Dion's random ramblings

Sunday, December 09, 2007

The Church of Vespa! The Pretoria Vespa fun ride [Pics]

This morning I was not preaching, although I was engaged in a sacred activity. The Monks of the 13th century called it otium sanctum (that's Latin for 'Holy leisure').

This morning I met up with about 20 other Vespa riders at the Pretoria Vespa showroom in Duncan Street Pretoria (that is a place of great temptation for me! They have THE MOST incredible stuff for sale - caps, jackets, mugs, clocks, books, AND OF COURSE, all the latest Vespa models! I think the time may have come to sell my kidneys to buy the NEW GTS250ie!!!)

Anyway, Markus and Freddie were there to meet us, and within about 30 minutes 20 0r so new (and some slightly older) Vespa's had arrived (with their owners, and owners' spouses of course). It could be a scene from an alley way in Italy! The bikes were looking great, and so were their owners.

These folks were in for a morning of fun, relaxation, and enjoyment - they were here to enjoy God's good creation (and of course God's preferred mode of transportation, the Vespa!) I felt tempted to go on my 'beast' so that I could ride with them.... But I thought they may just smurk at a BMW among the stylish Vespas... So, instead I took my Orange Bomber (my 1967 Vespa Sprint 150cc - pictured here). You can see in the photo at the top that my old Girl is parked in the background, but just look at this incredible PX200 collectors item. This bike came standard with white wall tires, a brown leather seat and all the Chrome. It was one of the last 10 two-stroke Vespa's sold in South Africa!

I knew that I wouldn't be able to ride with them out to Cullinan / Bronkorspruit. The older Vespas (like mine) simply don't run at the speeds of these new models. Moreover, the orange bomber has been a little tempramental in the last few weeks... I didn't want to get caught somewhere far from home. Not to mention that I had work to do...

So, I met all the folks, had a chat with many likeminded people. We talked about favourite rides, longest rides, favourite responses to our cool bikes from friends, family and passers by... It was a sacred hour!

When they took off on their ride I started up the Orange bomber and headed home. My heart was glad. I was glad that I had taken the time to meet with these cool people, and share in our common joy!

You know, I think the Church will need to become much more like this... Going to people, not expecting people to come to us. I think that in a consumer driven culture we will need to find people and address their needs and desires directly. I suppose at the end of the day if the purpose of the Church is establish the Kingdom of God here on earth, then what I did this morning is truly the work of ministry!

Now, if only I could have taken a collection (a tithe!) I'm sure I would have been able to buy that brand new Vespa on the spot... Well, we pray!

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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

If you're going to do it, at least enjoy doing it... She has curves in the right places! A creation spirituality.

To skip my diatribe and see the curvaceous, well rounded, beauty - scroll to the bottom of this post....

I am a theologian, but I am also a student of the natural sciences. Straight from school I spent some time studying science, and both my theology Masters, and my Doctoral work focussed on theology and science.

I have spent years trying to understand atoms, and sub atomic particles, trying to fathom the complexity of the EPR (that's Einstein, Rosen and Podolsky) 'tunneling effect', and how quantum theory can relate to the faith that I have in a God who holds everything in existence moment by moment.

I've just recently had to go through a whole stack of my foundational work in this regard for a book I've just finished writing about the Cosmic Christ (I'll post about that separately). I have a great appreciatoin for the minds that have formed the western scientific paradigm (by my mind the most important of them are), but they have also caused us some problems (which relate to the curves you'll see below):

