Z is for Ω

At least it is in the Greek alphabet.

"I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End." Revelation 22:13. The Alpha and Omega, the beginning and end, outside of God there is nothing.

I try to live my life in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, though I know I often fail. This may be unappealing and a bit of a turn off if you don't profess a faith but I can't help that. I hear all the arguments for and against God and increasingly hear the vocal anti-Christian lobby of Dawkins et al and find myself even more convinced of my faith.

Y is for Yowza!

OK, so it's a bit tenuous but I'm still expressing my surprise at having completed the A To Z Blogging Challenge. Yes yes there's still Monday's post but that's already written and scheduled to post.

I've had a lot of fun doing it, I've met some great new cyber friends and visited some really good (and the odd strange) blogs. I'll definitely be doing it again.

One of the highlights for me has been the encouraging comments and hearing that one or two folk have been eagerly looking forward to see what the next letter would be about. I hope you've enjoyed it too.

X has to be for X-rays

Not that I'm passionate about these things but we've had our fair share of them done in our eight years in South Africa.

It all begins with chest x-rays for immigration to prove that one is clear of TB, which is a bit of a joke as the Western Cape has one of the world's highest prevalence rates of TB and some medics reckon that everyone living in the Cape carries TB.

W is for Walking The Dog.

One of my boys favourite activities has to be walking Rosie. We're pretty slack at it and don't walk her anywhere as much as we should but when we do it's a lot of fun.

Rosie adores being out and about, exploring the park, chasing the Ibis and Egrets and occasionally gets to play in the stream if it's been wet enough.

V is for Veteran Bloggers.

If you're visiting our blog for the first time or arrived via the Blogging From A To Z Challenge we'd like to welcome you to our little corner of the web.

We've really enjoyed running this blog over a few years. In fact if you take a look at our Archive you'll see that we've been blogging since the 10th of July 2004 when we were preparing to move to South Africa from Blighty. Back then the blog was called Adventures With God but we rebranded the blog a while back, see our About tab for more on this.

U is for Unicycling

Just because this is one of my passions doesn't mean I'm very good at it and trust me, I'm not! I do enjoy it though.

It all began many moons ago when I asked Paula for a unicycle for my 30th birthday. I was really into juggling and wanted to try something different. I was blessed with a DM Ringmaster and despite several attempts to ride it it got neglected and largely forgotten. Then in 1999 we went to All Nations for a year and one of the students had his giraffe uni there and with a few tips I decided to invest in learning to ride my Ringmaster.

*Update* Tree Of Life is now defunct

T is for Tree Of Life

It is a complete privilege to be leading Tree Of Life and especially to be leading it with such a great bunch of guys!

S is for Spiloxene Capensis

I've blogged about this flower a couple of times before here and here and still maintain that it's my all time favourite flower.

The Spiloxene Capensis is also known as the Painted Peacock Flower and is actually classed as a weed. I have to say it's a particularly stunning weed!

R is for Rosie

Our ever faithful guard dog and friend, she's half Rhodesian Ridgeback, half Border Collie, the latter part making her a very busy dog but she is beautiful!

She was named by Joel though he has no idea why he chose the name or where it came from.

Q is for Quarrelsome

Before I get myself into trouble let me state that my amazing wife is NOT a quarrelsome wife!

I've chosen Q for quarrelsome today to highlight some of my favourite verses in the bible, or perhaps I should be clearer and say that I'm highlighting some of the verses that I think are funny.

Proverbs 21 verse 19 is a great place to start: "Better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife." I love the humour of this one and so too did the psalmist as he put it in there twice, see 25:24!

Proverbs 27 verse 15 is also in there twice and is also quite amusing. "A quarrelsome wife is like the dripping of a leaky roof in a rainstorm;"

P is for Photoblog

You might not know, but we also have a photoblog. It's called Finnie's In Focus and can be found here.

I'm not as faithful at posting on it as I once was, due largely to the fact that my DSLR is very old and tired now and I rarely take it anywhere with me. I long to upgrade it but that remains a distant dream for now.

O is for Obrigado

Obrigado means Thanks in Portuguese

I first heard this word in Zimbabwe when we were working with a street kid centre in Harare. A few of the kids were from Mozambique so we regularly heard Portuguese being spoken by them.

One of the things that amazed me was despite how tough life had been for them either at home or on the streets these kids were very well mannered, always thanking people whenever something was done for them. They could certainly have taught many others a lesson or two in good manners.

