Swellendam IN THE RAIN!

11-32am

Golf and rain don’t really go well together and rain was not something I expected this week. It has POURED down today. It was very heavy overnight and still raining when we woke up. We watched it from our bedroom door….

Watching the rain falling from our roomCertainly duck’s weather.  The gardens of our B&B are lovely… this is a closer look at the Koi pond…

Koi fish pond

Anyone for chilli?

Chilli

The river was flowing far faster this morning…

Overnight rain swelled the riverAfter breakfast, no rain would deter us from walking into town. The streets of Swellendam are beautiful and picturesque…

Picturesque Swellendam streetFrom Faure Street we turned left into Voortrek Rd and past the Swellendam sign…

Swellendam GardenThe main landmark on Voortrek St. is the NG church…can’t miss it!

NG churchBy then rain was BUCKETING down, so we hot-footed it to the Mall and hunkered down at Charlies’Bakery for tea…

Charlies BakeryThe rain soon let up and we continued our walk towards Adrian and Stacey’s place. We laughed at Swellendam’s first fire engine…

Fire engineIt was imported from England in 1860 and used 5 years later in the Great Fire of Swellendam. Forty of the town’s finest buildings were destroyed. Surprisingly, this fire engine was still being used in 1952! It must have been a challenge using this to put fires out!

I LOVE Swellendam!  I am hoping the rain will abate by this afternoon, leaving clear skies for apparently a bit of a night time meteor show…

Falling stars message

Psalm 8:3-4

When I look at Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have set in place, what is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You care for him?

When you look at the stars, remember God’s thinking more about you than about them!

God bless you!

In His Grip,

Helga xx :-)

Gratitude – today my Mom would have celebrated her 82nd birthday. It was lovely to see a photo of her I had never seen before. My sister, Anne posted it on Facebook. Thanks Annie! xx Ma celebrates in heaven…

My Mom in about 1988

She’s with my nephew Darryl when he was a baby…more than 25 years ago. Miss you Ma! xx

 

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Swellendam!

2-46pm

Yeah! We left home this morning at about 9-30am and headed off on the N2 on a road trip to Swellendam. Adrian and Stacey moved to this historic little town some months ago and we have come to visit. It is my belief that there are going to be many trips down the broad, busy N2 snaking through Caledon,  Botriver and Riviersonderend, past rolling hills and wheat covered fields. And so trying out the farm stalls is going to be mandatory…this was the first…

Orchard Restaurant

I ordered a big breakfast which, along with eggs, bacon, sausage and mushrooms, came with lots of carbs…hot fresh croissants and bread and muffins…

Fresh carbs

It was difficult to resist the croissant! The trunks of the cherry trees were bandaged in red….

Cherry tree wrapped trunk

When we asked why, it was for no other reason apart from it being left over from Valentine’s Day!

Back on the road for another hour and a half and we arrived at our very old destination…

Swellendam sign

We are staying in a guesthouse. Our room is very comfortable….

Bedroom

…and has a lovely view from a wooden deck…

Garden viewAt the bottom of the garden is the Koornhof River, which at the moment trickles by….

Koornlands RiverThe view of our room from the riverside is equally as picturesque…

Our room from the riversideAfter we unpacked and settled in, we set off to explore. First stop, the golf course….

Golf courseMike plans to play tomorrow. Hopefully the rain, which is pouring down will have subsided a bit! We then went and had tea with Stacey.

My first impressions of Swellendam is that is is bigger than I imagined. The town centre is busier than I thought it would be. The people are friendly. It seems to be growing. Stacey and Adrian are very comfortable in a lovely complex. They have settled well!

Getting today’s blog up has taken me through a few hurdles. I started the blog at Stacey’s house on her computer,  but struggled with her system to get the photos up, so I thought I’d ‘quickly’ put them on back at the guesthouse. I had made sure the guesthouse had internet access and it does!!….but it is about 30 times slower than usual!! So, I packed up my netbook and have shot back to Stacey’s home. And voila! All is done!

Today, I read the last chapter of Joshua. Old and full of wisdom, Joshua ends his life with the message he feels is most important

Joshua 24:15

“But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”

As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord!

God bless you loads!

In His Grip,

Helga xx :-)

Gratitude pic…Truffles! what got into her last night, I don’t know. She just had to be on our bed and this morning, she had to be IN our bed…at least her feet are clean!

