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.