Monthly Archives: March 2020

Lockdown Day 5 Living Online

Now that so many people are in lockdown, life is going online. We have online church every Sunday. My daughter is offering online art classes, my granddaughter is doing online ballet lessons, tonight I am trying out my first online conference call when we meet up with our fellowship group.

This is a photo of our grandchildren doing an online PE lesson, designed by their uncle who is a PE teacher in an international school.

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Some things just don’t work online. Like meeting a friend for coffee. Sure I can make my own coffee and she can make her own coffee and we can both sit in front of our laptop or cell phone screens, but it just doesn’t quite do it for me. I can’t give a friend a hug although there are online versions of that too. Our fellowship group used to have supper together before our teaching session and it’s been of the highlights of my week. A video conference doesn’t come close!

One thing that really lends itself well to this situation, however, is communication and social media. I suffer from media overload. Every WhatsApp group I belong to has been prolific in sharing things, to the extent that I’m getting to the stage that when I see an unsolicited video of more then three minutes, I delete it. Just before bed time last night, I received horrific videos of people being abused by soldiers. Not the best content to fill my mind.

We all want to cheer each other up or inspire each other or maybe even inform one another but let’s limit what we allow into our minds. Garbage in, garbage out, the computer people used to say in my day. Let’s be selective and heed Philippians 4:8

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things. (NIV)

Lockdown Day 4 Tents on the Patio

I’m running one day behind at present, so this was for yesterday.

When my husband cleared out the store room, we found four tents. Two tiny ones were from the days when our younger son was still at home and used to go camping with us. We had a caravan and later a motor-home and he had a tent. Then he out grew too that tent and got another, a longer one. As a Guider, when I took the Guides camping, I liked to take my own tent into which I could fit a chair. Then there is a very old tent my parents used with the motor-home before they gave it to me. On Sunday the grandchildren, with the help of their father, pitched all four so we could establish what kind of condition they were in.

Of course, the kids thought this was a wonderful adventure and decided each to spend the night in a small tent . The very old tent turned out no longer to be waterproof, but made a great play room.

When I think of a tent, I think of a place of refuge, of shelter from the wind, rain or sun. There are many psalms about God being our shelter or refuge. I like Psalm 46

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore, we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea. (1-2.) Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; (6.) He says, “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth. The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.(10-11.)

At this time of uncertainty and turmoil, in the words of Psalm 91:2 NKJ.

I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in Him will I trust.

Lockdown Day 3 A Kiss of God


Yesterday morning, as I was bathing, the sun’s angle changed in such a way that the sunshine streamed through my bathroom window and caressed me. I felt it was a kiss of God and I felt loved and protected. It got me to thinking about God and light.

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. (John 1:5 NIV)

Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12)

Light has often been a symbol for God in the bible.

A friend’s young baby of four months suddenly had convulsions. Doctors found a tangle of abnormal blood vessels connecting arteries and veins (AVM). She needed brain surgery to remove it from the deep brain regions. My young friend was anxious and afraid. As she stood next to her beloved baby girl in the recovery room, suddenly a shaft of natural sunshine streamed through the window, outshining the sterile hospital artificial light. She knew in that moment that her daughter would be all right and that God was with her.

Of course, God is with us all the time and loves us all the time but sometimes me need a reminder, just like we will sometimes give our child or grandchild an impulsive hug.

I got another kiss of God a few days ago. A few days before lockdown, a beam of sunlight shone straight through our ventilation brick, again reminding me that God is with me.

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So in this time of darkness and fear, let’s keep our eyes and ears open for the touch of God in small almost unnoticeable ways.

Lockdown Day 2 Creativity

This post is part of Stream of Consciousness Saturday. The challenge is to just write, without planning and with minimal editing. This weeks subject is to write about what is beside us.

In my case it is my cell phone. I need it to check on the news, (are there any more prohibitions I need to know about) keep contact with my friends, and use my bible app. Today’s bible verse is 2 Cor 4:7-9.

But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed, perplexed,but not in despair, persecuted, but not abandoned, struck down but not destroyed.

The treasure mentioned is the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ. I think creativity is part of the glory of God and when He breathed into us he imparted creativity to us.

All around us are examples of God’s creativity. We have baby bunnies on the property. They are just getting to open their eyes. Lets see how big they get by the end of the lockdown.

We are very blessed to have our grandchildren locked down with us because we all share one property.

One bright side of the lockdown is my son-in-law gets to work from home. That means during his breaks, he can spend time with his children while the sun is shining.

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I also get to do fun things with the grandchildren. Yesterday we made acorn people.

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Today my husband is tidying the store room and I am ….writing.

So my prayer for today:

Thank you Lord for the gifts you have given me, the gift of creativity, my husband, children and grandchildren, enough stuff to fill a store room and the wonderful creativity You have shown in nature. Amen.

Lockdown Day 1 Glimpses of Glory.