Truffles feet

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My Top Ten Low Carb Staple Foods

2-46pm

I raided my fridge and food cupboard today, pulled out and photographed my top ten low carb staple foods.  I am sure that all Low Carb fundies will have their own list, which will most likely contain a few of these. Starting with breakfast…

EGGS

My routine weekday breakfast is 2 eggs with about a quarter of a round of feta cheese and a knob of butter. I’ve shown photos before of eggs scrambled in a cup, eggs, scrambled in a bowl, eggs cooked in a microwavable egg cooking thingy. I’ve boiled them and had them as an omelet. Eggs anyway are good. Buy them free range.

EggsCHEESE

As mentioned above, feta cheese always gets added to my breakfast eggs. This began because I didn’t have salt at work and eggs without are a bit bland, so I began adding feta cheese. I soon discovered half a round of feta was way too much and now add a quarter. It’s perfect. Cheese is a good for LCHF, but I would caution to not use too much dairy if you are struggling to lose weight on LCHF. Cutting back on dairy may help in shifting those stubborn kilos. Also, cheese is processed & we’re trying to get away from too much of that as well. I don’t eat a lot of cheese but add it to salads and grab a bite if I’m feeling peckish. Of course, Feta makes it better!

FetaBUTTER

So the knob of butter gets added to my eggs which makes them creamy and a little more filling. I add butter to veggies as well and use it in frying. Always good to have butter. If you have been a margarine person all your life, time to ditch that!….

Butter

AVOCADOS

If my standard breakfast is going to be eggs, my standard lunch is going to be avocado pear. I usually chop one in half, longways, put the pip half back in the fridge, peel the remainder, add salt and pepper and balsamic vinegar and savour every mouthful!  My family love Avo, so I’ll add it to salads as often as possible. I’ll sometimes also just serve it alfresco on the side of a plate of food. Never had a complaint yet!

AvosSALAD INGREDIENTS

These are always available in my fridge. If I’ve had a busy day, a multi-ingredient salad becomes the main vegetable at dinner time. I add anything and everything, from raw veggies and seeds, to nuts and sometimes a taste of fruit. The family love it!

SaladFISH

Tuna salad, or tuna on it’s own is fatty, filling and fabulous. Mike, who is not carbohydrate intolerant and therefore does not do low carb, loves tuna and pilchards. He will pack pilchards onto toast and that way he gets healthy fats and great doses of Omega 3s. Heart healthy stuff, I tell you!

FishOILS

In my food cupboard there is always olive oil and avocado oil. Avo oil is great added to salads. It also have a natural sun protection factor in it, so feel free to use it on your face! It’s a great moisturiser and has no scent. Balsamic vinegar is my primary salad dressing, along with olive oil. I just love it! Keep it in the fridge to prevent it going a bit rancid.

OilsI cook a lot with coconut oil. This is a better oil in which to fry food because it’s smoking point is higher than olive oil. Olive oil’s properties actually change from good to bad when heated to smoking point, so you don’t really want to use olive oil for frying. Best to use olive oil as a salad dressing or if you want to use it in a stir fry, put it on the food and then put the food in the pan. Don’t preheat it. Sunflower oil is to be avoided – it contains the omega 6s that you are trying to avoid.

Cocnut oilCHICKEN FILLETS

While I don’t have these routinely in the freezer, I find them most versatile. I will cook them on a griddle and serve them in a variety of ways. Chicken burgers…Mike will have a bun (or two). I may have one. It’s the healthiest way of making a burger. I may cut them into strips and then add mushrooms and cream. Or I may toss the strips into a salad.  We actually have a couple of these left over from Saturday and I’m thinking of making toasted chicken-mayo sandwiches for tonight (for the bread-eaters). For me, I’ll take the chicken mayo mixture and add avocado to it and serve it (to me) in the avocado shell!

Chicken filletsNUTS

Mike loves to snack on nuts. We buy the raw and recently a packet of mixed nuts. You do need to be careful, however. Nuts are moreish and can add a stack of calories to your intake! Nuts also contain more carbs than you imagine and need to be treated as special and not a staple eat-as-much-as-you-like snack. Peanuts usually are processed in sunflower oil, so try raise your budget to accommodate a healthier nut. Avoid roasted (any kind of) nut for the same reason.

