Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Saying Good Bye

I bet some of you were wondering whether I had forgotten about or given up on this blog. I'm not called johnny blog for nothing. No I had not forgotten, but I have been incredibly busy and to find sufficient time to write up a decent blog in the last weeks has just not been possible but I decided to set a few minutes aside now so that I can "catch myself up"

I cannot remember the last submission I made, but here is a brief summary:

The school had their musical: Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor® Dreamcoat.Despite many things conspiring to turn it into a fiasco, the ultimate result was well received, and most importantly, the children who were participating enjoyed themselves and felt fulfilled. A lot of people came to me to congratulate on its success, but I do have to acknowledge that it was a collective effort of many people, but most of all, I could not have done it without the guidance and intervention of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Saying Goodbye: On November 18th I had the first of many Goodbyes. The mission organisation I have been involved with as a member of their "Regional Advisory Council" had a little dinner as a farewell dinner.

On November 25th, after our end of term staff meeting, the staff from the school I have been working for, for the past three years, wished me well and gave me a present. A few of the staff had very kind words about me about the qualities that they saw in me and appreciated about me. Modesty of course prevents me from recounting these. But their words are greatly appreciated.

But the most difficult goodbyes came yesterday. I went to my Christian fellowship for the last time and had the last service with them. They prayed for me as I went. Normally, I am not at a loss for words, but yesterday, I definitely was. I knew that if I said anything, I would have broken down and cried. I really love that assembly and can truly say in the short five years that I have been a part of that church, I have been welcomed and accepted for who I am. Now I will become a part of a church where I am going, and that is something to look forward to, but one's spiritual family (immediate family that is, because ultimately all Christians all over the world are brothers and sisters in the Lord) is a very special place. Friends, you're a blessing and I will not forget you! Praise the Lord for Email, we can continue to remain "in touch."

Yesterday afternoon I got together with a group of my very special friends and the wished me well on my new direction. I found that quite hard, especially when two of my friends started to cry.

In a few days from now, I will be saying goodbye to the land of my birth, a beautiful country full of wonderful people. The country has received a lot of negative press of late, and truly there are lots of faults, but we should never allow the negative to overshadow the good. I will continue to pray for my beloved land, and ask the Lord to restore to it, the years the locusts have eaten, and even as I expand my horizons, I will always thank God for letting me grow up in that beautiful country.

Well friends, that's it for this week, and I hope that there won't be another hiatus of weeks between submissions, though I won't be silly enough to promise! Johnny Blog

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Did Jesus use a modem?

    Hello friends,
This week i thought i would share a poem with you that I had found again amongst my stuff as I was packing up my classroom.
Did Jesus use a modem, at the Sermon on the Mount?
Did he ever try to broadcast fax to sent his message out?
Did the disciples carry beepers, As they went about their route?
Did Jesus use a modem, at the Sermon on the Mount?
Did Paul use a laptop, with lots of RAM and ROM?
Were his letters posted on a BBS at paul.rome.com?
Did the man from Macedonia send a text saying,"come!"?
Did Paul use a laptop, with lots of RAM and ROM?
Did Moses use a joystick at the parting of the sea?
And a Satellite Guidance Tracking System, to show him where to be?
Did he write the law on tablets or are they really on CD?
Did Moses use a joystick at the parting of the sea?
Did Jesus really die for us, one day upon the tree?
Or was it just a hologram, or technical wizardry?
Can you download the live action video clip, to play on your PC?
Did Jesus really die for us, One Day upon a tree?
Have the wonders of this modern age made you question what is true?
How a single man in a simple time could offer life anew?
How a sinless life, a cruel death then a glorious life again,
could offer more to a desparate world THan all the inventions of men?
If in your life, the voice of God is sometimes hard to hear
With other voices calling, He doesn't touch your ear,
Then set aside your laptop and modem, and all your fancy gear,
And open your Bible, and open your heart, and let your Father draw near.
Author unknown

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

The Musical was a success

Hello friends,

last time I wrote news I talked about Sudoku's and mentioned that there was a website you could go to find out more. I forgot however to include the URL for the website - it is: www.sudoku.com.

