Showing posts with label blessed. Show all posts
Showing posts with label blessed. Show all posts

Life

We're in the countdown for our trip to Blighty, and life just seems to get busier & busier.

In the midst of preparing for our trip, we're still juggling life and having to make some plans for the future, especially regarding my health.

We're really excited to be coming back to Blighty for a month, it means we'll miss a month of winter here, but most importantly, it means we'll get to spend time with Eli, having not seen him for over 18 months!

Having recently qualified as a Chaplain, it was a great honour and privilege to have been ordained as a Community Chaplain with SAFReC, the South African First Responder Chaplaincy.

Paula & I flew to Jo'burg on Friday for the Ordination which was conducted as part of their AGM.

I guess the reality and impact, or potential impact of this is still sinking in, but getting involved is an exciting prospect, and I'm particularly keen to see what doors may open in the coming weeks, months and years.

After six years and Covid, we're finally returning to conduct some of our Roadshows (see details in the image).

We will send out more detailed information for each Roadshow and church visit nearer the time, but in the meantime please make a date in your diary and we hope to see you very soon.

Firewood

Once again I'm ridiculously excited to get our winter wood pile sorted.  The fact that they deliver & stack the wood is an added bonus.

Here we have 1000 pieces of bluegum, which should see us through winter quite nicely as they disappear in to the wood-burning stove, our only source of heating in the house.

Why a Testimony Sunday?
Why give a Gathering over to hearing what people have to say?

Scripture is rich in God’s people sharing testimony of what God has done and what God is doing in the lives of His people.

Making Soup

Making the soup for The Gathering's weekly Soup Kitchen is (and has been for a long time) my happy place.

I really enjoy every aspect of it, and love the fact that I can pretty much switch off and just let the process unfold.

Like most government run institutions in South Africa, the health service is very badly broken and on its knees, to the point that it's best avoided at all costs (treasure and fight for the NHS!).

Even trying to get our daughter's wisdom teeth seen to has been a nightmare and not an experience we would be keen to repeat any time soon!

Five years ago today, after much encouragement & cajoling, I overcame my fears and anxiety and walked in to what was then CEY Boxing Gym (now Knockout Centre).

I had decided late in 2018, that after almost ten years of doing no exercise, and with a number of health red flags which were beginning to concern me, it was time to make some changes and get fit.

After the joy of our three Christmas Specials at The Gathering's weekly Soup Kitchen, it's great to be back to the joy of our normal Soup Kitchen, replete with loadshedding.

Butternut is back in season locally, so it was a case of prepping and chopping 18kgs of them to make one hundred litres of delicious home-made soup.

One of the many joys in leading church, is watching the ebb & flow of church life, and how some people are planted in for the long haul whilst others are with you for just a short time.

Today at The Gathering we had the privilege of sending Delena (& her husband John) off in prayer (we prayed our best prayers), and love to begin a new life in the Eastern Cape in a town called Buffels Vlei. 

2023 was another good year for reading, though I read fewer books than in 2022 (I fell short by four books).

Oddly enough, my favourite books of the year were the final four, consisting of: Russia by Antony Beevor, Conspiracy to Murder by Linda Melvern, Iran by Michael Axworthy and the most excellent Embracing Defeat by John Dower.

The Gathering has been supporting two local Soup Kitchens in nearby Macassar for over two years now, and we've built up a great relationship with Beatty and Mercia who run them from their homes.

So at least once a month I get the joy of delivering a load of food to each of them, and I have to say that it is a real privilege and a blessing to be working with them, supporting them and providing for them.

We were quite amazed but very blessed to receive a solitary Christmas card this year, but then we looked at the envelope and realised it was posted on the 16th of December last year!

And yet, somehow it has managed to sneak its way through a very broken South African postal system (to call it a service would be to overplay its abilities), and even managed to get redirected from the Somerset West post office to our address in Strand. An impressive feat given the state of the post office.

Rescued Rocks

Recently I dug out a bit of the garden to make a new flower bed, and I was very happy with the result (see Percy Thrower, I Am Not).

A week later on a walk with Daisy, I noticed the municipality had dug up a bit of land, and had left a pile of rubble awaiting collection for the landfill.

We were thoroughly blessed at our first Festive Soup Kitchen on Thursday, as Joel came along to photograph the event for us.

As ever, his photographs are truly stunning and he perfectly captured the heart and essence of The Gathering's Soup Kitchen.

Things are getting exciting at The Gathering as we prepare for our three festive Soup Kitchens, beginning tomorrow.

We'll be serving 200 litres of home made Pea & Ham Soup. As well as serving our regulars with the usual packet of instant noodles, each recipient will receive a yummy home baked cookie, and the school age kids will each get a goodie bag containing a few school supplies together with a some sweets.

Between the Old and New Testaments there is a 400 year gap in which the voice of God was not heard.

It must have been tough for the Hebrews to carry on in their worship with no sign of life from God.

Then the Angel Gabriel spoke to Mary and the silence was broken.

Suddenly, for those who were listening, life was full and rich with the blessings of God, and where religion may have been dry and dusty it was swept through with the awesome grace of the living God.

Fetching Water

The story of The Gathering's weekly Soup Kitchen is a long and varied one, and over the eight years that we've been running it, we have had some interesting issues and obstacles to deal with and overcome.

Today's particular obstacle was perhaps the strangest to overcome... 

The water in Firgrove had been off since 6pm the previous night and it still wasn't on at 11am when I needed 100 litres of water to get ready making the soup.

Starting today, I have challenged The Gathering to join together in reading a chapter of Luke each day, so on Christmas morning we'll know exactly what Christmas is all about and will be keeping Christ in Christmas..

Why not join us too..

Meatoplasty

In answer to a few questions...

On Monday I underwent minor surgery on my ears, the procedure was an ear meatoplasty, which in simple terms involved the surgeon removing part of the meatus in the opening to the ear canal.

For several years now I've been battling with my hearing, especially in situations with a lot of ambient noise, but also recurring ear infections that were driving me insane. 

I went to see the supposed top local ENT surgeon a few years ago, but for whatever reasons he wouldn't listen to me and said I just needed the build up of wax removing. In essence he made me feel pretty stupid.