Raw nutsAnd finally,

CREAM

This is my coffee companion. I mainly use cream in coffee. I don’t have too much. If I’m after dessert, I’ll add cream instead of ice cream  and I’ll also use it for sauces.

CreamMy low carb staples…(in a nutshell!)

The Easter weekend has come to an end, but I have taken this week off. Tomorrow, my brother – Julian, Mike & I drive to Swellendam for three nights. Julian saw someone this morning who said he had been to Swellendam. Julian asked him what there was to do in Swellendam. The guy replied, ‘absolutely nothing!’ Ha ha! We’ll soon find out how true that is. One thing there is to do in Swellendam and that’s visit my beautiful children! AND there is a golf course in Swellendam! So that’s two things already! I imagine that tomorrow’s blog will be written in Swellendam. That’s the future and I can think it, but only God knows it.

God has many attributes which make Him God. His perspective is very different to ours because He sees so much more than us. I remember when roadworks were in progress right outside the CCFm building. There would be LONG delays with miles of cars waiting. From the balcony of my office building, I could see quite far ahead to almost the start of the queue. I could also see far behind to close to the back of the queue. When the cars began to move at the front, some of the cars at the back wouldn’t know it and their patience would run out. I wanted to shout to those turning around, ‘No don’t ! The cars ahead are starting to move!’ But they wouldn’t hear my and to get to their destination they took a long detour! God sees what you are doing. He sees what you are going through. He sees what is ahead. He will not leave you. He will guide you. Stay close to Him so He can direct your route through the roadworks of life. Psalm 89 vs 33 says, “I will not take my love from him, nor will I ever betray my faithfulness. ”

God loves you and will always be faithful to you. He cannot change His nature.

God bless you loads!

In His Grip,

Helga xx :-)

Gratitude/Happiness Pic. Yesterday, Easter Sunday, not only did I see sunrise, I also enjoyed a spectacular sunset…

Sunset on Easter Sunday

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The Morning The Shower Became The Pulpit…

10-26am

Mike & I rose early this morning and by 6-30am, we were arriving at St. James Beach….it was dawn….

Dawn at St. JamesMusic and singing came from St. James Beach. Taking our chairs and blankets with us, we went down to the beach where loads of people were gathered for an Easter sunrise service. It was wonderful! We had front row seats to a magnificent view…

St James Pool at sunrisePastor Neil spoke on why we believe Christ was raised from the dead. The beach shower was his pulpit…

The shower is the pulpitThere are many religions in the world, all based on people who have died. The Jews (and to some extent the Muslims) follow Abraham – he is buried in a tomb in Hebron known as the Cave of the Patriarchs. You can visit it. That’s where Abraham is. Then there’s Muhammad, whose tomb is at Medina,  present-day Saudi Arabia.  You can visit it.  Buddha’s body, according to Wikipaedia was believed to have been cremated and his remains entombed, one place is said to be Sri Lanka. You can visit it. All the world’s tombs are recorded on Wikipaedia. Here’s what they say of the tomb of Jesus…Tomb of JesusEvery other tomb contains the remains, but not Jesus. He was only there between His Crucifixion and His Resurrection! He is not there today ! He IS RISEN! And that’s what we celebrate today! :-D

Matthew 28: 6

He is not here; He has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where He lay.

Great message Neil! Then there was a Baptism…it was wonderful – the sun rose from behind distant mountains….

Sea baptism - St James Beach Cape TownEveryone enjoyed it…some from the beach…

People watching sunrise baptism at St James Beach Cape Town…and some from their seats…

Church on the beach Church at the Beach is a wonderful!

We all have a spiritual component and when you meet with God, something special happens.

Happy Easter!

God bless you loads!

In His Grip,

Helga xx :-)

Gratitude…OH YEAH!! Good reminder…

Richer than you think

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Low Carb Without The Tim Noakes Book

8-11am

I haven’t bought it, you know! It’s the book that Prof Tim Noakes has absolutely made famous in South Africa, called Real Meal Revolution, authored by David Grier, Sally-Ann Creed, Jonno Proudfood AND Professor Tim Noakes. You can get it online for a reduced price at kalahari.net….

