Author Archives: Fuzzy Panda Barista

About Fuzzy Panda Barista

I am a wife, a mother, a Grandmother, a Christian and a writer. My mission is to achieve my full potential and to enable others to achieve theirs. I am interested in Girl Guides, the environment, parenting, inspiration and books. I believe that God has a plan for my life.

Communication

We are doing a series in church on the Holy Spirit. On Sunday we learned that the Holy Spirit shines the spotlight on Jesus and that He is the means of communication with God. One of the main ways God communicates with us is through the Bible.

I was reminded of our recent trip to Ramsgate. No holiday at the South Coast in KZN is complete without a visit to the Waffle House in Ramsgate. Thus, when we had three days in Hibberdene together with our Randburg family and our son from Russia, we all went for waffles at the Waffle House.

It is situated next to a lagoon and after we had enjoyed the decadent food and explored the little craft and curio shop, we decided to take two paddle boats on the lagoon. The operator was a big friendly man who equipped us all with life jackets and pushed off the boats. My husband, who decided to stay behind and watch, noticed that during the quieter times the man would read a big book open on his lap. He chatted to the man later and found out it was a well-used Zulu Bible with no cover and pages showing signs of regular handling. The man said he reads the Bible at every opportunity because God speaks to him through His Word. What an example to me!

“Blessed is the one… whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night.” (Psalm 1:1-2, selected NIV)

My Prayer

Father, please give me a hunger for Your Word that I may find it more compelling than my cell phone. Amen.

“Pearly Shells from the Ocean…”

When my granddaughters get to the beach, they like to collect shells. They sort them and arrange them, show them off and admire them. Some of this enthusiasm must have rubbed off on me because when my husband and I went for a walk on the beach recently, the little girl in me surfaced and I decided to collect shells. It is amazing the colour and variety one can find!

Found on Scottburgh Beach

They also come in all sizes. At the shell shop in Shelly Beach there is a shell almost one meter across! It is not for sale. I found shells small as my baby finger nail!

The creativity of God never ceases to astound me. Sure, I can categorise my shells into rough families but even within those groups there is so much variety.

How much more individuality can be found among people! Again, we can roughly group people according to country and heritage but within those groups there is endless variety. If we learn to treat people as individuals, made in the image of God, our interactions with them would be so much deeper.

Our Father created us all and He has a unique plan for us all. I love Psalm 139.

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. … Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.”(vs 13,14,16 NIV)

My Prayer

Father, please open my eyes to Your wonderful creativity all around me. Help me to treat each person I meet as an unrepeatable masterpiece made in Your image. Amen.

Waves

The seas have lifted up, Lord, the seas have lifted up their pounding waves. Mightier than the thunder of the great waters, mightier than the breakers of the sea- the Lord on high is mighty. (Psalm 93:3-4 NIV)

We are at the seaside. Yesterday I went into the sea with my little inflatable surfer with the intention of surfing the waves. I had done this a couple of days ago with reasonable success but this time I didn’t seem to be able to position myself in the middle and I kept falling off. Moreover there was a very strong side current so I stuck to small waves and shallow water.

Way beyond me, surfers were riding the big waves with style. I got to thinking about waves. Waves transfer energy. In this context the energy is one of motion and surfers are able to move far on the energy of just one wave.

From a scientific point of view, most energy forms have some wave component – light energy, electrical energy, sound energy.

I became aware again of how mighty God is. He spoke and light was created. Imagine the energy, the power involved! God’s power stopped the waters of the Red Sea and held them at bay until He chose to remove His hand. Jesus demonstrated His power over the waves of the sea. He spoke and the sea was calmed, the waves as tame as a puppy dog.

I am convinced that prayer has power – energy if you like. Maybe prayer consists of some form of electromagnetic wave yet to be discovered. Be that as it may, I know that all power, all energy originates from God Himself, the Creator of heaven and earth.

My Prayer

Father God, I stand in awe of Your power as I watch the waves of the sea. May I never forget that You, the mighty God, are for me, not against me. Amen.

Windy Wanderings

Yesterday we met a couple on the beach. The wife was arranging her husband and little dog on a log to take a photo. I asked her if she would like me to take a photo of both of them. Later she came over to take a photo of my husband and I.

We got chatting. They live in the area and this was only their second visit to the beach in five months. She told us about a lovely nursery within walking distance that we hadn’t known about.

Today was a windy, overcast day. Instead of going to the beach which we usually do, we decided to take a walk and look for the nursery and a little shop not far from it.

