Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Monday, December 22, 2008
For this update I have a few photos, which will give you a good idea of what we have been up to.
Thursday, December 18, 2008
I will try to do a post with a bit of an update in the next few days but suffice to say, we have been having a really nice time with friends and now family. We are off to the beach in the next 15 minutes again. What a tough life we have here in Africa... :)
Ps. Kevin, thank you for your concern, you can call of the search party and drop the Amber Alert to Red....
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
It`s been a few days but do not fear, the Running Golfer is here. We had an awesome weekend away and got back late on Sunday night. Since then I have not even been on a blog. For some reason I just didn`t have the inclination. So today is my first day back in the blogosphere
We spent the weekend in Umhlanga, which is situated on the East Coast of South Africa in Kwazulu Natal. I loved every second of it. Hayley and I are not too fond of the East Coast mainly because the humidity is terrible. We are creatures of comfort, as you probably know! But I must say, Umhlanga was awesome. We had the best time
The reason for our visit was that my Father-in-Law, Clive, turned 60 on Sunday. It was such a privilege to spend this time with such a wonderful family and more especially with my Dad, who is my role model in so many ways. Dad has timeshare in Umhlanga and the rest of the family go there every December for a week. Hayley and I joined them for the first time. It`s not that we`re not invited, it`s just that we have always been working during this week. So this year we finally got to spend some time with the family
My real story is something that happened at approximately 16:00 on Sunday afternoon. Hayley and I flew back at 18:00 on Sunday and Mark had to fly back to Johannesburg 30 minutes later. We had a 30 minute drive to the airport, so we all got ready to leave. We had just packed the last stuff into our tiny rental car. I was playing with Devon when I suddenly heard a commotion behind me. I looked around to see Hayley`s face a whiter shade of pale. She had locked the car keys in the car. The doors were all locked and although we could see the keys, we had no way of getting to them. So, there we were, all our luggage had been packed into the car, including our house keys, my car keys etc. We only had her handbag with our wallets in it. Dad phoned the AA and they said that they would send somebody to assist in getting the keys out the car. Dad would wait for them and then race to the airport as soon as the car was open again. We however, were running out of time fast
So after figuring out that we would be able to fly back and get the spare keys from the "dog sitter", Hayley`s Mom jumped into Dad`s Murano and we RUSHED to the airport. We got there just before 17:00 and saw that our plane had been delayed by 15 minutes. I went to the BA office and explained our situation with the luggage. The nicest lady helped me and got pour luggage checked, without it even being there! How cool was that? She said that we could just bring it as soon as it arrives.
We stood waiting and 5 minutes before boarding, the little Hyunday Atos came zooming around the corner with Clive Schumacher behind the wheel! We grabbed the bags, raced to get them checked and made it with literally a minute to spare!
I wish I could day this was an anomally but I can`t. There is never a dull moment with Hayley and her family and I have gotten used to something strange happening, always!
Thursday, December 4, 2008
- Hayley will try any dance move. We`d be sitting watching tv and somebody would bust a move on MTV. All I would need to say would be "can you do that?" and she would be up in a flash. I`ve seen her do all kinds of moves. Some don`t even have names (and most of them don`t even exist). Her signature move is "the running man". Truth be told, no moves look like the ones on tv but she tries and that makes me love her.
- Hayley considers herself an introvert. Yet, I have never met anybody who talks more than her. She would sometimes talk just to hear her own voice. I shut down sometimes and will just throw in a nod, every few minutes. This is enough to keep her going.
- Hayley loves food more than anybody I know. Last night for instance, she had a whole chocolate egg in her mouth and asked me "why can I not stop eating?". I didn`t have to answer that one.
- Hayley has a heavy foot when it comes to driving. If you see a Hyundai Getz zooming around Somerset West, that`s Hayley. She of course denies it but my wife is the Fernando Alonso of the Western Cape.
- Hayley adores Christmas more than anybody I have ever known. Christmas had been a pretty sad time for me until I met Hayley. I had been far away from my family (My Mom, Sister, the kids and Brother-in-law emigrated to NZ) and I was always depressed on Christmas. Hayley gave me a love for Christmas again and spending Christmas with her family has certainly made it easier for me. I now heart Christmas thanks to Sweetie.
- Hayley sleeps with the light on when I`m not around. Enough said.
- Hayley gets so involved in her tv shows that she is completely oblivious to everything around her, especially me. I can talk and she would not even know it.
- Hayley is the disciplinarian when it comes to the dogs. I cannot bear to see Elvis upset, so it`s up to Hayley to keep the discipline going.