Real meal revolution on kalahari.netGenerally, I don’t buy recipe books – not with the internet at our fingertips. Also, I’m not a big kitchen person! I cook to feed, so for me simple is the order of the day – meat and veggies, chicken and salad, chicken salad, tuna salad, soup, roasts and stews are probably my most common menu items. Sometimes I’ll break out of my incredible dull but practical repertoire and have courgette ‘pasta’. This comes courtesy of my “kitchen diva” friend Riana – who has fancy machine that twirls baby marrows into incredible curls resembling pasta. It’s not that I’m not capable, it’s just that I’m not motivated, choosing rather to write about food than experiment with it! So recipe books? Please don’t buy me one for Christmas!

Melanie introduced us to Low Carb is Lekker by frequently sharing their recipes on Facebook. This is the power of social media. Low Carb is Lekker is the blogsite and baby of Inè Reynierse and is found at www.lowcarbislekker.wordpress.com. Inè is making a difference in our lives by posting an amazing array of low carb South African recipes which allow you the opportunity of enjoying treats without over-indulging in carbs.

Low carb is lekkerWhen I arrived at Riana’s the other day, she was in full ‘low carb is lekker’ swing of making one of Iné’s recipes….

Blackberry poppers recipeShe had rolled the dough into balls already and was busy poking holes in them for the blackberries when I finally woke up to the fact that I should be photographing the process…

Making holes for the blackberriesReady for the oven…

Ready for the ovenAnd ready for sampling….yum…

Ready for eatingReading through the Low Carb is Lekker blog, even I am getting motivated for trying some new dishes…who knows, they may even become regulars.

There’s an age old adage that says, ‘you are what you eat.’ If you eat a lot, you may be bigger than others. If you eat very little, you may be smaller. If you eat a lot of rubbish, eventually it will catch up with you. As with food consumption, what we put into our minds and our hearts also begins to define us. There’s a lot of rubbish around to read, a lot of trash to watch on TV and a lot of negative people who influence us badly.  Did you know that the saying, “Bad company corrupts good morals” is straight out the Bible?  It comes from  1 Corinthians 15:33

Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.”

But there’s more from the guy called Paul who wrote 1 Corinthians. He also says

 1 Corinthians 5:11 (this is God’s Word Translation)

Now, what I meant was that you should not associate with people who call themselves brothers or sisters in the Christian faith but live in sexual sin, are greedy, worship false gods, use abusive language, get drunk, or are dishonest.

That’s certainly spelling it out! Way back in Paul’s time there were hypocrites in the Christian church, who didn’t live as they should. I’m sorry and embarrassed to say, nothing has changed. Stay away from anyone who is going to influence you negatively. Be the best that you can be.

As for us today in the van Niekerk household. We’ve been up early. I am in far less pain and cleaned my bedroom windows while Mike pruned the vine…

Mike pruning the vineOnce I’d done the windows, that sorted me out – felt I’d overdone it  and I was ordered back to bed!  Tomorrow, my brother arrives and on Tuesday we go to Swellendam to visit Adrian and Stacey! :-)

My cup is full!

God bless you loads!

In His Grip,

Helga xx :-)

Gratitude/ Funny pic….isn’t this a truth….

Youve got mail ha ha

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Why Good Friday is ‘Good’

10-53am

Last night Mike & I went to see the new movie Son of God. Many films have been made about the the death of Jesus, Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ, released exactly 10 years ago, being the most watched.  This latest, Son of God, is a view through the eyes of the Apostle John, who lived to a very old age and died on the isle of Patmos. He was the only disciple to not die a martyr’s death.

Produced by Mark Burnett and Roma Downey, both Christians, Son of God. keeps an almost accurate Biblical account of the birth of Jesus, His life on earth, His death and resurrection. I’m a firm believer in that if you are going to make a Biblical production of something, you must be as accurate as possible. So, the little things that didn’t follow the true Biblical dialogue irritated me just a bit. I just wanted to know ‘why?’ Why change it. The main one was the miracle of raising Lazarus from the dead. The Bible clearly says Jesus said, “Lazarus come out” but this movie depicts Jesus going into the tomb and blowing life into him. Then Jesus follows him out of the tomb. That was the main stray that I found from the text.

