Eli's Latest Bike Trick

Eli's only been riding for a week without the baby wheels but he's already keen to develop some new skills on the bike.

Awesome Healing Confirmed!

Every now and then God chooses to 'blow our socks off' by revealing something HUGE about Himself that thrills us to the core. This morning was one such time for us. Paula went to visit Maggie and to encourage her with a bit of Bible study. Before they could even sit down Maggie confirmed that she had been back to the Day Hospital for a second HIV re-test to confirm her healing. Wonderfully, she is now in possession of two pieces of paper. The first is dated 1 Feb 2010 and has HIV+ written on it. The second is dated 17 May 2010 and clearly states HIV-!!!! To top it off, she has put on 4.5 kg in a week and yet she still has next to no food in her house. God has done a mighty, mighty work in her life and she and Paula could not help but jump around her room and praise Him for His grace and mercy. Maggie truly is a changed woman - everything about her is transformed from her appearance to her hunger for more and more of God. Paula was able to listen to more of her life story and then to encourage her with various Bible passages. She was then thrilled to be able to pray for her to be baptised in the Holy Spirit. Her desire is to find a job next week that allows her to earn a bit of money but yet still allows time to reach out to the marginalised and the sick in her community - her whole outlook on life has been changed! Above all else she wants to really start living for the sake of her 3 young children still at home with her and to give them opportunities and a chance in life that, up to now, she has never had. As you would expect Maggie has many issues to face and huge challenges as a result of her life story, but she is ready and expectant and raring to go!

Our God is truly awesome!!

See Amazing Sunday & Awesome Healing! for our earlier post on this.

Joel Rides His Bike

Following hot on the heels of Eli learning to ride his bike (Eli Rides His Bike) without the baby wheels (as my boys disparagingly call the stabilisers) Joel has mastered riding too and needless to say is very proud of himself. As is his Dad! We're definitely a bike mad household now.
This morning we were welcoming Gerrit into eldership so we were expecting a really good meeting especially as Evan Rogers had been invited to lead the worship. There's never a dull or boring moment when Evan's leading!

Gerrit's ordination (if that's the right word) was great and it's a privilege to have guys like him leading the church. Charl, one of the elders from HCC came and gave a short teaching on eldership and then the various leaders of Grace laid hands on Gerrit and prayed for him and Sharon his excellent wife. All in all a great time and topped off with a great lunch at Daniel and Zelda's.

However, the real joy of the morning for us was Maggie's testimony. Maggie has been part of us for a few weeks now and we've seen an amazing transformation in her life as God's grace has got to work.  After she first came to church Paula visited her and Maggie really opened up and shared very deeply with her.  She has since testified publicly about how amazing it is for her to be part of a family who love and accept her for who she is.  She was also incredibly open with Paula about her HIV status and Paula was able to pray with her for healing a couple of times as well as give her practical help.  Just over a week ago Paula took Maggie and a few others through to a healing service at The Bay in Muizenberg. Patsy who had a stroke a few weeks ago went and she was miraculously healed so we were excited for Maggie. Anyway, long story short, Maggie had tested positive for HIV in February and was in quite a bad way by the time she came to Grace having lost lots of weight and looking terrible.  As a single parent of 3 boys under 12 (2 others having grown up and left) she has had to cope alone with the aftermath of her diagnosis and the whole rollercoaster of emotions that that brings.  After the healing service Paula encouraged Maggie to get retested and she did so on Thursday. Amazingly the doctors were unable to find any HIV in her so have asked her to get another test on Monday (tomorrow). PRAISE GOD! Maggie is HIV-NEGATIVE!!!!!!  For Paula, she has been believing God for such a testimony for almost 4 years now, how exciting is that!

If you need any more proof than that of the reality of our living God then you really need to get a life!

We are absolutely stunned by this amazing miracle by our amazing God!

Gerrit, Melvyn and Daniel, our three great elders

See full album here.

Weekend

Winter seems to have arrived early and with a vengeance! The rain over the last two and a bit weeks has been horrendous with only the odd day of calmer weather. Thankfully we missed the really bad storm as we were in Franschhoek which doesn't seem to suffer from the Northwester like we do here. It all makes us very glad that the woodburner is in and the wood arrived (see: Firewood below) as it's the only form of heating we have in the house.

Thankfully the weekend has given us a temporary lull in the rain with some nice sunny weather so we've got to make the most of it. On Saturday we introduced Hayden to the delights of the Nature Reserve where they all had a blast on the jungle gym, where Joel proudly showed his newly acquired skill of jumping off the swing (see video below). We then moved on to their other favourite in the reserve, the 'climbing tree' which they adore.

I started this post before church and some amazing stuff happened which needs a separate post, so more later.

Eli pushing Joel & Hayden


My gorgeous family!!!!


See full album here.

Firewood

Our winter wood pile arrived this afternoon so I'm well chuffed as we were running very low from last year's pile. We had enough left for the weekend (see the pile by Michael in the pic) but no more, so it all worked out quite nicely.

So, 1000 pieces of Bluegum were delivered (it's an alien species from Oz) and for the first time ever the delivery guys actually stacked the it for me which saved a few hours of tedium!