  • Plato who emphasized, in a clear philosophical system that material reality was distinct (although only a 'poor copy' of the truer spiritual reality it reflected). The positive development was the recognition of material reality as distinct, the negative element was the duality created between spirit and matter.
  • Next, in my mind, was the philosophy of Rene Descartes (the famous 'I think, therefore I am' man. cogito ergo sum, although I have always thought it should be cogito, cogito, ergo, cogito sum (I think, I think, therefore I think I am...) Just kidding. Oh, and by the way, his name is pronounced "day car", NOT "des car tes"!). Descartes' philosophy of being developed the Aristotelian principle of 'matter' being an 'extension of mind' (res cogitans and res extensa). In short, he asked the question "How can I be sure that I TRULY exist?" i.e., how could he be sure that his body, the world, and everything else was not just a dream (like a bad episode of the 80's soap Opera Dallas when JR Ewing was shot - if you're too young to remember - google it! ). So, he couldn't sure that anything that he thought was real (i.e., material reality) could be truly trusted. The only thing that he could be certain of was that he was thinking (i.e., that he was a sentient, thinking being, thinking about what existed) - hence the statement "I think, therefore I am". The positive step in this was that it created an 'objective' and a 'subjective' reality (i.e., something that the res cogitans could observe, res extensa). The downside was that it further removed the sacred, spiritual, and sentience, from material reality - the duality between spirit and matter was widened.
  • Next came the English physicists Sir Isaac Newton, under whose tree (you remember, the one from which the apple supposedly fell that started the whole 'gravity thing') I have stood under in Cambridge! I'll post the photo to prove it! Newton discovered, and suggested, that the whole of the material (objective) Universe could be objectively studied, and that when one did so one could determine clear and definable laws according to which it operated - these are what became known as the laws of physics. By understanding these laws you could thus understand all of material reality! This was quite a positive step for science! It is what made things like building bridges, flight, and car engines possible - engineering would be lost without it. However, the downside was that many people began to disregard, and doubt, the presence of God in in creation (if creation was more like a mathematically precise machine, than a living organism, then God's only role - if God existed at all, was simply to build the clock, wind it up, and watch it unwind).
  • Next came another English philosopher, Sir Francis Bacon, he took Newton and Descartes theories a step further (by they way Newton and Descartes theories become commonly known as Newtonian - Cartesian logic). He suggested that 1) if material reality is separate from 'self', and material reality ran according to clearly deducible 'laws', then by discovering and manipulating these 'laws' one could control the destiny of material reality. The upside of this theory was that it held some truth! If you could work out how to harness the power of water to drive a turbine, to create electrical energy (something that only happened much later), you could get 'something for nothing' (or so it seemed at the time). The downside of this theory is that it is so devoid of any sense of harmony between humans and creation that it lead to the abuses of the industrial revolution, and almost all ecological abuse since! Certainly, America's unwillingness to sign the Kyoto protocol accord smacks of this kind of thinking "It doesn't matter what we do to the rest of creation, after all we're seperate from it! So, if the planet dies, it doesn't affect who and what we truly are - all that we need is to find ways to manipulate it to get what we want". Sad, but true. A further downside of this philosophical approach was that it ONLY VALUED those things that could be measured and quantified - read the works of the father of modern economics, Adam Smith, and you'll see that even people have a value attached to them... What you can earn and produce determines your worth. In the Baconian world, beauty, faith, happiness, and spirit had no value whatsoever because they could not accurately quantified, and because of that they could not be manipulated.
  • For the first time in history material reality was seen as purely functional, completely devoid of God's sacred and loving power... And, so we abused it.
Now, that's the whole problem with the false dichotomy, and duality, that is created between material and spiritual reality! All of creation is God's creation! Sadly, because we no longer recognize that we think that the only place that we can worship is in Church!

Of course there have been MANY significant developments in science since then that show just how material reality is filled with God's divine power and presence. But you'll have to buy my next book to read about that! Ha ha!

So, here's the point that I was getting to when I started writing this post....

When God created the heavens and the earth, God said "It is good..." (Gen 1). Moreover, we are told in Paul's (or the Pauline author's) letter to the Colossians that "...by him [Jesus] all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together." (Col 1:16-17, emphasis mine).