Son of GodFor the rest, Focus on the Family’s Unplugged Movie Review website has a comprehensive review…

http://www.pluggedin.com/movies/intheaters/son-of-god.aspx

You can be a little critical as I have been, or else you can scrap the criticism, as I am now doing, and look at the real reason for the film. To document again that Jesus died for us and to show in graphic detail of the suffering He incurred on our behalf. Today being the day we remember Christ’s death makes it entirely appropriate to go and see it. It’s somber and it’s heart-breaking, but it’s called Good Friday because ultimately the good for all mankind came out of this day.

Justin Holcomb puts it like this:  “Good Friday marks the day when wrath and mercy met at the cross. That’s why Good Friday is so dark and so Good”.

Christ was victorious over the cross.

1 Peter 3:18

For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit…

God bless you significantly on this special day.

In His Grip,

Helga xx :-)

Gratitude Pic. I loved Hillsong Cape Town’s Facebook page…

Hillsong Church Cape Town photo of Table Mountain

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Blog From A Bed…

9-45am

Now that I’ve got all the feeling back, I’ve got an idea of the full extent of the pain. Embrace the pain, baby, embrace the pain! In the light of having a baby, this pain is not nearly as bad. It twinges to about a 5/10, but mainly it hovers around 3/10, going down to a massive “stitch in your side” kind of pain. But today, I am gratefully hopeful that I will be able to go walking soon, albeit not at my normal brisk pace.

So this is a blog from a bed…with this the view…

Blog from a bedCould be a lot worse!

So one of the things I have managed to do while having this time off is look at a retirement investment I decided to make with a certain finance company that said they would light my way to financial prosperity.

FinancialSo, I’ve been putting money into this ‘portfolio’ for the last 12 years. 12 x 12 = 144 months at an average of R400 a month = R57 600 altogether. Right now, it’s worth R66 000, so over 12 years, I’ve made less than R10 000. Now if I was one of the men in the Bible who got the talents and invested them, I don’t think I would have been the one who did a good job. It’s time to cut my losses and move on. The penalty? R6000. Ouch!  I will take my R60 000 and move it to a more profitable place! I wrote to my financial adviser and asked him if he had anything he could switch it to that would bring me 15% return without a R6000 penalty. I haven’t heard back from him. When you know better, you do better.

Yesterday Victor and Miranda visited me. Vic has had an inguinal hernia op and we compared notes, which was very helpful. Sue popped in. David came and Riana bought a quiche. Do you know how blessed I felt?  Miranda bought me this little card…

God gives us confidence in the next stepMiranda is an amazing person. I’ve often said, ‘it’s the little things’  that count. In her well years, Granny had never met Miranda. When shut-in, Miranda used to come up to see Granny and bring her a flower and a Bible verse. When I got home, Gran always showed me the things Miranda had bought. There is much to be said for a person who does things for others with no thought of them being able to do things in return. Miranda is that kind of person!

So it is Easter and this morning my Bible reading included Luke 18. Sometimes it is not for us to know. As Jesus was heading towards Jerusalem and His crucifixion , He explained to the disciples what was going to happen to Him. Speaking in the 3rd person, in Luke 18 vss 31-34, we read these words of Jesus:

” ‘We are going up to Jerusalem and everything that is written by the prophets about the Son of Man will be fulfilled. He will be handed over to the Gentiles. They will mock Him, insult Him, spit on Him, flog Him and kill Him. On the third day, He will rise again.’ The disciples did not understand any of this. It’s meaning was hidden from them, and they did not know what He was talking about.”

Jesus knew His fate. He knew what was ahead. Tough to know how bad things will be and still go through with it. But sometimes it is not for us to know about things that God is about to do in our lives. He works in mysterious ways, completely outside the realm of our understanding, sometimes blinding our eyes to what He has ahead. That’s why we are called to have faith. If there is something going on in your life that you just cannot fathom, hang on. Keep trusting God & walking closely with Him. He will reveal His plan in due course.

God bless you abundantly this Easter.

In His Grip,

Helga xx :-)

Gratitude Pic…Granny has a new body in heaven, but here on earth, the cross-stitch of her 1944 photograph is coming to life…what an enormous amount of pleasure I have had from doing this….