N is for News

Like many, I'm more than a little addicted to the news and read as much as possible. I say read because I rarely watch the news these days because invariably when I do sit to watch it I've read more in depth about the top stories than I'm going to get from a newsreader's soundbite. When I do get to watch the news I'm guilty of watching that triumph of style over substance known as Sky News. Oh the shame!

M is for Macassar

Macassar is the town in which we serve the local church with Tree Of Life Church. We've been involved in Macassar for just over three years and love it. Most of our white friends here in Somerset West are horrified at the thought of us going into Macassar and very few white South Africans would dare to tread in such a place. The reality however is quite refreshing.

A bit of history...

L is for Local Church

This is one of my biggest passions, probably my biggest after my family.

I truly believe that the local church is the hope of the nations as without the local church the awesome news of Jesus will not be taken to the far corners of the globe.

K is for Kids, more specifically, my kids!

I love my kids, they truly are my pride and joy!

I'm blessed to have two great boys and even more blessed to have two boys who are so very very different. I believe the fact that they are so different is what makes them such good brothers and friends. They rarely compete with each other, they know what they're each good at and really support each other. They truly are a pleasure to be around.

J is for Juggling

One of my favourite things!

Juggling is great because it's really easy to learn and looks very cool, especially once you learn a few simple tricks.

I love to juggle with fire because people are easily impressed by this and I also love the diablo as again the basics are very easy and even the simplest tricks can wow an audience.

I is for Indecision

I simply can't decide what to post for I so I'll go away and think about it some more and hope that J might come along to rescue me.

This post is part of a series in the Blogging From A To Z Challenge, April 2012
H is for Hokkie

Here we are in 21st Century and still millions of South Africans live in hokkies or shacks. The root of Hokkie comes from the Afrikaans word hokkie which means kennel. So what we're saying here is that millions of South Africans live in what is often just a kennel and to be honest when I look at my dog's kennel I'm reminded that millions of South Africans live in a far worse off manner than she does.

Whilst blogging about my passions I seem to have had a few rants so here is a post dedicated to something I despise with a passion. I promise to be more positive for H!

Guinea fowl are the spawn of satan!

If you're one of those weird nut jobs that likes them I pity you.

My loathing of these hideous creatures stems from our time in Zimbabwe. Harry our landlord kept guinea fowl along with chickens and turkeys, each of which had the ability to be annoying. However, the guinea fowl took the prize for winding me up.

Family is one of my biggest passions!

There is nothing I wouldn't do for my family, I'd walk a million miles to help them out and protect them.

One of my frustrations with family is the perception that you cannot be a family until you have children. The church is particularly bad for this. We struggled with childlessness for 11½ years and so often in that time we were made to feel like we weren't a family simply because we didn't have children.

One of my passions is eating out which thankfully is shared by my amazing wife. We especially enjoy eating at a decent restaurant and our favourite local is Taste run by good friends Anton and ED, if you're in the area you must go!

As you may have noticed I'm using the Blogging From A To Z Challenge to blog about the things that I am passionate about.

One of my biggest passions is discipleship in the local church. In a secular sense we're talking about mentoring which basically means getting alongside folk and helping them to make positive choices in their lives and walking the walk with them through those choices. In the local church context it means doing just this but also helping them to know Jesus better by helping them grow in their faith and getting to know and understand the bible. 

C has to be for Crystal Palace!

My beloved football team.

One of the things I love when the England football team play is that for a while every English football fan gets to understand something of what it's like to be a Palace fan. The England team is full of potential and is not short on talent, they are capable of winning every game they play and yet they so often fail leaving the fans disappointed yet again.

B is for Bikes.

My bikes are important to me as I'm passionate about cycling and I'm really proud to have passed on a love of cycling to my boys.

I have to admit to not being sure how this happened but between the three of us we have six bikes, a trail-a-bike, a few frames and a mountain of spare parts lying around the place. I guess we ought to think about sorting it out and getting rid of a few bits but if truth be told we won't and the collection will just increase.

To start at the beginning is always a good thing and so here we are on April the first blogging the letter 'A'.

A is for A to Z Challenge.

For a bit more info on what this is about check out the website or go to the Facebook page.

I've decided to blog about the things that are dear to me so most of my friends will know what the letter C will be about, the rest of you will have to wait until the 3rd.