Wednesday, November 30, 2011


On November 24th we enjoyed getting together with coworkers and several visiting Americans for a Thanksgiving dinner.  May we all have a spirit of thanksgiving every day of the year!

A delicious pumpkin pie Gwen made

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Garden

We almost didn’t plant a garden this year because of our neighbor’s chickens.  They have at least 25-30 free range chickens and yes, you guessed it – our yard is part of their range.  There isn’t much we can do about the situation so it looked as if a garden wasn’t an option.  Fencing is expensive so we couldn’t afford to do the whole garden.  We finally decided we could borrow some plastic fencing that my brother had, which saved us a lot of money, and the rest we finished off with the cheapest chicken wire we could find.
After putting up the fence we realized the cabbage was still being devoured.  I thought it might be bugs so I sprayed it but with no effect.  Later we saw that birds were eating the cabbage.  We put up a scare-a-crow , of sorts, which helped about one day.  Now they are back with a vengeance.  A lot of our corn didn’t come up either so I replanted.  As I was digging I found a lot of red ants and a number of the old corn seeds-hollowed out.  Apparently ants like corn too.
Between all our feathered friends and crawling creatures I’m not sure how much produce we will get but we’ll keep trying.
We used the yogurt containers on the fence posts to cover the seedlings over night to help protect them from getting eaten. During the day we just hung them on the posts. We just haven't gotten around to taking them off yet.
What is left of the cabbage!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Whose Children are They?

Have you given your children to God like Hannah  did with Samuel? (I Samuel 1:28)  A practical way of finding out is to examine your feelings and thoughts when another individual corrects your children.  Do you feel peeved, irritated, angry or upset? Or maybe you think: “They have no room to talk about my children. Just look at theirs.” These are good indications that your children belong to you not God and you claim full responsibility.

There are at least two reasons why so many become angry when their children are reprimanded by others.  The first is that the parents haven’t truly relinquished their children to God’s control. They see their children as solely belonging to them and resent anyone who would dare to say anything negative about them. Secondly, the faults of the children many times reveal deficiencies in the parents. I can think of different times over the past eight years when I have reacted negatively to comments or concerns of others concerning my children.  That attitude, though, only breeds resentment and anger.

If someone sees something wrong in our children and they address the issue we should be thankful that the wrong has been pointed out and it can be corrected in our children and in our own lives.  It is true that God has place the burden of rearing children on the parent’s shoulders (Deuteronomy 6:7), but if our children belong to God we should be open to admonition, encouragement and council from others.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Time Away

Recently we had the opportunity to go visit some friends and see a little more of South Africa.  Our first stop was to the Kwasizabantu Mission at Claridge. We visited our good friend Bro. Malimabe. (I didn’t get a good picture of him.) We also met Dr. and Mrs. Botha who are the directors of the mission.  After leaving the mission, we visited our good friends Stephanus and Rose Blignaut and family.  We enjoyed some good fellowship and they even took us to see the Indian Ocean.  On our way back home we paid a short visit to the central Kwasizabantu Mission at Kranskop. We enjoyed our time away but it is always good to get back home!
Dr. and Mrs. Botha
We enjoyed visiting Howick Falls.
We visited an elephant part.  The giants were quite gentle.  This one walked right up to the car and even put her trunk in the window.  I was really scrabbling trying to get the window back up!
Our children made some new friends on this trip.

Kosi Bay, Kwazulunatal, South Africa
The Indian Ocean at Kosi Bay
The Blignaut and Geise Families

Friday, November 4, 2011

Politics and the Christian

As I was studying Paul’s message on Mars' Hill, in Acts chapter 17, I found Adam Clarke's comments on verse 21 quite interesting. 
“For all the Athenians and strangers which were there spent their time in nothing else, but either to tell, or to hear some new thing.”
“This is a striking feature of the city of London in the present day. The itch for news, which generally argues a worldly, shallow, or unsettled mind, is wonderfully prevalent: even ministers of the Gospel, negligent of their sacred function, are become in this sense Athenians; so that the book of God is neither read nor studied with half the avidity and spirit as a newspaper. These persons, forgetful not only of their calling, but of the very spirit of the Gospel, read the account of a battle with the most violent emotions; and, provided the victory falls to their favorite side, they exult and triumph in proportion to the number of thousands that have been slain! It is no wonder if such become political preachers, and their sermons be no better than husks for swine. To such the hungry sheep look up, and are not fed. God pity such miserable Athenians, and direct them to a more suitable employment!”