Yesterday was hectic. My husband and I decided to take the last opportunity to go out for breakfast and cappuccino while we still could. Portabello restaurant was quiet. In the beginning we were the only people seated there although another couple did come a little later on. We did our slightly bigger than normal grocery shop on Tuesday but I forgot to get stock cubes to make butternut soup, although I did buy a big bag of butternuts.

I went to Checkers. It was full to bursting. Queues for the tills stretched all the way down the aisles. The ten items or more queue snaked across the front of the isles and down the last isle. As I looked around for maybe the shortest queue, a black lady smiled at me and offered that I could go ahead of her in the ten items only line. That was my first glimpse of glory. An ordinary housewife, having already waited for who knows how long, being kind to a stranger. She was about twentieth from the till so I thanked her but decided I could probably do without stock cubes. That small gesture brought a lightness to my step.

My bible reading for today was from Psalm 119.

“Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law. I am a stranger on earth; do not hide your commands from me.” (vs 18 and 19)

I’d like to adapt that for today to read:

Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things.

That kindness from a stranger was a wonderful thing. The spider web catching the sunlight that I saw the other evening was a wonderful thing.


The snail trail that my grandchildren pointed out to me this morning was a wonderful thing.

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The ladybird that the neighbour’s children found among the pine cones elicited tinkling childish laughter that gladdened my husband as he hung up the washing. That was a wonderful thing.

In our normal hectic life, we miss these wonderful things. They have always been there but we rushed right past them.

My prayer, therefore is:

Lord, may I see wonderful things, glimpses of Your Glory, amidst the chaos, uncertainty and confusion of this time.

Exceptional Gifts

On Monday night, our fellowship group had our “last supper.” We all saw how things were going and knew it would not be long before South Africa, too, faced a lockdown. As a group, we watched the president’s address which confirmed it.

Although I had been expecting it, I was surprised by my own reaction of shock. I have been on-and-off tearful since. I don’t know what’s the matter with me. I do not fear the virus at all. I think I am mourning for a lost way of life.

Two exceptional gifts have helped stabilize me. The first is a laminated statement of faith which was a gift from our hostess, who always provides wonderful suppers for our meetings.

It reads:

Lord God – I believe that you love me and that you made me for a purpose. Lord – I believe that I shall not die a moment sooner or later than you decree. Lord – I believe that I shall suffer neither more nor less than you decide. Lord – I believe that I shall complete the work that you have planned for me to do on earth. Lord Jesus, as you died and rose from death, so I believe that I too shall rise from death. Lord – I believe that in the resurrection I shall see and understand all that is hidden from me now. Lord – I believe that because of this resurrection, new life springs out of every kind of death. Lord – I believe that all my dear ones in the same way, are safe in your capable moulding hands. Therefore Lord – I believe that all anxiety is sin and I renounce it as unnecessary, wasteful and hurtful. And Lord – I commit myself to you with all my heart to be set free to live and love and serve your children.

Yesterday, as our motor-home needed a run before we are all confined to our homes, we went to the Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens where I received my second exceptional gift – the reminder of how great and creative our God is.

Every day, everywhere, are reminders of God’s glory. Let’s keep our eyes open to see Him and our ears attuned to His voice.

Virtual World

On Sunday we attended Virtual Church. Well, it wasn’t quite virtual reality – if you compare it to some games where you wear a helmet and wield a sword, but it was not real church. It was watching videos pre-recorded or selected by our leaders for us to watch at home with possibly a small group. Like video games, there are limits and restrictions. One of the restrictions is my knowledge of technology but the most notable difference is the lack of contact with other (real) people. It is difficult to carry out the injunction in Hebrews 10:25, “Do not give up meeting together…but encouraging one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” But, as the world pulls together to fight this common pandemic using hygiene and social distancing, this is becoming the new reality.

Although we can’t continue meeting together (in big groups) we can certainly encourage each other. We can pray and tell people we are praying for them. We can send encouraging messages via WhatsApp rather than sensational type suspect news and messages which are more likely to engender fear than encouragement. A tip I learned yesterday; before mindlessly sending on a forwarded message, make it personal. Tell the person what the message/video/picture meant to you, why you think it will enrich them and how it made you think of them.

My encouraging message for today is Psalm 91 vs 1-3 (NIV).

Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord,”He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence.

In the Valley

I read an excellent blog today. I wish I had written it. Have a look.

We can look at different metaphors for hard times. We are in the midst of a storm. We are walking through the Valley of the Shadow of Death.

In both cases, it is something we get through and out the other end. At some stage we will reach dry land. At some stage we will move out of the shadowy valley to the sunshine of the hills.

Psalm 23 says,

The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet water, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake.

Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

Image by Xpics from Pixabay

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.

Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever. (NIV)

The important thing, is that Jesus is with us. He’s in our boat if we are in a storm, He’s walking beside us if we are on a hiking trail through a dark and scary valley. The King James Version talks about the Valley of the Shadow of Death. In a way, this current pandemic is a shadow of death. Some people have died. 10 000 out of a world population of 7 700 000 000 or 1 in 770 000.

We will get through this. This, too, will pass.