What a lovely day we had. We found the nursery.

Illovo Nursery

Besides the nursery itself, there was a restaurant, a second-hand book shop, a scratch patch, a pet shop, an art gallery and a lake with benches at strategic viewing points.

After nearly three weeks, mostly confined to the caravan park, I was sorely in need of a sit-down tea. We ordered a cappuccino each and apple crumble to share.

After tea, we wandered around. I bought a book at the book shop and a cup of shells. We drooled over huge pots and trays of flowers at very good prices compared to our usual shopping haunts. We admired the colourful plants in all their variety. One looked like it had painted finger nails and we named it the finger-nail-plant.

finger-nail-plant

I felt like I had stumbled into a treasure trove. Afterwards we explored further and found the little shop then decided to see whether we could return along the beach. Armed with directions from a lady who worked at the little shop, we made our way to the Illovo station and across the railway bridge. The station itself was almost in ruins which was very sad to see.

Returning along the beach might not have been such a good idea because we had forgotten about the wind, which was much stronger on the beach than in residential area.

Nevertheless, a lovely day and a satisfying long walk.

I think this is a parable of life. We can stay in the same old routine, stuck in a rut and not even realise the wonderful sights and places that may lie around us. Sometimes we need to step out of our comfort zones (yes, it was a challenge walking into the wind with sand smashing against our legs) and explore beyond our everyday life. Who knows what treasure we might stumble upon.

Jesus said, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:10 NIV)

I believe that the abundant life includes being able to appreciate the wonderful nature God has created, as well as the works of man inspired by His Spirit of creativity.

My Prayer

Father, give me the courage to venture beyond the familiar and taste the abundant life You have given me. Amen.

Just Another Example

Last Saturday, in the late afternoon, I fell off my bicycle.

We are staying in the Karridene Caravan Park in KwaZulu Natal. We are allowed to use the facilities of the Protea Hotel Karridene, including a much stronger Wifi signal than the wispy, come-and-go signal we receive at the edges of the caravan park. I had cycled to the conference centre and was on my way back to our site.

I landed on my elbow. A concerned fellow camper came to see if I was all right and walked my bike back to our site. My husband was a hundred metres or so behind me and soon arrived to look after me. My arm was very sore and I could feel the blood running down the inside of my jacket sleeve.

We managed to stop the flow of blood after washing the area well and my husband bandaged up the wound. Remembering my first aid training, I thought it best to put the arm in a sling and used my other jacket with a safety pin for that purpose.

I put my feet up and rested my arm on a pillow while my husband pampered me and made the supper. I took Aspirin and felt warm and snug. Soon I decided to go to bed. I went into the bathroom and changed into my pyjamas. Big mistake. My elbow started bleeding again. Blood soaked through the bandage. We found a dishcloth to use as a pressure pad but I couldn’t get the bleeding to stop. However, we tied the pad tightly, sent prayer requests to our family and I entrusted my arm to the Lord, hoping I wouldn’t find blood all over the duvet and pillow in the morning.

It was, of course, all right but I decided in any case to try to get to a medical facility and have the wound properly dressed and have a tetanus shot.

So Sunday saw us at Intercare in Amanzimtoti. While we were out and about, (it takes quite something to disconnect the motorhome from electricity and gas and wind up the legs so we can use the vehicle as a car) we thought we might just as well get a repeat of our tablets which we had planned to do on the Friday.

On Monday, South Africa went crazy. Shopping malls were attacked, looted, burned. The main highway between Johannesburg and Durban was closed. Rumours were rife, people were afraid. Those shopping malls that weren’t totally destroyed were closed. Most of them are still closed. Food became an issue.

Now it’s a week later. My elbow is so much improved, just three scabs and two sections of bruise that are changing from purple to yellow. Things have quietened a lot. The beach is now open, the roads are open and slowly smaller shopping areas are opening with long queues and limited access. In some cases people have queued for up to eight hours to go into a shop. Clicks stores, where we get our tablets, are not yet open in our area.

It just struck me yesterday, as I refilled my tablet container with the new stock. If I hadn’t fallen off my bike and damaged myself badly enough to be beyond my own first aid resources, I would not currently have tablets for my hypertension and hypothyroidism.

Falling off a bicycle is not a good thing. Is it possible that this is just another example of God using something bad for my good? After all, the Bible says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28 NIV)

My Prayer

Lord, please open my eyes to the working of Your hand in all the circumstances of my life. Amen.