- Hayley will be able to name any animal in the Kruger National Park. She is absolutely brilliant and one of the best spotters I have ever come across. We would spot a buck and she will tell you exactly what kind it is and add a few facts. I am truly in awe of her knowledge of the wild.
- My wife is a clever lady and a tough one to get into an argument with. She should have been a lawyer cos she can argue like nobody I have ever met.
So there you have it, a few reasons why my wife is so awesome and so special to me. A unique person especially designed for me.
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
You know me and my sunsets, I heart them. This was the magnificent sunset that greeted us on Monday night. While watching this spectacular sight the lyrics to one of my favourite Live songs went through my head.
I don't need no proof when it comes to God and truth
I can see the sunset and I perceive
It certainly rings true.
Thanks to my Sweetie for the awesome pics.
Friday, November 28, 2008
Now, being out of a job is no fun place to be. I have always been pretty succesful in my career and things have come pretty easily. Blessed probably describes how lucky I have been. Promotions came pretty quickly and the money was good too.
Just to show you how lucky I was, consider this. The day after the company folded, I got a call from one of our main competitors and they offered me a job there and then. They promised me a whole lot of things and of course I took the job. Unfortunately it was a question of over-promise and under-deliver on their side. I stayed loyal to them for as long as I could but eventually I realised that it is not something that would be sustainable. The business plan was never gonna succeed. I ended up leaving.
So for the last few months I have been looking for work. That is not the best place to be in you`re a white South African male. You see, we have a thing here called BEE or Black Economic Empowerment. Companies have to employ black people to eradicate the inequalities of the past. What it comes down to is that white men are last on the pecking order when it comes to jobs. So, even though you might have the best credentials for a job, the fact that quotas have to be attained might mean that you lose out to a less qualified person. This is our society and I understand this completely.
This coupled with the bleak economic outlook worldwide has made the last few months a very tough time to be a jobseeker.
That brings me to my faith. I would be a liar if I said that my faith never waivered. I have had many a day, sometimes weeks at a time, where my faith ebbed away. Every prayer went unanswered, or so it seemed. Every time an opportunity came up, something happened and it was taken away. One example. I got a call from a previous company and they were getting ready to offer me a job, an awesome job at that. Something I would be really good at and that would have meant good things financially. Then, the day where they were to call me with the good news, the company`s Exco sat and made a decision that an immediate freeze was to be placed on all external appointments. I was devastated. I had prayed so hard and so long and basically begged for this job. God decided no. I could not understand it. So close but yet again an opportunity was taken away.
So on one of these days, where I was crying out for something, anything, I drove to Gordonsbay (which is about 10 minutes from here). I was on the way back when I noticed on my cars computer that the kilometers done on the tank of petrol was 341 and the distance I could still travel was 341. I thought that was quite a coincidence. I mean the distance left on the tank changes so much and so quickly, depending on the speed etc etc. Literally a minute later I drove past a little sign and I still don`t know what the purpose of this sign is but it just had 34 on it. A white 34 on a blue background. Was God talking to me?
Now I am a numbers guy. I am and have always been very good with numbers. So for me, I saw this as a bit of a sign. You do tend to hold onto the small things when you have nothing to hold onto anymore. So with Hillsong playing in the background, I had a feeling that God was using something I understand, numbers, to show me the way.
I raced home and immediately checked the Bible for clues. I checked for the 341st chapter of the Bible, page 341, every chapter 34:1 and so it went on. Nothing. Then I reckoned that I would get a call with good news at 3:40 or 3:41. Yet again a dead end. But the number 34 stuck in my head.
That was 2 months ago. A few opportunities have come and gone in that time. I have had good days and a lot of bad days. All the while I kept looking for 34 and the sign that I was so sure was around the corner.
That brings me to Monday, 24 November. I woke up and decided to read my Bible. I opened it up at Acts 13 and started reading. Then something caught my eye and I saw at the top of the next page, where it shows the last verse on the page, it said Acts 13:34. It said the following:
The fact that God raised him from the dead, never to decay, is stated in these words: "I will give you the holy and sure blessings promised to David"
Immediately I knew that God was talking to me. I was expecting a call that day with feedback on a possible interview. Suddenly I knew that the interview was going to be confirmed. This happened later that day. The person who gave me the lead for this job is another Christian who has walked the same path as me during this year. He was also affected by the liquidation, maybe more than anybody else. I phoned him to tell him that I got the interview and when I put the phone down I noticed that the call was made at 3:40 pm.