That's what the Bible tells us, theology further shows us that God sanctifies created reality when he chooses to become 'incarnate' in it - the divine enters physical being! Moreover, have you ever thought that when Jesus ascended into the Godhead (Acts 1:9-11) he took atoms into the Trinitarian life! By this I mean, Jesus didn't leave his body behind, Jesus fully God, fully human, and Nicea Constantinople creed tells us, ascended into the divine Trinitarian life.

So, next time we abuse creation, or choose to disregard it - remember that God has sanctified it, and if you abuse creation you are abusing the God who has entered created, material reality, and taken that material reality into the divine life of the Godhead!

The point is that today I decided to take my 1967 Vespa to the Kentucky Fried Chicken drive through! It was a spiritual experience! As I rode that curvy, rounded, beautiful orange scooter, I experienced the joy of being alive to God in Christ. It could feel the goodness of God's creation! God created the air, the sunset, the plants, and let me assure you, God created MY VESPA!

(the one on the left is mine... I used to own the one on the right as well, but she has gone to a good home and been replaced with a beast).

So, my advice is, if you're going to live life, ENJOY IT! Find joy in God's creation, give God glory for what is around you. A creation spirituality, like all spirituality, is a discipline - it takes discipline to say "Lord, I CHOOSE to see you in the world around me, active, alive, keeping all things in being. And, as I see you, I praise and thank you for your beauty, power, and love!"

Oh, and yes, I do enjoy writing as much as I enjoy riding my Vespa! Any other Vespa riders out there who want to join me for an occasional ride in the Pretoria area?

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Wednesday, September 12, 2007

A favourite photo, of a favourite passtime, in a favourite place.

Isn't this just a great photo of my old Vespa? I have been ridding here for the past few days - the weather here has been awesome (33 degrees C today!) When I arrived home from Malaysia I took this old girl out of the garage, took out my soft cloth and wiped off all the dust, pulled out the choke and she started first time! She is a wonderful machine! And I get such joy from riding her.

This photo was taken back on the 3rd of July on the UNISA university campus - I was dropping off some marked assignments. That day it was FREEZING! Today, however, I had a meeting at UNISA for a book I am writting with Professor Kretzschmar. I rode there in a short sleeve shirt!

In this light she looks like a saint - saint Vespa! The joy's and blessings of life!

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Sunday, July 01, 2007

Good times!

I have had three of the busiest weeks that I can remember in a while.

In these three weeks I have arranged a Conference, written and delivered an academic paper, arranged, and attended, our denomination's education meetings, written numerous reports, attended more 'regular' meetings than I remember, planned for the new term, been for surgery, preached and spoken on more than 10 occasions, marked (graded) over 100 papers, written a book review (Wes, you know how I do it ;-), taught regular classes, traveled to two other provinces, watched 'Amazing Grace' (it was great! I cried), and managed to eat, sleep, and still fetch Courtney from school when I was in town...

The pace has meant that I have not had even half a day, let alone a whole day, off in over a month. Today, however, I was free! It felt great, I lay in bed until after 8am, got up, watched a bit of TV, read a little, and then hopped on my Vespa for a ride! The weather was great, the Vespa is orange, and so is my leather jacket. What could possibly be better!?

Isn't she a beauty!? I always feel SO ALIVE when I am on this bike (perhaps that is because her breaks are so bad that I am constantly close to death!)

Megie, Courts, her friend Tamika, Liam and I went to Menlyn Park to play tenpin bowls! It was great!!! I am blessed with an incredibly patient and loving family! Thank you guys, I love you! They understand that I love to work, that I love God and want to make a difference, they understand that I don't sleep, and that not sleeping makes me grumpy, but they love me anyway.

Then we went and had some lunch at Mug and Bean.... This is what Liam thought of my conversation with him over lunch (we discussed Boethius' amendments to Augustine's traditional 'just war theory'):

Ha ha! Dad, you're a scream Dad! Don't make me laugh I may just... Ooopps too late. Have you got a clean nappy!?