Now, to talk about the Musical "Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat" which we managed to stage on Tuesday Evening. I have to say that though from a producer's perspective there was much that could have been done better, and there were a few mistakes, the young actors (all primary school children) did their very best, and I am proud of them. They deserve all the credit for a job well done. It was the first musical ever to be staged by the school I work at, and everyone thoroughly enjoyed the performance. So all who read this who have been following the saga of the play/musical on my blog. It happened, and as they say "It was alright on the night."

It was a first for me producing a play, and I learnt through this experience. I am not going to hit Broadway yet, but I definitely do plan to continue involving myself in local drama groups and school plays as I really enjoy drama.

A few weeks ago I wrote a commentary on Giving all the Glory to God. - AMDG. This I have to do in this case. There were many ways in which I saw God moving in the preparation for this drama. I am hoping to get some pictures, and I will put the best up on the blog for everyone to see.

Monday, November 21, 2005

19th November

Things week I have been struggling with some writers block (I can hear some of you say,"Hurray!") so what I am going to do is give you my news first.
My poor mother had a fall on Monday and she broke her leg just above the ankle in four places. She had it plated and is now sitting at home with a "moon boot" on.
The play is making progress though I am still very trepidatious about how it will turn out. The children are working very hard and I was delighted to see that so many of the children came today (Saturday) for an extra rehearsal. The show is staged on Tuesday Evening. If I can organise someone with a digital camera I will try and post some pictures next week.
Yesterday I attended a farewell for myself. For the past few years I have been a part of a missions committee for SIM. If you want to know what that is, I suggest you go to their website www.sim.org but briefly it is an international mission organisation. They gave me as a going away present, three cups and saucers.
I was delighted to see that the YOU magazine had published my letter - well parts of it. You can see YOu magazine on the web - www.you.co.za - the subject of my letter was "Forgiveness" and I was urging a lady whose husband had brutally killed her three children, tried to kill her and then killed himself to forgive him completely.
How many of you like Sudoku's - I must admit that I am slightly addicted - if I see one I will try and solve it. Don't know what a Sudoku is - look at this website.
Your friend John.
By the way, I have only had one comment to my johnblog2005@yahoo.com email address. I welcome comments on my blog especially when I'm commenting on one or other issue. As you can see from the following blog - those with interesting comments will be posted to this blog for everyone to read. All personal details (except name will be deleted.)

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

mmre about mermaids

My friend Outi from Finland writes:
Hello John,

I am not a specialist on this but I have the impression that Finnish people have developed their idea of mermaid mainly according to H.C. Andersen fairy tale and/or Disney version of it. Anyway, mermaid is not an evil thing if you ask about it from a Finnish person.

We do have a thing called Näkki or Vetehinen (water spirit) amongst our traditional mythical creatures. This is an eveil minded spirit with ability to change its form and its aim is to tempt people to go too deep to the water and drown. There are different kinds of traditional fairy tales
telling how Näkki does his trick (looking like a beautiful female/handsome male, a tame horse pretendeing to be willing to carry the careless to the other side of the water etc.), but anyway the reason for these stories is the same as the evil mermaid stories you heard about: Preventing children to swim too deep and explaining "mystical" dissapearings of people who had gone to for example fishing and never came back.

The difference is that here in Finland we do not believe in Näkki or Vetehinen any more. We just think it is a valuable piece of our tradition and therefore it is thaught amongst other forgotten mythical creatures on history lessons at school.