So on Tuesday morning I read my Bible and opened up at Matthew 21. I looked up at the top of the next page and what dit it say? Matthew 21:34. It read:
When the harvest time approached, he sent his servants to the tenants to collect his fruit.
I have been using my Mom`s Bible since she passed away and it is full of her notes and markings. It`s one of my favourite and most special things on this earth. She marked Matthew 21:22 and it read:
If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer
On Wednesday morning, I opened up the Bible to Matthew 6. Guess what was at the top of the next page? Matthew 6:34. It read:
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Wednesday night, Hayley and I were in bed and I opened up my Bible at Acts 10. At the top of the next page it said Acts 10:32. I was a bit disappointed as I was expecting another miracle cos I had been spoiled! I read the chapter and when I turned the page my heart nearly stopped. So guess which verse was marked, by my Mom in pencil? Acts 10:34 and it read:
34 Then Peter began to speak: "I now realise how true it is that God does not show favouritism 35 but accepts men from every nation who fear him and do what is right.
So yesterday I flew to Johannesburg for the interview. Before I left I took a card out of my Bread of Life box, which has promises from the Bible in. Well, the one I picked was Matthew 21:22, the same verse my Mom had highlighted and which I read on Tuesday night.
If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer
As a final incident, while I was waiting for my rental car the tv caught my eye. It was some netball match (in which I have no interest whatsoever) but the one shot I saw the player wore the number 34.
Now I don`t know exactly what all this means. I am obviously on a journey with God and I really don`t know what He has planned for me. What I do know is that He is with me always and I do not need to worry or feel alone anymore. He has truly rejuvenated my faith.
I do not know if the interview I went to was THE one. I do however know that I don`t have to worry anymore. I can trust God cos He has made it clear to me that He is interested in my lfe and that He cares for me deeply.
What is your 34?
Ps. A Google search for 34 revealed Psalm 34, Praise for Deliverance from Trouble.
How much does our God rock?
Thursday, November 27, 2008
I just want to wish all my awesome American friends a very, very happy Thanksgiving. May the day be filled with fun, laughter, family, an incredible amount of food and a lot of thankfulness.
Ps. A shout out to all the turkeys out there. Thanks for taking one for the team man, you guys are awesome.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
- Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.
- A fine is a tax for doing wrong. A tax is a fine for doing well.
- He, who laughs last, thinks slowest.
- A day without sunshine is like. . . well, night.
- Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine.
- Those who live by the sword get shot by those who don't.
- Nothing is foolproof to a sufficiently talented fool.
- The 50-50-90 rule: Anytime you have a 50-50 chance of getting something right, there's a 90% probability you'll get it wrong.
- It is said that if you line up all the cars in the world end-to-end, some taxi would be stupid enough to try to pass them.
- If the shoe fits, get another one just like it.
- The things that come to those who wait, may be the things left by those who got there first.
- Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he will sit in a boat all day drinking beer.
- Flashlight: A case for holding dead batteries.
- The shin bone is a device for finding furniture in the dark.
- When you go into court, you are putting yourself in the hands of twelve people who weren't smart enough to get out of jury duty.
Ps. As you can see I have nothing today, I apologise in advance and expect to be abused by a few of you, most notably Kevin.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Monday, November 24, 2008
In other words, we see failure when our plans don`t become a reality but failure is only that, our plans did not come to fruition. For God and his ways, there are no failures. I absolutely loved this. This brought to the fore Lionel`s religious beliefs, something which I had never thought of before.
Friday, November 21, 2008
I digress back to James Bond. Sean Connery was my first Bond and I loved him. He was followed by Roger Moore and he was pretty cool too. Timothy Dalton I didn`t like very much and that`s where I started to lose a bit of interest. Then Pierce Brosnan took over the Dry Martini and I was a fan again. I like old Pierce. He certainly has a bit of charisma to him. When he left and was replaced by Daniel Craig, I wasn`t happy. Daniel Craig didn`t fit the idea of what a James Bond should be.
But then I watched Casino Royale and I loved it. He brought an edge to Bond that no other actor had done before. I loved the fact that 007 had a bit of a dark side to him. That made the character a lot more interesting.
Ok, I don`t like everything about Daniel Craig. I mean who on this earth walks out of the ocean like he does? It`s not a walk, nor a swagger it`s more of a, ummm, ok there`s not even a name for it. The other thing is the way he always has a pout. I mean he even runs with a pout on his face!