Granny coming to life

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Helga’s Hospital Experience

8-21am

Yesterday all went as planned. I pitched up at the hospital and went to the day ward….got issued with the finest hospital wear out and settled in to wait for my turn….cross-stitch to keep me busy…

Cross-stitching while waitingA very nice anaesthetist came to see me pre-op – a Dr. Moodley. I had been to  pre-admission last week to expedite hospital admission and was interested in all the forms and consents I had to sign. On leaving pre-admission last week, I pondered how many people took in their own forms. I imagined typing up a simple form and asking the nursing staff, anaesthetist and surgeon to sign it. It would say,

“I Dr/Sister/ENA/Staff Nurse (circle applicable) ………………………………………      (full name in print) promise to keep to the oath I made when I qualified into the medical profession and take care of you in the capacity in which I am trained, to the best of my ability.”

And then their signature.  Even on admission to the hospital there were more forms to sign. I probably signed in about 10 places altogether. So one signature from a nursing staff member, the surgeon and the anaesthetist wouldn’t be too much to ask, would it?

Well of course, I THOUGHT that was a good idea but I didn’t carry it out. I did, however, ask Dr. Moodley if anyone had done that. He said ‘no’ and reminded me that he had sworn the Hippocratic oath.  I said I know he has, but they have so many patients, it’s easy to become a bit blasé and people become numbers. He agreed that sometimes the medical profession need reminding! This was at the forefront of my mind, because when I arrived at the Day Ward, I was not greeted….no eye contact…just another patient requiring more work! Then I ‘fell through the cracks’ as far as the hospital day ward admission was concerned and while I was being wheeled off to the theatre, they were still filling in the final forms! Oops!

People are important. It’s so easy to get swallowed up in a job and not notice them. It’s something I have to remember as well. Each and every listener and blog reader is important! Overall the experience was positive in that the nursing staff (when they discovered I hadn’t been fully admitted) introduced themselves by name and thanked me profusely for going to pre-admission a few days ago! And  Dr. Moodley hauled them over the coals for letting me fall through the cracks! So he gets 10/10 for a good bedside manner, taking a full interest in me, defending my cause, and looking after me while I was in surgery.

My last recollection of before the op was having a mask put over my mouth and Dr Moodley saying, “Okay Mrs van Niekerk I’m going to give you something that puts you into a nice sleep” And that was that. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz!

Next thing I knew I was waking up in recovery with the nurse calling my name. I was so sleepy, I felt I could hardly respond. I was taken back to the ward, had dinner (it was chicken), dozed on and off. Was put in a wheelchair;  fell asleep on the way out & snoozed all the way home. Like helping a drunk, Mike helped me hobble up the stairs (I remember him telling me it reminded him of helping Granny!). I got into my nightie and went to bed. I vaguely heard my saint of a husband return from taking the CCFm keys to the studio (I had forgotten to leave them there!) and the next thing I knew it was midnight. I got up, went to the loo, took pain pills and went back to sleep until 4am. THEN I woke up! And was fully awake. I got up, hobbled downstairs, very very slowly, made tea, got my Bible and hobbled back up again. At about 5am, I went back to sleep, only to wake up at 6am and take more pain pills.”Every six hours pain or not”, they said.  Mike woke up at about 7am and made me breakfast in bed…

Breakfast in bedMike, meanwhile has gone off to have surgery of his own…

Mikes wartThis big cyst has been growing by the week. (He’s just called to say the deed is done and it wasn’t a wart as we thought!)

And I am sitting contently in bed watching the sunbirds scavenging for any leftover grapes on the vine. Poor little things…I wish I’d put up the bird feeder.

And once this blog is posted, I will reach for my cross-stitch and quietly do some more! At this rate, it will be finished sooner than I thought.

In my Bible reading this morning, I read about Caleb. He and Joshua were two of the 12 men sent into the Promised Land by Moses to go and check it out. They were the only two who came back with positive reports. Caleb was 40 when he went as a spy to check out the land of Canaan. By the time he gets into the land of Israel with Joshua and they are beginning to defeat their attackers, Caleb is (wait for it!) 85!  Joshua 14: 10b-11

“So here I am today, eighty-five years old! I am still as strong today as the day Moses sent me out; I’m just as vigorous to go out to battle now as I was then.”

Ta daa! Attitude is everything! Life begins for you (and me) TODAY, regardless of our age. If you’re 85, life begins for you today! Use your vigour to go out and live in obedience to God!

God bless you loads!