Tonight we will be showing the Bono (from U2) interview with Bill Hybels in our evening service at Bryanston Methodist Church. It is set to be an incredible evening. I am looking forward to being there with my new friends from Cambridge who are visiting us for a while, Michael and Barry.

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Saturday, May 19, 2007

Take a look at this classic Vespa advert!

I love my Vespa!

She still gets driven almost every day! It is great to live in Africa, where the weather is good, the scenery is breathtaking, the rides are fine, the taxis are life threatening, and Vespa's are admired!!

Here's a short clip from the TV series 'Top 10 motorcycles'...

The Vespa was number 3!!! It should be number 1 in my mind!!

PS. Both of these are youtube videos so just start them running and come back in a few minutes to watch them in without getting stuck.

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Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Me on my the 'Orange bomber', my 1968 Orange VLB Vespa Sprint

Here is a picture of me on my 1968 Vespa VLB 150cc. I think she is looking great, and she sure is running great! (Click on the image to enlarge it).

The photo was taken by Professor Jan van der Watt, a very famous New Testament scholar with a speciality in Johannine literature (particularly John's Gospel). I edit all of his manuscripts for publication. We also share in a radio program on 'Radio Pulpit', a Christian radio station that broadcasts in South Africa.

He is the REAL scholar on the show - I think they asked me to come on because I am English speaking (whilst Prof van der Watt is Afrikaans speaking), and I have a doctorate.... Sure, I know a few things about the Bible. However, I always have to take my laptop with me and access the Libronix software (Logos) for the finer etymology of the Greek and Hebrew words, and some of the socio-cultural, socio-historical, and syntactical intricacies of the text.

Our program is intended to help people read and use the bible responsibly (i.e., to avoid fundamentalism and literalism that often causes religious bigotary, abuse, and struggle). The program is called 'Do you understand what you're reading?' (Verstaan jy wat jy lees?) People get to phone in and ask questions about the socio-cultural background to texts, the original Hebrew or Greek translations, and some of the theological issues that are presented and dealt with in different books and texts.

Anyway, back to the Vespa, I ride her just about everywhere in Pretoria! I ride between my seminary campus and the two other Universities where I teach (the University of Pretoria, where I teach New Testament, and the University of South Africa, where I teach Systematic Theology and Ethics). She (that is my Vespa, fondly known as the 'Orange bomber') is SUCH A STUNNER! She always starts on the first kick (when it is cold) and NEVER starts with the kick start when she is warm - I'm not sure why... These, my friends, are the mysteries of the faith.... ;-) Hey, but it is always fun watching this doctor pushing her down the tarmac to get her up and running! Truly dignified... It is so great to drive her through the city, there are no traffic worries, and parking on campus is also never a problem.

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Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Some Vespa porn!

For those who love style, reliability, the ability to carry a backpack, a laptop, a dataprojector, a Greek New Testament, an analytical Greek Lexicon with semantic domains, a Greek dictionary, a few Biblical commentaries, classwork handouts, and student marking, all on a motorbike that you can ride without messing up your shoes! (How's that for a sentence! It is almost Barthian, or Rahnerian!)....

Here are one or two pictures of my babies... Well one of them is still mine.

In this picture you can see my VW Polo as well! The amazing thing about her (the VW) is that she is almost as economical as the Vespa's! Diesel is the only way to go. When, oh when, will they make a diesel Vespa!? Or an orange VW Polo (just kidding)!
Oh, and did I mention that it is a sin to covet?! My students love my Orange Vespa! I ride the one in the picture above (on the right) to College every day! Even when I am preaching in Chapel, I will ride up to chapel on it, often with my guitar, books and marking for the day, dressed in a clerical collar and jacket! It is quite a sight. I have joked with them, saying that we need to petition the Presiding Bishop to make in mandatory for ALL Methodist clergy to drive ONLY Vespas! Hey Pete and Greg, what do you guys think? Pete, I have managed to convince Wessel, how about it, are you willing to give up the TAAAAIIIIIGGGGGRRRRRR for a Vespa?