But all in all, I think he`s a cool Bond and I`m looking forward to watching Quantum of Solace. I also like the fact that it follows up on Casino Royale as there were a few loose ends. The fact that he suffered personal loss in Casino Royale I reckon will make him even more of a loose cannon and that I`m looking forward to.
So, are there any other Bond fans out there? I`d like to know your thoughts. Please share. Now.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
* The award just became legit cos I was nominated by Heather too, YAY! Thank you Heather!
Disclaimer: I am not in any way calling my wife illegitimate or in any way suggesting that her opinion holds less credibility.
Monday, November 17, 2008
It`s now Monday afternoon and a bit of a downer. The weekend that I had been looking forward to for so long has come and gone and it`s back to the daily grind. It`s always a bit of a reality check when something is over, albeit that you had a wonderful time. I just wish I could do that everyday
Ok, so let`s take a step back and let me tell you about Hillsong United and the best Friday night I have had in a very, very long time.
We left a bit early on Friday and decided to get a quick hamburger at the shopping centre adjacent to the venue. Well, let`s put it this way, we thought it was close but we weren`t 100% sure. So we had a quick burger and then went into a Christian shop to get directions. The whole shop was in party mood and it soon became clear why. Joel Houston and a few members of the band had decided to pop into the shop and say hi. The people in the shop were in a state of shock to tell you the truth. They took photos with Joel and these became prized possessions. We missed them by a few minutes and I was really disappointed but at least we were gonna be able to see them in a short while.
So Hayley and I got directions and headed to the venue, which was very close as it turned out. There were already a long line of people waiting to go in. What I find so amazing it how many young people there were. Everywhere you looked there were young couples, groups of friends and a Mom or Dad with kids. It really is awesome to see how the young people are turning to God. I also saw quite a few "Jesus Freak" t-shirts! Awesome!
We eventually got inside and by now there were thousands of people. The venue was packed with all shapes, colours and sizes. That to me was the beauty of the whole evening. Politicians in our country and in the world for that matter should`ve come to have a look. Jesus brings people together.
Then we saw Joel Houston, walking in the crowd saying hello to people and just being very anti-star. That was awesome to see. No superstar there, just a man of God walking around like one of us
The music started and the crowd went mad! The band came out and I saw Brooke Fraser!! Man that was cool cos as you know I heart Brooke Fraser. Then we started singing. We sang so loud, I nearly lost my voice. Shame, the poor people next to me must have had a rough time hearing angelic singing in one ear and my own personal howling in the other. Stereo isn`t always a good thing.
I must say, hearing thousands of people singing and worshipping like one was one of the most amazingly wonderful things I have ever experienced. God was there on Friday night, of that I have no doubt.
Pastor Brian Houston came onto stage and spoke a few words and he was followed by OUR Pastor Phil Dooley (sorry Aussies, Hayley and I have decided that we want him as our own) who gave another magnificent sermon. Pastor Phil is the most gifted speaker I have ever had the privilege of hearing. His message was so apt, so well delivered and so to the point that the whole congregation was completely taken by him. Not an easy job for an aussie in South Africa!
Then the worship continued and they sang my favourite current Hillsong tune, This is our God. That was awesome, just awesome. I felt so privileged to be able to experience that. Then, Brooke sang Hosanna and of course the crowd went absolutely mad. That song has made a massive impact on a lot of people. The crowd sang like I have never heard a crowd sing before. That was the highlight of the night. Such a personal song for Hayley and I and we could experience it with thousands of other believers.
The night came to an end and we headed home. It was one amazing evening filled with the wonderful love of Jesus and his followers. I am such a lucky man to have experienced an evening in the presence of Hillsong United. Like my friend David always says, those guys are really blessed.
Sunday, November 16, 2008
I have never known anybody who gave more of herself to everybody around her. She would literally give her last cent to make sure that her kids were happy. She gave everything she had to make sure that we were ok. God was very kind when he picked my Mom to look after Monya and I. I thank Him for my Mom every day of my life.
Friday, November 14, 2008
I am so excited, it`s gonna be an awesome, awesome weekend!
Thursday, November 13, 2008
I`m sure you all agree that one caption certainly deserves the first prize, which includes a Free One Year Membership to the Running Golfer. This means ONE YEAR of logging in and commenting FOR FREE!!! (I can feel the buzz of excitement coming at me from all over the world)
So without further ado, I present you the winner of the Caption Competition.
"O'Gosh! That Yoplait yogurt just hit me...hard...excuse me for a minute!"
So congratulations Kevin Davis, your Free Membership is on it`s way, by Carrier Pigeon.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
This is a pic I took of Hayley on Sunday. As you can see, she is not to happy with her husband as I had been, how can I say... annoying her a bit.
