The Power of Words – South Africans Need Some Context

Context_Logo-04Sitting with a group of 16 students earlier today, I was amazed to find that no less than 11 cultures were represented. These ranged from Twsana, Zulu, British, Italian, Jewish, Afrikaans, American to name but a few. It was an energizing experience as we discussed some unique traditions and practices from the various backgrounds represented.

Last week we were treated to a barrage of racially inspired or fuelled incidences, from hair styles, babies compared to dogs to inappropriate words. South Africa never ceases to stretch the boundaries of what should be seen as ignorant/foolish comment. I sat listening to a radio show where one particular caller took it upon himself to vividly depict what mark Twain meant when he said “Better to Remain Silent and Be Thought a Fool than to Speak and Remove All Doubt” Continue reading

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We Don’t Know Your Pain, But Your Loss Is Our Loss

255ff2eb955c106b976cfada42362409I have heard it said that those without children, know the most about parenting. It seems as though the moment we are thrust in the reality of parenthood, we lose all that wisdom that seemed to ooze out whenever we saw a child acting out or a mom/dad attempting to get their little one to do something. Oh how I long for those days where I knew it all and unashamedly would let parents know with my gaze of all-knowing-ness.

But as much as those without children may have attained new heights of enlightenment, the one thing they will never know until they themselves are parents is the almost spiritual connectedness we as parents feel toward other parents and their challenges, successes and losses. I feel this when watching things like America’s Got Talent. I have absolutely no connection to the 12 year old girl who blows the crowd away with her voice, but when I see the love in her parents eyes, the pride, the hope and the joy as she gets that golden buzzer, at this moment I find I connect with them. I am proud, I feel emotion and I’m so happy!

But as much as we can feel joy for one another’s successes, we feel an equal but opposite loss when there is pain. When moments arise where worlds are shattered, time stands still and people battle to breathe as a result of their loss. In these times, our worlds shatter with yours, out time stands still too and we lose our breath with you.

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Not On My Radar

radar

I’m feeling a little despondent today! I’m sensing the enormity of the challenge and I’m weighed down by the reality of the need. I’m troubled that so many believe and have accepted our own adoption as sons’ and daughters’ into God’s family, and yet the idea of adoption for many is as far from them them as the East is from the West.

We have freely received and therefore should freely give, as Jesus says, but what does this mean? Continue reading

The Father Heart Fund

UntitledFor some years now, since starting on our journey of adoption, My wife and I have often wondered how we could do more to help the Fatherless. We have limited capacity, we have limited space, practically, the need is too great.

But what if we were to focus on our pond? What if we threw a pebble in our pond, and the people at the pond next door thought “We can do that” and so on. Very quickly we arrive at a place where we don’t have to feel like we are fighting the battle alone, all of a sudden the little I have takes on a new value because it is added to the little someone else has. Very soon, a trickle becomes a stream, becomes a river which becomes a body of water that can now affect massive change.

It is a sad irony that in a world of excess many exist with great need

This is where I find myself. In a world where excess is normal, we also find great lack existing. How do these two polar opposites exist juxtapose?

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Our Kids, a work in progress!

const1 Cup of affection;

3 Cups quality time;

2.5 Cups of Hard work;

1.5 Cups of discipline (Add more if the mixture requires)

5 tsp of guidance;

1 dozen quality friends and their families.

Mix the above in 1 large community , immerse and cover with affirmation. Leave to cure for 18 years and serve.

Wouldn’t it be nice if succesful parenting was as simple as following the steps of your favourite recipe, just add, mix, bake and enjoy!

For those of you without children (Parents, you know the sort, their eyes follow you with scornful disdain and stare you down with wisdom acquired through the ages from the careful studying of  movies, TV shows, second-hand opinion gathering and other useful practices) Sorry guys, this recipe doesn’t exist.

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#SOUTHAFRICAMUSTRISE

SA-Cloud2016 has reared it’s head, full of promise and opportunities. As 2015 left the harbour I looked back over the year and it’s challenges and must admit, the gains outweighed the losses, at least in my life.

We entered the new year celebrating the arrival of our beautiful little girl, aglow with smiles and covered with a sense of excitement. My house has never seen the colour pink, but it has certainly been attacked and bares the battle wounds of this stereotypical girlie colour.

So all is good? Well yes and no! As the HMS 2016 began her maiden voyage, it appeared that the waters would be filled with both adventure but certain danger as well. The danger, at least in the context of South Africa, came in the form of a social media storm that dared suggest that perhaps we haven’t come as far as we thought on the race front. Continue reading

Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow – Adoption completes the circle

Every TuesScreen Shot 2015-10-27 at 16.22.13day our social worker meets to discuss our case, every Wednesday we wait by the phone anticipating the call that let’s us know our little girl is ready to come home. For the last 5 months we have waited by the phone, but it hasn’t rung, perhaps tomorrow will be different.

To make the waiting a little easier, I was blessed with an opportunity to see just how far adoption reaches to completely transform the orphan into a son/daughter. Continue reading

The new drug – fighting a PORN addiction

Fight-the-New-DrugI’m sitting here at my usual coffee spot, getting ready to write on a subject that has in the last two months appeared strongly on my radar. I am keenly aware that when I take out my notes, I may be subject to the odd glance veiled with subtle disapproval. You see my notes have headings that include the word pornography and we all know that this is unacceptable in public.

Yet in private it is waging a silent war against the most innocent of victims. Some of these victims are oblivious to the long-term damage being done, some are at the mercy of others and just have to endure the constant bombardment of adult content, polluting their innocent minds and ears. Those victims are our children, yours and mine and I want to ask, I want to issue a challenge, what are we going to do about this?
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Who is the real Bully?

does-anchor-s-anti-bullying-message-redefine-bully-0e829b17e5There is a word as prevalent as it is nightmarish. It haunts the hallways of schools, hides in the dark places and lays in wait for its next victim. Many children face the light of day pregnant with fear that this day will repeat the horrors they felt yesterday and the days before that. So many children are facing the morning school run with a  fear that could level a heavyweight boxer by the second round.

Bullies have the ability to rip away the innocence, the joy and the wonder that should form the basis of our children’s reality. From the subtle look over his shoulder to see if his captor will allow him to make the choice he is faced with to the blatant assault he endures at the hands of the “ones in power”.

South African media has launched a tirade of articles in recent weeks exposing the hell that many children find themselves never escaping. From social media rants, emotional barrages, group punishment to full-blown physical warfare.

I don’t profess to be an expert on the material, but this is what I have experienced:

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OUTSOURCED PARENTING

Way Signs "Outsourcing - In-House Solutions"BUSY, BUSY, BUSY, BUSY! Although the word presents itself as something we don’t inherently strive for, it is nevertheless nowadays used as something we gauge our success by. Imagine the scenario, bumping into a friend during the week the question is posed “How ya doing?” Forgetting the possibility that it’s not really a question but actually a greeting in disguise and in spite of the fact that the person posing the question probably doesn’t really care for an in-depth answer, you dig deep and muster the words “Wow I’m really busy”.

I have become really uncomfortable with these words. We’ve made them to mean more than an indication of how cluttered our lives are and instead use them as a new version of “Mines bigger than yours!”. We seem to have bought into the lie that busier is better. Busyness, for some, has become the yard stick against which success is measured. What may have been forgotten, is that in order for us to achieve a stage of busyness, something has to be traded. What are the trade offs to the busyness we “aspire” to, or more importantly, who are the trade off’s?

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