I also think that Gus should get one (I used to ride my black 1972 VBB all over Fraschhoek and Stellenbosch), so should Murray (fuel prices are too high in England! Oh, and I couldn't find my link to your blog, would you mind posting it in the comments if you get a chance?), and of course Sharky Buttner.... If you live in Cape Town, you NEED a Vespa!!!

PS. If you want to follow a recent convert to Vespaism, check out Wessel's Vespa restoration page.

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Friday, February 23, 2007

A new lease on life for an old bike!

Yesterday was a very exciting day!! Uncle Regie from KR and Sons panel shop phoned to say that my Vespa was ready for collection!

Uncle Regie is a member of a local Methodist Church. I was put in touch with by my friend, the Revd Ronnie van Eck. He offered to respray my old Vespa for me - you may remember that I had been trying to find someone who would do it, but no panel shop was willing because it was just too much work to strip, spray, and rebuild the bike. She was badly in need of some new paint and also needed quite a few dents knocked out. After all, she is 39 years old this year!

You may remember that this is what she looked like before:

So, after meeting Uncle Regie and his team, she was taken to pieces, a colour was agreed upon (Uncle Regie decided that she would look good in the new metalic Orange that is being used for the sporty Ford Fiesta), and I patiently waited. In the meantime I had ordered new rubbers for the side cowels, new grips for the handlebars, and a new badge for the front (a total of about $15 US (about R150 including postage) from a place in India that I found on the internet... When I first placed the order I was worried that the parts may never arrive... However, they came, well packaged in perfect order, and at a very reasonable price!)

Here's a picture of the Vespa during restoration.

The paintwork is absolutely perfect! She was stripped down, the dents were all fixed up, she was sanded down and then given a few coats of paint to get up to this shiny state! The orange used on this Vespa is quite different from that on my other one. This orange shines! It has some sort of metalic finish that makes it glimmer in the sun. It looks truly awesome!

AND!!! Here's a picture of the old girl all back together with the shiny new coat of paint, all the panels and beading, and saddle fitted! The orange draws a LOT of attention! At least I am always spotted by cars and taxis as I'm driving. I can now say that I have a truly unique Vespa. She has done 36 000 miles! And, I'm sure that I will do a few thousand more.

So, she looks great doesn't she!? She still has a few problems starting.... I will have to get the engine seen to as soon as I have a few spare clams to spend. The seat also needs to be replaced and the headlight is not working as it should (I can get a dim beam, but no brights). Also the speedometer doesn't work, so I am never quite sure how fast I'm driving... So that will also need to be fixed with time. However, when she starts, and once she is running, she goes like a dream! Italian craftsmanship with a South African flare.

She sure is a great joy to me, and she saves me hours of driving by allowing me to nip through the city traffic! I can't wait to leave the office this afternoon and take her out on the road home. Thanks Ronnie, and thanks Uncle Regie... You know what the best part of the whole deal is? Uncle Regie didn't charge me a cent! Now that's incredible!!

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Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Church of the Vespaholics

Church of the Vespaholics
Originally uploaded by DocJelly.

Now, that's my kind of Church! All you need is a few faithful friends (of course when I say faithful, I mean more than just Vespa lovers, I mean people who can enjoy God in creation and two-stroke oil!), some reasonable weather, a good cup of coffee, and the time to enjoy being alive!

Aahhh.... The Church of Vespa. I wonder if they will still fall asleep during my sermons!? That could be dangerous! NOTE TO SELF - don't preach while people are driving...

PS. My 'old' 1968 Vespa comes back from the 'beauty shop' tomorrow. A member of a local Church owns a panel shop and has resprayed her for free! Thanks for setting it up for me Ronnie! You're a real friend. I can't wait to post a few photos!

So, check back in a day or two, you may like what you see.

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Thursday, January 18, 2007

What she looked like in her day... AND an update on Liam 18 January 2007

1968 vespa sprint 150
Originally uploaded by mennyj.