Please send me a caption of what YOU think she is thinking.
So with that I give to you.... (drumroll)......
Hayley the annoyed wife
Saturday, November 8, 2008
Friday, November 7, 2008
- English is in fact my 2nd language
- I never use spell check before posting
- I have been married to the love of my life for exactly 7 years, 6 months and 2 days
- I am 1.81 metres tall
- I was born in Sasolburg. The town was named after SASOL, the first company in the world to produce fuel from coal. SASOL was and still is the lifeblood of this small Freestate town
- Blue is my favourite colour
- I love sport
- I was Head Boy at school
- I love cars but know nothing about the mechanical side of things
- I have owned 15 different cars during the last 16 year
- I love music, movies and tv
- I have a sister, Monya, who lives in New Zealand with her 2 gorgeous kids and her husband who is one of my best friends
- My Mom and Dad are both with Jesus
- Golf is a passion of mine but I haven`t played a round of golf in more than a year
- I have completed 3 half marathons this year
- I took up running on the 31st March 2008
- My favourite drink is red wine
- Kids love me and I love kids
- Hopefully I`ll be a Dad in the not too distant future
- I once kicked a hole in the tv room door after WP, my favourite rugby team, lost in extra time to the Lions when the referee awarded a contentious penalty try.
- I was barefoot at the time
- It didn`t hurt
- Until a few minutes later
- I once asked my Mom to chop all my hair off after Manchester United lost the Championship on the last day of the season to Blackburn Rovers
- My favourite sportsmen of all time are Eric Cantona, Roger Federer, Tiger Woods, Ryan Giggs, Bob Skinstad and Andre Pretorius
- My favourite new band is Kings of Leon
- The best concerts I have ever been to was Live in 2000 and 2006. They were awesome.
- I hated Celine Dion until I saw her live in concert in 2008. Now I love her.
- I dream of one day going to Old Trafford to see Manchester United play
- I am completely in love with my dogs
- Ouma rusks and strong coffee is my ideal breakfast
- I make my own hamburger patties and they are AWESOME (you can ask Hayley)
- It is now 11:07 am and I haven`t eaten anything cos I think I`m getting fat again
- Most of my favourite movies of all time are foreign language films
- I adore the Boston Redsox
- Rugby is my favourite sport to watch
- One of the most awesome things I have ever done was visit Arlington National Cemetery and stand at the grave of JFK
- I love hot sauces and hot food
- My favorite dish is meatballs, potatoes and rice. My Mom`s special recipe and Hayley makes it just like her.
- I used to be a chips fan but now I love chocolate
- I take critisism very personal
- New York is my favourite city in the world
- I am very aware of how I look and always try to dress well
- I have a pretty good sense of fashion
- Leopards are my favourite wild animals
- I have blue eyes and I think it`s my best feature
- I once won a rugby match in the last minute of the game by slotting a 40 metre drop goal
- When I was 10 I jumped off my bed without looking and landed on my kitten who did not survive the incident. I cried for a week.
- Hillsong Church Cape Town is my favourite church ever
- I love the Kruger National Park
- I played flyhalf for most of my rugby career
- I crashed my Mom`s car when I was 20 and that was my one and only accident
- The Cape is one of my favourite places on earth
- I held the record for the best bowling figures at my high school when I took 8/19
- I took a hattrick in the first over of my first Action Cricket game in Johannesburg`s A1 league and was made to down 6 beers for my efforts. It was a loooong time ago.
- Sullivan Street by Counting Crows is one of my favourite songs
- I have gone to work without sleeping the previous night
- I eat most anything except tripe
- I am fascinated by all things American
- I sing very badly but I sing loud in church
- I love sharks
- I have the best In-Laws in the world
- I once threw a golf club (5 wood) after a bad shot and it got stuck in a tree. I threw a 3 iron to get it out and that too got stuck. So I had to climb into the tree to get my clubs. It was the day before I got married.
- I haven`t thrown a golf club since
- I miss my Mom every day
- Braaing (barbeque) is one of my favourite things to do
- I am a people person
- I love rain
- I cried when the Springboks won the world cup in 1995 AND 2007
- I love my wife with all my heart
- I haven`t seen a good scary movie in a long time
- My current favourite tv show is Dirty Sexy Money
- I absolutely love the blogs on my Blogroll and always check updates as soon as they happen
- I love surprising my wife
- I hate Liverpool
- I hate the Blue Bulls
- I used to be very scared of flying but I take it in my stride these days
- I haven`t had a swim in the sea in almost 10 years
- I once saw Lenny Kravitz in a shopping centre
- We have some of the funniest friends anywhere. They are hilarious.