In His Grip,

Helga xx :-)

Gratitude/Happiness pic….roof painted…Truffles approves…

Truffles inspecting the newly painted roof

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Off for an Op…

11am

Going for an operation is like flying in an aeroplane. You know that 99% of the time all will go well  but there is a little chance you won’t come out alive! That’s the same with an anaesthetic, the one big different being is that you are on the ground and in the safest place possible if things go wrong. I’m not expecting things to go wrong. I have had a few general anaesthetics (wisdom teeth and appendix) come to mind).

So I will spend the afternoon chilling in a hospital bed before the op, then they will do the op, then I will recover from the op, then I will come home. This time tonight I will be fast asleep in my own bed! So happy about that!  I have nothing to fear…

Exodus 23:20

“See, I am sending an angel ahead of you to guard you along the way and to bring you to the place I have prepared.”

Yesterday, our roof was cleaned but you don’t get a clean roof without getting a really dirty garden, including the vine which is now covered with grey dirt…

Dirty vineThe roof is nice and clean…

Clean RoofBut by the time we get home this evening, it will have changed colour as right now it is being painted. Truffles does not do all these funny noises on the roof, so she has pottered across the road to the neighbour’s house where she can observe all the activity from a safe distance…

Truffles looking on from a distanceClever cat!  For those interested the entire roof was cleaned for just over R4700. They quoted us R4950 and gave a 5% discount for cash, so we paid them cash.

I am now on leave until 29th April! How about that!? Amazing!

God bless you loads!

In His Grip,

Helga xx :-)

Gratitude Pic…our family home since 1st May 1989 (although it didn’t look like this then…there was no double garage or upstairs or bay window. We’ve extended quite a bit.

Before

 

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Stay in the Yard

3-33pm

Such a thought provoking Andy Stanley DVD the other day. We watched the introduction to a series on the Ten Commandments. He said that the rules of God are not a condition of His love but a sign of His love.  He added that you can tell a lot about a person by the rules they set and to whom they give the rules. The 10 Commandments give you insight into what is valuable. When God starts with, “I am the Lord YOUR God…” that’s relationship! When God saved the Israelites from slavery in Egypt, He came to them, not to be a law-giver, but to be a Saviour. All they (and us) have to do is trust Him. We are not on this earth to establish a relationship with God – we already have one.  Rules never establish a relationship. Rules without relationship results in rebellion. Jesus is asking, Will You Trust Me? It was such a great message. He ended it with an illustration. If your dog gets out your yard and goes running off round the neighbourhood, and a neighbour sees him and phones you and says, ‘your dog is at my house.’ You’re not going to reply “If he’s not at my house, he’s not my dog!’  No! Your dog is your dog whether he is in your yard or out. The commands that God gives are like an The Sinai Codeinvisible fence that surround us. We are His. Living in obedience to Him is where I want to be and when I do, I am inside the fence. When I start living outside of the boundaries of the Word of God, that’s when I’m outside the fence. I’m still God’s child, but I’m not living in accordance to His rules…I may be out of relationship with Him – in rebellion. If that’s the case, the consequences will be dangerous. It’s an excellent series, called The Sinai Code…look out for it.

Today, I had a conversation that will change my life. It was a massive ‘step of faith’ conversation. More details will be revealed in time, but just for my own records – today 14-4-14, I stood up in the boat and will soon  be stepping out of it! I got home and made myself a big, strong cup of coffee and then I sat, almost in shock, and thought about it. From the age of 14, I have been trusting God. It’s a well known couple of Bible verses but they have proven true year in and year out… Proverbs 3:5-6

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In ALL your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.”

I’m trusting God!

I had coffee with Truffles….

Truffles and my coffeeIn this photo she is looking somewhat unsettled. When I took the photo, the ‘painter’ was here cleaning the roof ahead of tomorrow’s paint. He had just started and the noise and unfamiliarity was freaking her out a bit. Eventually, I let her out the window and she gapped it to a neighbour’s house where she could watch proceedings from a safe distance! No doubt, she’ll be home as soon as his van drives away!

God bless you loads!

In His Grip,

Helga xx :-)

Gratitude Pic….oh oh! Hands up those who are so so happy the heat of the weekend has passed….cool, drizzly, cloudy day – yes please!

Rainy day

 

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