I found this incredible picture of a Vespa VLB Sprint on Flickr today. It shows you what my VLB would have looked like some 39 years ago when she was brand spanking new!

Today I was so pleased to have a Vespa! We only live about two blocks from Courtney's school, however traffic in Pretoria is so bad at the moment that it takes longer to drive there (about 25 minutes) than it would to walk that distance. However, we don't realy have time for either a 25 minute walk or a 25 minute drive! So, today we decided to go to school on my Vesparoogie! I managed to leave home at 7.05 and be back at the office by 7.15. Some of the other parents were still stuck in the traffic when I was already drinking my first cup of coffee and responding to emails!

Then, this afternoon I was called out to the hospital to pray with one of the parents of a baby in the ICU. The hospital is about 20km's away from my office, but it can take quite a while to get there. If I had taken my car, it may have taken even longer because there was a power outage and so none of the traffic lights were working. The cars were backed up for miles, I managed to get there in just around 20 minutes and be there in good time to pray with someone who truly needed to experience God's grace and care. It was not only great to be able to share God's love in that way, but it was fantastic to ride my Vespa; and a joy to save about an hour in the traffic on the journey there and back!

So, here's to my old girl! She is such a blessing! Tomorrow I will ride her to the studio in the morning to do a live broadcast with Prof van der Watt for the show 'Do you know what you're reading', a call-in program where folks can ask questions about the Bible and have them answered by a real Biblical scholar (Prof van der Watt) and an English guy with a Doctorate who is pretty much there because he can speak English (that's me!) Let's see if I need another push start ;-) I sure hope not! I may just park around the corner so that when we leave I won't be seen pushing my scoot down the road...

Now, onto the news that TRULY matters. Megie took Liam back to the doctor today for his checkup while I was at work. He has been home for two weeks now! He is doing very, very well indeed. The only little hickup is that he hasn't been picking up enough weight. He needs to pick up about 150 grams a week. This week he picked up somewhere between 80 grams and 100 grams, and only about 40 grams last week. So it is a bit of a worry for us. It would seem that he is still so close to that stage where feeding takes more energy than it gives him, that some feeds are actually causing him to loose weight, or simply balance out (Wow, if only I could eat and loose a bit of weight!!) Anyway, the doctor will keep monitoring his progress and we would ask for your prayers please.

Please could I also ask you to pray for the other babies that are still in the ICU, and for their parents? As I mention above, there are still some very real needs among the little kids who are there. Two of the parents who we got to know quite well have babies with serious struggles at the moment. How I wish we could waive a some magic wand and make them all better!

My father-in-law undertook to fast every Friday until Liam came home. I have undertaken to do the same until these kiddies go home with their parents. Sometimes we have to 'put our faith where our mouth is'.

God hears prayers and God answers them, but sometimes I need a little reminder that prayer is not always that easy, there is a cost associated with caring!

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Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Back in the saddle. Life is good!

Here's a photo of one of my favorite things, taken at one of my favorite places.

The old gray scooter is mine.

It is a 1968 VLB Sprint 150cc Vespa. Next to it is a brand spanking new Vespa Grandtourismo 200cc! I'm not sure who that belongs to. I wish it belonged to me! The photo was taken on the campus of the University of Pretoria (where I am a research associate in the Department of New Testament). I love going there. It is a beautiful campus, and it always reminds me of my care free undergraduate days at Rhodes University.