- I mostly don`t enjoy running but I do it because it`s good for me
- Some runs are awesome though
- Most aren`t
- The last year has been one of the worst of my life
- I worry almost every day of my life
- I am the only one of my family left in SA.
- One of my biggest fears is that the extreme summer heat will kill my dogs when I`m not at home.
- I`m looking forward to moving back to Johannesburg so we can spend more time with Hayley`s family and our friends
- I watch more CNN than any local news channel
- I have played on 35 of the top 100 golf courses in South Africa
- I am continuing my studies in 2009
- I cannot wait for the December holidays when Hayley`s family will be here for a few weeks
- I have never owned a motor cycle
- I own a lot of gadgets and they include: Ipod, Playstation 2, Playstation 3, Nintendo Wii, PSP, PVR, Iphone, Blackberry etc etc
- I broke my wrist playing rugby
- I am a huge Adidas fan
- I got tennis balls as an extra gift for all my birthdays as a kid. I could not live without a ball nearby
- I have never had a hole in one but have been thisclose
- I am a loyal friend
- I`m not sure what the future holds
- I love God
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Thank you everybody for helping me make my 100th post today. Without all my friends out there, I`d just be a lunatic chatting to himself on the internet.
I`d like to use this post to congratulate the USA for making Barack Obama your new president. As Hayley said in her earlier post it feels so out of place for us to have an opinion or a favourite for the US elections. I mean we are a very long way away.
Fact of the matter is that the result affects everybody in the world and I therefore feel like I can voice my opinion.
I have been an Obama supporter since he won the Democratic nomination from Hilary Clinton. Although I have been reticent to air my views on this site, I have aired it to everybody who cares to listen here at home. Obama ran a magnificent campaign. I feel the economic downturn did him a major favour because he certainly coped better with the stresses that it produced. I don`t think economic policy is John MnCain`s strong point and in the end it might have swayed voters Obama`s way.
Be that as it may, I am very happy that America made the right decision. You only have to look at the worldwide Oba"mania" to see that the USA now has somebody who will get people to work with rather than against them. The USA is the most important democracy in the world but they do need friends and I feel the election of President Obama will certainly help in that regard.
I must however take my hat of to John McCain. His speech was very gracious and I feel he did a wonderful job in trying to get the Republicans to accept the newly elected president. Is it just me or did we only get to see the real John McCain during his concession speech?
Which brings me to the acceptance speech of President Obama. How absolutely awesome was that? There is no doubt that the man has a wonderful gift when it comes to public speaking. I had goosebumps.
So once again, well done America. It was a big big moment, not only for you guys but for the world in general.
Monday, November 3, 2008
On Saturday morning Hayley and I get ready to leave and as we head out the door, it immediately becomes clear that something is not right. There is sand all over my car. It`s a reasonably new estate with a lot of building going on, so there is building sand all over the place. This was however not just sand blown around by the wind. Well, on closer inspection it becomes clear that somebody had taken the time and effort to throw a whole lot of building sand through my sunroof and what didn`t go through the sunroof ended up on the outside. My whole car was full of sand on the inside. The fine building sand that you struggle to get out.
I have rarely been so angry. It`s a blessing that I did not catch the coward cos I would have left my Christian Beliefs behind and something really nasty would have ensued.
What I want to know is the following:
After being really upset for a while, I decided that the person was not going to ruin my day and Hayley and I had a pretty cool time. We drove around in her car during the morning and then we took my car to the car wash in the afternoon. It obviously cost quite a bit to get the car cleaned properly but it had to be done.
I don`t have the answers but what I do know is that in the greater scheme of things this was nothing really. I mean we were inconvenienced for a bit, that`s about it. No damage was done. It also just once again amplifies how the devil works. In the sermon yesterday, Jon spoke about the weakest link and how the devil uses the weakest link to get to us. My temper is definitely a weak link for me. I`m pretty mild mannered but some things really get me going. So something so small, in hindsight, got me so upset that I almost wasted a day by being upset. Thank goodness I came to my senses after a few minutes.
Thank you Lord for using something small and a sermon the next day to highlight one of my weak links. With your help, I can now concentrate on managing this weak link.