Look at the difference from two years ago: A Different Kind Of Weekend

Eli Rides His Bike

I've had the pleasure of teaching Eli to ride his bike without "baby wheels" (or stabilisers to you and me) this evening and from taking the baby wheels off to riding properly with the pedals on took him just 20 minutes. Needless to say Eli put his own style into it but regardless he's doing really well and Daddy is exceptionally proud of him! What a joy it is to teach your kids to ride their bikes. Hopefully this will be the spur Joel needs to finally get to grips with riding his bike.

Hope you enjoy the video of Eli riding in his own unique style and being followed by Hayden.
What a welcome and much needed break that was! Two glorious days in the stunning town of Franschhoek being thoroughly spoilt and enjoying every minute of it. More on all of that later but for now we hopee you might enjoy these two offerings seen in Franschhoek.







There's never enough time...

Notice Of Absence

We've gone AWOL for 48 hours sans enfant.

Cell phones off, computer off.....bliss!

Miles 4 Smiles

This morning we all went off to 'Miles 4 Smiles' which has become the school's annual fundraiser for Operation Smile, a charity raising money for cleft palate & lip operations.

The boys had a lot of fun riding around their circuit and Daddy joined in the fun with his Trail-a-Bike and ended up giving loads of the kids rides around the course. He definitely earnt a beer this afternoon!

Much to Dean's relief there was no parents bike race this year as he's not as fit as he was last year so he retains his undefeated status and escaped having to defend it this year. There was a 3 legged race but we managed to escape that one.

Daddy & Eli on the Trail-a-bike


Hayden got in on the act too


See more of last year's event:
Miles 4 Smiles
Miles 4 Smiles Assembly

Mother's Day

I was invited by my boys to school this morning for their annual Mother's Day celebrations!! The morning started off with lots of muffins and coffee and general chit chat amongst the mums before we were treated to a little concert by some of the children. Joel was fabulous as part of the Junior Choir and entertained us with three amusing songs. We also had chance to do a bit of karaoke with one of the form teachers to Abba songs!

After breakfast I joined Eli's class who had been practising some songs very hard all week - it was very sweet! Hayden managed to sit still through most of it too. Afterwards, Eli presented me with some works of art - isn't it amazing to see how I look through his eyes!! When they came from school Joel gave me a beautiful card and a handwritten page to stick on the fridge of personal thoughts about his mum. Long may such mummy worship continue I say!!



See the full photo album here.

Polling Day

Some pertinent advice for the big day.

Happy Birthday

We celebrated Hayden's 3rd birthday on Monday with a low-key birthday lunch. He had a great time and loves the little black bike we gave him as now he can charge around with Joel & Eli. As for them, they really enjoyed helping Hayden celebrate his birthday, but especially helping him to blow out the candles on his cake.

We're really grateful for the way that Joel & Eli have been so accepting of Hayden and very caring towards him too.

Dean had a really good meeting with the social worker the other day and was encouraged by the plan that is being put in place with a view to returning Hayden home at the end of the 90 day place of safety order. Please continue to pray that things would go well and he would be able to return home.

Blowing out the candles. Spittle covered cake anyone?


Hayden on the swings at Joel & Eli's school

Palace Result

I'd like to be able to give a proper match report but I could barely bring myself to sit by the computer to follow the live text updates from the Croydon Guardian and Sportinglife.

Palace needed a point to secure their status as a Championship (2nd Division) club whilst a win for Sheffield Wednesday would see them survive and Palace relegated. Thankfully Palace were able to hold on for a 2-2 draw earning the single point required.

Now the really hard work begins for Palace as we try to find a buyer before the start of next season, otherwise the penalty imposed by the Football League will be far harsher than the 10 point deduction suffered this term.

For all the moaners and scoffers out there, I should perhaps make clear that although Palace are in administration, we didn't choose that option, unlike Portsmouth who used it as the classic route to avoid the full obligations of debt. Palace were forced into administration by an agressive creditor which wanted their money before the Inland Revenue got theirs. Palace had a plan in place to service the debts but the loan sharks (there is no other way to describe Agilo) refused to wait. ironically their behaviour means they still haven't got their cash and now they'll never recover it all. What a bunch of idiots!

Click below for:
Match Report

Manager's Comments

Review of Final Day of Season

Ambrose celebrates his goal


Derry under pressure


Hart is mobbed whilst Irvine looks at the time


Palace faithful celebrate

Prayer Walk

After much to-ing and fro-ing between various bureaucratic offices and a false start last week, our much anticipate prayer walk went off without hitch this morning.

As a church we've been wanting to walk around Macassar and pray over the commuity but especially in the crime and drug hotspots, so today was the day.

Perfect weather allowed for a great walk and some good time praying into various issues affecting the community.  We may be a small crowd, but we were reminded of the 12 disciples simply being prepared to go and do what Jesus had taught them to do.  Please pray that God answers our prayers and that many will come and check the church out in the coming weeks.


Sunrise behind the Helderberg


Credit to Nigel and Charmaine for organising the walk and for dealing with all the bureaucratic nonsense.


Click here for the full album