Just take a look at the curves on my old Vespa. Heck, I would LOVE a new one! But, my Vespa is a real classic and it runs like a dream (most of the time, or should I say, it runs like a dream it just has some trouble starting). When it doesn't start as it should, it can be quite embarrassing, like today. I came out of the studio at Radio Pulpit where I had just recorded two very serious shows for the program "The ministry and me" of which I am a co-host. With me were two senior Methodist colleagues, the Reverends Christopher Harrison and John Gillmer. They got into their Toyota Camry (a sensible car for respectable persons). I on the other hand went across to my 1968 Vespa, which by the way is SSSSOOOOO old that it doesn't even have a key to lock the ignition, so a thief could simply kick start it and drive it away (that is if it would kick start...), so here I am walking towards my battered old scooter which is chained with a bicycle lock and chain so as not to be stolen. I try, in the most dignified manner as possible, to kick start the bike (after unlocking the bicycle chain and lock).... It won't start! She does get a bit temperamental from time to time when I leave her alone! A few minutes later I am being pushed around the parking lot by a senior colleague trying to get my rickety old bike running! He got some good exercise, I had a good laugh!

The point of this story is that life is meant for living and enjoying! A long time ago, while still a minister in heaven (a.k.a Somerset West, which was one of the happiest times of my life), I decided that I would enjoy whatever I did so that my ministry would be filled with joyful service. Even then I would park my car and drive my Vespa (a slightly newer model, 1972 VBB) to pastoral visits and preaching engagements. Sure, some would call it 'altruistic hedonism' (the more serious ethicists among you are welcome to google this term, as well as 'utilitarianism' 'consequentialist ethics'). But, somehow whenever I get onto this scooter and drive it around I feel alive! My mood is better, my spirit is filled with praise and thanksgiving, and I have the satisfaction of knowing that that I am keeping a relic on the road...

I had not ridden my scooter since Megan first went into labour on the 7th of November last year. My routine of light hearted joy had been interrupted by the necessary seriousness of the events that unfolded after that day. Needless to say that last two and a bit months have been more stressful than any other time I can remember. We were pretty much in survival mode.

One thing I am convinced of is that God does not want us to have to live that way. God wants us to do more than just survive! God wants us to truly live, to find life and joy in our living, and through that to bring life and joy to others. So, since Liam has come home (and he is doing so well by the way. I will post an update on his development on Thursday after he has been to the Doctor for his checkup), I have been trying to return to completing my tasks with joy. I drive my old Vespa to work in the mornings, I drive it around Pretoria to my meetings and appointments.... And occasionally I get senior colleagues to push start me in the car park. Now that's truly living. In some ways, I guess my Vespa makes me more Christian!

Ephesians 4:15-16, TLB. "Instead, we will lovingly follow the truth at all times--speaking truly, dealing truly, living truly--and so become more and more in every way like Christ who is the Head of His body, the church."

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Tuesday, December 26, 2006

The greatest Christmas ever!

Three posts in one day!? It's little wonder that it has been raining here over Christmas! However, we have so much to share and give thanks for.

Here's a picture of little Liam and I on Christmas eve (can you tell from the decorations in the background?) Here you can see how Liam has grown. He is still a little thin, but at least he looks like a baby (and not like an old man!) He is growing up so quickly! He now weighs 1.68kg's and is saturating naturally. In fact if he continues to grow so well we may have him home in the next two or three weeks!

Megie, Courtney and I spent Christmas with our little lad Liam in the neonatal ICU. He is the greatest gift ever!! We are so grateful for the nurses and doctors who spent Christmas day at the hospital. Their dedication is inspiritational. Courtney got to visit with us since it is Christmas. We scrubbed her down, and then she got to hold her little brother Liam for almost an hour. It was bliss for her! This is only the third time that she has seen him in 6 weeks, and the very first time that she has been allowed to touch him. We are so thankful to God for the care and mercy that God has shown us in Liam's growth and good health.

Hey Pete, notice that I'm wearing my favourite T Shirt! Thanks for the gift friend! I could hardly believe it when the package arrived and there was a Vespa T Shirt from Pete in there. I have been looking for one for years now!!!!

A blessed Christmas to all our friends and family. Thank you so much for your prayers, good wishes, and kind support. We pray that your experience of the gifts of being in Christ will be as rich and deep as ours has been over the last two months. It is wonderful to be in Christ, and a member of Christ's body.

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