Ps. I will also NEVER leave my sunroof open again.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
I must be honest, as a baseball fan being 14, 000 km`s away from the USA, it is quite difficult to catch games and to stay in touch with what`s happening. I am a massive Redsox fan and have been for a long time now. I bought a few Redsox books on our visit to the States and also got an authentic Sox cap, which I rocked in NYC, as my friend Lisa once said. I met Lisa on the blogs a few months ago. It turned out that she is the biggest Sox fan in the world and she willingly gave me info and sites to visit and just kept me updated. The live games only start here at 01:00 in the morning, so watching it live is not possible, for me in any case.
During the play-offs, I would receive an email every morning after the games, firstly against the Angels and then against the Rays. The subject would say something like "we won 4-2" and then she would give me a quick rundown of the game. I in turn would then catch the replay of the game later during the day here on ESPN. Some mornings I would wake up at 05:00 and switch the tv on to see the last inning of the games. It was great and from being 3-1 down, the Sox levelled the series at 3-3 and I along with all Sox fans across the world believed.
Obviously the last email just said "it`s over" and I must say, I was devastated. I know Lisa was even more devastated cos she lived those games and experienced it first hand. I at least got the bad news and didn`t have to sit with the hope in me only to see the Sox lose.
So that brings me to last night and the Homerun Derby. I saw the guys come up and get 5 or 6 HR`s or in Justin Morneau`s case 8. Then a guy named Josh Hamilton came up to the plate and proceded to hit 28 HR`s in the first round! That bettered the previous single round record of 24. The distance of some of his hits were astounding. 3 of the HR`s were in the TOP 10 of ALL TIME in the Homerun Derby. Unbelievable.
I was quite impressed by this guy. Then he was interviewed after his heroics and he said something along the lines of "God is a God of second chances". The commentators then mentioned his struggle with heroin and alcoholism and the fact that he had beaten his addictions.
Of course I was really into this story by now, so I googled Josh Hamilton and what incredible reading it turned out to be.
Josh Hamilton was a prodigiously talented youngster who was the 1st pick in the draft. He received the biggest sign-on bonus ever, $ 4 million, from the Rays. But then, he squandered ALL of it on drugs and alcohol. A sad, sad story. He was banned from MLB. He was 6`4 and had weighed 230 pounds before his addiction. At the worst point he had dropped to 180 pounds and was a shadow of the man he used to be.
Then things changed. One morning his grandmother sat him down and spoke to him earnestly. He made the decision to give his heart to the Lord and changed his ways. He got back into baseball and was signed by the Reds. He undergoes drug testing, every 2nd day. He has a full time manager / friend that travels with him and makes sure he stays out of situations that might get him in trouble. This was requested by Josh himself. When he feels the need for drugs or alcohol, he calls his manager and they do Bible study. He has been clean for more than 2 years and his life has turned around completely. He was voted the Rangers Player of the Year earlier this week. The turnaround was complete.
I was really taken by this story. This I think is the perfect modern day retelling of the Prodigal Son. A young man with everything going for him stumbles. He gets lost in the world and all the bad things it has to offer. However, he does see the light and comes back to His Heavenly Father who welcomes him with open arms. From my perspective his life comes full circle at the All Star game where his prodigious God given talent comes to the fore in an amazing way. His comeback is complete.
God is indeed a God of second chances.
This is a video of the story of Josh Hamilton. Well worth watching and so inspirational.
Monday, October 27, 2008
This is the view from the highest point of the race. It was a tough climb up to here but the rest of the race was mostly downhill and pretty cool. I found myself just staring at the gorgeous views a few times and had to concentrate on actually racing.
For the record, I finished in 58:35 and was very happy with the time. After the last half marathon in which I did some serious damage to my knees, I had been taking it easy with regards the running and have done 3 or 4 runs a week on average. It seems to have worked cos I had no problems with my knees on Saturday and I`m very thankful for that.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Monday, October 20, 2008
This specific post is dedicated to my funniest golfing moment. Not something I am especially proud of cos it was pretty stupid but it was very funny!
It starts off in a region of our country called Mpumalanga and more specifically a town called Hazyview. Now Mpumalanga is the home of the Kruger National Park amongst other things and also the forestry hub of our country. A beautiful place! It is also a mere 4 hours from Johannesburg, so a perfect place for a weekend away.
My Father-in-Law has timeshare in a Southern Sun resort called Sabie River Sun and it is one of our favourite getaways. The whole family goes and we stay in a bungalow and just have the best time. There is so much to do for the whole family. Depending which bungalow you get, you could look out at hippos in the dam, onto the golf course or one of the many swimming pools the resort has to offer. Truly a great place!
