God's Word for today

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

James Jones: cricket captain, academic, and lover of Jesus Christ

This proud dad has just heard the news that James has been made captain of the cricket team! Okay, it's a humble start - the team in question is the under-11 B team at his school, but if he wants to realise his dream of playing professional cricket for South Africa one day, he needs to start somewhere! (And yes, the Proteas badge may be my delusions of grandeur - but you never know ... one day, maybe?)

But he hasn't been spending all his time on the cricket field. On the contrary, he's had his nose in the books quite a bit this term as well, with six As and one B being the reward for his hard work.

Add to that a deep and sincere love for Jesus that he has had for as long as he can remember ... what more can this extremely blessed dad ask for? Thank you, dear God, for my wonderful son. When I read in Scripture of Your voice that came down from heaven, saying of Jesus, "this is My beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased", I can identify with that in an earthly sense as well.

God is SO good!

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Countdown - and coping with the "lasts"

The past couple of weeks have been a bit weird in that I've had a sense that every meeting I've attended has been my last one before moving off to the seminary next year.

And the emotions have been somewhat mixed. On one level I cannot wait to get back "home" with my family, but on another level I'm feeling almost guilty for wanting to leave - especially since many good relationships have been formed this year.

But I think I'm starting to go through a bit of a transition. At our recent district minister's retreat someone asked me how I feel about going to SMMS next year, and my response was that I'm going there to fulfil a promise I made to the church at Synod 2008, not becauuse I actually want to be there. A week ago at our Phase One exit meetings I was still in this frame of mind, but as the end of the year draws closer, I'm starting to warm to the idea of being a full-time student.

Maybe it's the idea of having Belinda and James with me next year that is shaping my thinking, but whatever the underlying cause, I intend to make the best of seminary. And right now, that's a good place for me to be in.

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Jesus saves!

This humourous account was sent through to me by one of my colleagues. There are two messages in it for me - firstly, to ensure that I do backups more regularly in future, and of course, the far deeper meaning, and the reason I am in ministry.

Jesus and Satan were having an on-going argument about who was better on the computer. They had been going at it for days, and frankly God was tired of hearing all the bickering.

Finally fed up, God said, 'THAT'S IT! I have had enough. I am going to set up a test that will run for two hours, and from those results, I will judge who does the better job.'

So Satan and Jesus sat down at the keyboards and typed away.

They moused.
They faxed.
They e-mailed.
They e-mailed with attachments.
They downloaded.
They did spreadsheets!
They wrote reports.
They created labels and cards.
They created charts and graphs.
They did some genealogy reports .
They did every job known to man.

Jesus worked with heavenly efficiency and Satan was faster than hell.

Then, ten minutes before their time was up, lightning suddenly flashed across the sky, thunder rolled, rain poured, and, of course, the power went off.

Satan stared at his blank screen and screamed every curse word known in the underworld.

Jesus just sighed.

Finally the electricity came back on, and each of them restarted their computers. Satan started searching frantically, screaming:

'It's gone! It's all GONE! 'I lost everything when the power went out!'

Meanwhile, Jesus quietly started printing out all of his files from the past two hours of work.

Satan observed this and became irate.

'Wait!' he screamed... 'That's not fair! He cheated! How come he has all his work and I don't have any?'

God just shrugged and said,


40 Days!

Well, I'm back! After having recovered from the disaster of having my laptop swiped, resulting in being buried under assignments to be re-done, not to mention an exam to contend with, I've finally got through to the other side with everything submitted.

And I wanted to write something profound for my first post after this blogging hiatus, but when I opened my blog's home page, I saw that it is "40 Days" until I see my family again. Being one who has a wild musical imagination, I could immediately hear Cliff Richard (sorry, Belinda - SIR Cliff Richard) singing "40 Days" in the back of my mind.

Seeing as my wife would have probably wanted to marry Sir Cliff had he been available (he wasn't, so she settled for me instead), I thought this YouTube clip would be quite fitting. Enjoy it, Babe - I'll be home soon.

(Now I'm off to have a good cry...)

Sunday, 11 October 2009

Needing some wings!

"But those who wait on the LORD Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint." (Isaiah 40: 31, NKJV)

It's amazing how something seemingly innocuous such as having a laptop swiped can turn one's life inside-out. In my case, losing two assignments has thrown me into a complete tailspin as I attempt to reconstruct a couple of month's work.

Not to mention that life itself goes on, as it has a habit of doing. Take this week just past, for instance. The previous Friday my machine went walkabout, forcing me to cancel the HIV / AIDS workshop to be held on the Saturday. Sunday was the normal round of services at which I was preaching at. Monday was spent on the 'phone grovelling to TEEC for an extension to submit the outstanding assignments. Tuesday and Wednesday was college as normal, while Thursday and Friday was the normal circuit routine, sermon preparation, and so on. Last week was the ministers' retreat, followed by a day in the office, the (now reconvened) HIV / AIDS workshop, baptism preparation classes, and the service this morning. In between all of this, every spare moment has been spent frantically trying to get the TEEC work done. On Wednesday I am writing an examination, and the two assignments are due on Saturday.

In short, I am STUFFED! "Tired" doesn't even BEGIN to describe my current state. But there IS light at the end of the tunnel - if I can get through to the end of next weekend in one piece, I might just survive...

Friday, 2 October 2009

Taking a (small) stand - update

I see in today's Business Report that Nestle has decided to discontinue its milk purchases from a farm "owned" by Grace Mugabe, the wife of Zimbabwean madman (sorry, President) Robert Mugabe. I'm not sure whether it was conscience or international pressure that gave rise to this decision, but either way, good move, Nestle.