it. As you may imagine she was thrilled and gladly accepted. This being the beginning of her new life in an area of care and protection. My friend Fancis and I managed to drive over regularly on a Sunday to visit and take her to a restaurant nearby, which she enjoyed going to. Of all the wonderful desserts to choose from it was always Ice Cream and Chocolate Sauce!! This continued until she became frail and no longer – only a few months ago – to taken to this special place she loved. Instead Beryl took her home where she could rest, and yet be with the family and enjoy their news of their activities.
I am more than grateful that Andrew, my grand-son, and I went to visit her in the frailcare the Sunday before she died. She was so pleased to see us, although very weak wanted to know about the family.
Sue Reeves-Moore - “Cheeks” was a real lady, very precious, always well groomed. She was gracious, humble and loving. A wonderful example to all of us. May we follow in her footsteps.
Having now joined her much loved “Bunny” as she called Uncle Robbie, may she rest in peace and Light Perpetual shine upon her.
Selected photos of those who were present. Friends from Serene Park and Ned's side of the family were also present, but I have loaded only those related to Aunty Cheeks and Uncle Robbie.
Members from the Light Horse Regiment from L to R: Capt. Janzen, Acting Commander of the Regiment); Mr. Girling, Chairman of the LHR Association; Sergeant-Major Gardener. Richard Donkin is in the background carrying a cup of tea! Capt Janzen and S-M Gardener were both pall-bearers along with Ned Donkin, Ian Donkin, Nigel Hendrikz, and Gary Evangelides (Brenda's husband). SM Gardener was one of the pall-bearers at Uncle Robbie's funeral in 1979. The family was really touched that they were present to represent the Regiment, and that they remembered Aunty Cheeks.
Catherine (Beryl's friend), Nigel Hendrikz, Beryl Donkin
Carmen Hendrikz, Keith Arkell, Ian Donkin standing, Rosemary Arkell.
L to R: Nigel, 'Honey' (Runa), Carmen.
Nieces from Aunty Cheeks/ Sue's own side: L to R: Debbie, Brenda Evangelides, Alison, Candice Evangelides, & Gary (Brenda's husband)
The Funeral Service was held on Thursday 6 September 2007 at the Wesleyan Church, attached to Serene Park Retirement Centre, at 11h00. Rev. Stanley presided.