So on one of these holidays, my father-in-law Clive, my brother-in-law Mark and I were playing a round of golf. The golf was great and we were having a very nice round. Kyle, Mark`s son, and I were sharing a golf cart and he was doing the driving. This was against the rules because Kyle was under aged (11) and not allowed to but what the heck, I`m a rebel if nothing else.
We were at one of the par 3`s. It is a pretty tough hole. Roughly 160 metres with half an island green, the whole front and right side of the green is surrounded by water. The flag was on the right hand side of the green, about 3 metres from the water. So we all tee off. Clive goes to the left of the green and Mark hits into the green side bunker on the same side. I hit a pretty good iron and finish about 3 metres from the pin but with a tough little breaking putt facing me.
So now we arrive at the green, I pick up my ball and start cleaning it. Clive hits a great chip and then Mark gets ready to hit out the bunker. This is a pretty tough shot though. If he leaves it short, he`ll have a very tough putt for par and if he hits it too hard, even just a bit, the ball would end up in the water behind the hole. So Mark hits it but I see it`s too hard. Now keep in mind that Mark has already lost about 9 balls and is fast running out of replacements! I flick into action and rush to stop his ball from going into the water, very aware of the fact that I would get a lot of pats on the back for my gallant behaviour in saving a golf ball from drowning. Focusing on the ball, I have a good feeling about stopping it from going into the drink. In the nick of time I stopped it with my foot. Unfortunately my body does not stop with it but momentum carries me forward. Then I realise that I do not have any Terra Firma under my feet anymore and am in fact running on air. I forgot to focus on the edge of the green, which is followed by a drop of about one and a half metre into the dam.
At this point of time a lot of things go racing through my mind. I still have my putter in one hand, my golf ball and towel in the other and my legs are still moving as if running. Suddenly I am gripped by concern as to what is under the water. Crocs? There are crocodiles in some of the other dams on the resort, so why not this one? Sharp rocks? What if I hit the water and a huge rock shatters my leg on impact?
So, I did the only thing I could and went into the tuck position. I pulled my knees up and braced for the impact. It all happened very slowly. I hit the water and went down. I was completely submerged. I held onto my Odyssey putter and my golf ball cos it was a Titleist Pro-V1 and they are very expensive. Then I felt something solid under my feet. I was at the bottom of the dam! RELIEF! I decided to push up with my legs to get to the surface cos I had no idea how deep the dam was. It felt like I had sunk about 2 metres. As I did this I was out the water like a cork. I stood there, in thigh high water, soaked, my golf cap drifting away. If I had landed on my feet, my shorts would have been wet but I assumed the tuck position and now I was wet from head to toe. I looked up at my golf partners / family and they were literally rolling on the green laughing. Then the realisation hit me, I had just jumped into a dam on a golf course.
I was utterly embarrassed but I must admit it must have been hilarious to see. I waded out the dam, the long way around cos it was too high to get out where I had entered. I was sopping wet. After a minute or five, with my golfing partners / family still laughing hysterically I lined up the birdie putt and promptly holed it!
My dignity took a big knock that day but at least I saved a golf ball. Strangely nobody remembered that fact....
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Some background. Hillsong CT does not have it`s own building yet, so they operate out of the Cape Town Convention Centre and have done so since inception in June 2008. All services have been in Auditorium 2, which is the smaller of the venues at the Convention Centre. There are 4 services every Sunday, 09:00, 11:00, 16:30 and 18:30. This is due to the size of the venue and more importantly the size of the congregation! It truly is a blessed place.
Well today we had our first service in auditorium 1, the main one and biggest of the lot. The reason was that we had Israel Houghton and the New Breed visit our church along with Pastor Robert Ferguson from Hillsong Australia. What a day it turned out to be. I have not experienced praise and worship like that EVER. It was amazing, truly amazing.
Israel and the New Breed joined the Hillsong Cape Town Worship Team as well as a Worship Choir from our church! It was absolutely awesome. The worship lifted the roof and to hear and see God`s name praised like that was something to experience. It was truly a magical morning. During the worship, they called all the young people to stand in front of the stage. Then the worship continued and to see all the young people rocking for God was a really awesome thing and underlined just how God is moving in our country.
This is one of the songs we sang this morning and title song from the latest Hillsong album called "This is our God'. I adore this song and have to admit I shed a tear or two while singing it. I feel very blessed today and needed a lift after a very tough week with many psychological struggles.
So, enjoy this song. It always makes me feel very close to my God.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
He is such a special boy and his Dad loves him VERY much!