It's all too easy to be a bit negative about the current situation, and to be honest that is quite often my default position, but there is also much to be thankful for.

This Sunday was a great example of something to be thankful for!

Sundays are for church, or at least they always used to be before the lockdown, but this left The Gathering with a bit of a headache.

Most of our pastor friends and churches we know were quite excited about their online churches which would be happening in place of their regular gatherings, and I have to admit to feeling pleased for them and a touch jealous.

For The Gathering doing online church via live streams just isn't a viable option as most of our members don't enjoy the privileges of a fixed broadband internet connection, rather, they buy data in 20mb or 50mb bundles which are never going to allow for following a live stream.

I said in Thursday's post that I would talk about exercise, so here it is a day later than planned...

As I said on Thursday, the frustrating part of the Police Minister's statement is not so much the ban on booze sales but the ban on being able to go out for any form of exercise. I had planned to go out for a 5k run every other day, but will now have to settle for running around the house. Thankfully we're blessed with a big garden and setting out a running track around the house will be an easy pleasure.

We had planned on doing a certain amount of fitness stuff at home anyway, with Joel & me planning on boxing in the garage, so we also stocked up of a few other bits to turn our garage in to a makeshift gym which will allow all four of us to workout.
You know you're living in unusual times when  you walk in to your local cornershop wearing a mask and rather than being chased out as a potential robber you're welcomed in for being a responsible citizen.

Given how tight the restrictions are for our lockdown we've had to be a bit creative in how we do things, so one of them is making sure that when it comes to "essential supplies" we have just enough for the day and when we need more one of us walks around to the local Spar. That way one of us gets a bit of exercise and we all get to enjoy a treat or two aswell. Yesterday was my turn and having walked to the shop was refused entry because I wasn't wearing a face mask. So I had to walk home, get a Buff and walk back to get the essential items. Ordinarily I might have complained, but it was nice to do the walk twice, especially as there was no traffic out, it made for a peaceful walk.

Well that was a bizarre and frustrating 48 hours in which our beloved govt raised the ire of a large part of the population. Initially the Health Minister announced that walking dogs and going for a jog would be allowed during the lockdown. This made a lot of people happy and garnered much support for the lockdown. Then the Police Minister strongly contradicted him by making it very clear that neither activity would be allowed.

South Africa goes in to full lockdown at midnight tonight and it would be easy to rant and rave about the govt's ineptitude in their handling of the lockdown before it's even started, but it would be far more fitting on our last day of freedom to focus on The Gathering's last Soup Kitchen for at least three weeks.

We were given four days notice of the impending lockdown and that seems to have been the cue for action for the Zombie Domesday Preppers and their attendant madness. Despite pleas not to panic buy the shelves are stripped bare with very little available in any of the food shops.

This morning Paula tried to buy stuff for our weekly Soup Kitchen and almost instantly regretted going anywhere near the shops. Thankfully we managed to scrape some bits together between us and so our last Soup Kitchen for a while will proceed. Thank you Lord!

It all leaves one feeling that April Fool's Day should be cancelled because no prank could possibly match up to the stupidity of what's going on out there right now.

Lockdown Looms

This blog is long neglected now and I've been wondering about what to do with it. Should I shut it down? Should I just leave it as a souvenir of the last few years or should I delete it and move on to other things? Then with the lockdown being announced I thought I'd revive it for now and use it to keep a lockdown diary of sorts, so here goes...

It is not and never has been my intention to lecture anyone on making changes in their lives, personal and physical changes are often an effort of immense self control and discipline, whilst spiritual or faith based changes are an effort of immense prayer and faith. Both are good and to be celebrated, especially the latter when we can give glory to God for new things and seasons.

Exactly a year ago I found myself in a position of having to make some serious physical changes based on my health, though the changes would also require a lot of faith and prayer.

Greatest Joy

I may have said this once or twice before, but my greatest joy in ministry is raising others up and releasing them to fly in their own gifting.

It was a joy yesterday to watch Precious open our worship and to hear Mongezi preach later in our Gathering.

But what I really loved was hearing another church member saying how they were blown away by the way Precious' opening tied in with the rest of our worship and Mongezi's word.

That's when you know the anointing is flowing.

Had circumstances been different and my brothers and I had been able to live with our dad I know he would have introduced us to boxing from a young age.

Dad came from a notable line of amateur boxers in his hometown of Hawick in Scotland and even through the dark days of his illness he was always passionate about the sport.

So I'm quite chuffed with myself for having finally gotten around to taking up boxing, but I'm supper chuffed that Joel has now joined me and is also boxing at the same gym. That is a proud dad moment!

My health and fitness journey continues and I'm feeling very pleased with myself having lost 15kgs, gone down a couple of waist sizes and smashed my cholesterol down to a healthy 3.1. My blood pressure is absolutely normal and I'm enjoying the little things like not getting out of breath walking up a hill and generally having a lot more energy than I have had for a long time.

It's taken a lot of hard work and dedication to not only keep going with the Boxing and Crossfit but to make the necessary lifestyle changes to back up the exercise.

I've always thought all diets are little more than fads and now I've demonstrated that by simply reducing portion size, reducing sugar and fat intake and balancing what I eat against my exercise plan anything is possible.