Nowadays children just have to believe that it is dangerous to swim too deep, because their parents say so. :)

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Saturday 12 November


Warning: The following article in NOT aimed at little children. I strongly recommend adults read this article before considering whether their child should read it. If talk of the supernatural scares you, then I strongly suggest you read no further. This is a serious discussion about different cultural perspectives on mermaids.I would really value your input and ideas and to hear your perspective, and the traditional beliefs in your culture about Mermaids - you can me email direct, if you know the address, or you can send the email to

Had an interesting conversation with a group of Grade 4 children, this Monday on the topic of Mermaids. I had found a piece of paper where a child had been playing a game where they have to list things in different categories for each of the letters of the alphabet. Under M this girl had written for "animal" - Mermaid. So I asked, "Is a Mermaid an animal?" To my surprise there was quite a lot of debate about this question. One child sagely said, "It's half an animal, its half a person." Well that sort sums up our mental pictures, but I was intrigued by the reaction, the mention of Mermaid provoked amongst these African boys and girls so I asked them to tell me more about mermaids.
"Do you believe mermaids are real?"
"Oh yes they said, and they are very dangerous."
"Dangerous? How?" I asked.

They told me that if you are swimming in water where there are mermaids, they will take you down and you will never be seen again. By now I am beginning to realise that their perception of mermaids does not have its roots in the the Hollywood concept of a mermaid. So I decided to speak to my colleagues about the belief in mermaids. To my utter surprise, these educated adults also believed in the existence of Mermaids too and they were greatly fearful of these creatures. I asked them what they called them. They said, "Ijuzu".

So, what do you make of mermaids? I was told that according to African belief, that if one is lost to the Ijuzu then nobody must cry or let out any form of lament or regret, because the Ijuzu will send the person back as a Muroyi - a witch. I was told if you don't cry the person will die but they will not become a witch.

Now as a Westener, I am more familiar with the more sympathetic perception of a mermaid by children - not one of fear, but the mermaid is usually, if I am right, a very beautiful maiden (and mermen similarly are depicted as "gorgeous hunks") who are on the side of right. Think of the Disney animation movie, "My little Mermaid." But From our perspective merpeople belong in fairy tales. They are make believe, not real.

I was one of those who felt that they were the stuff of legend. From the world of make-believe. In the same category as flower fairies and goblins etc. - fairy tales.

I cannot say that my beliefs have changed about mermaids, but I am curious about the reasons behind the Africans' belief in Mermaids/Ijuzu.

From a purely materialistic perspective that rules out any supernatural, one might say that the African has explained a very normal and unspiritual event, such as the disappearance of an individual who had gone to the river and blamed the evil Ijuzu, when in fact there may be a perfectly logical explanation for what happned, like the person being taken by a crocodile at the water's edge. In an effort to warn people about the dangers of the river, this concept of the dangerous mermaid, is useful. Secondly, the African, who is a very "spiritual person" will always interpret the unnatural death of person as having a supernatural cause. Thus instead of a crocodile, the Ijuzu is to blame.

However I am one who does believe in the existence of the supernatural, and spiritual beings. As a Christian, I believe that such spiritual beings belong to one of two groups. They are either of God, and therefore angelic beings, or they are of the devil and are therefore demonic. My feeling is that what the Shona man refers to as "Ijuzu" is in fact of the second category, i.e. a demonic manifestation that associates itself with water. So while I do not believe that there are beings who have a human torso, head and arms, but instead of legs has a fish's tail, I do believe that a demon can manifest as such a creature.

It's interesting that this concept of the evil mermaid is also mirrored I think in the legend of the Sirens on the Rhine who sing with the beautiful voices, which lure sailors to close the rocky places and their ships are wrecked and the lives of the sailors lost. Are Sirens mermaids? I don't know.

What conclusions can we draw from this? Are there any lessons that we can learn. Well you may come up with a different list but here are a few of my ideas:

  • Just because something looks (or sounds) good does not mean that it is good for you. Whether or not you believe in Mermaid or Ijuzu, I am sure you will agree that this is truism. There exists something called "fools' gold". It looks like its gold, and even feels like it, but it's not. you may have been duped by fool's gold. However, more harmful that fools' gold are poisoned sweets (candy). As I mentioned in my blog of last week, a friend of mine mentioned that there have been some cases of people distributing poisoned candy to trick-or-treaters during halloween. These pieces of Candy may look nice but they contain a very harmful substance. Another apllication of this is in guarding our children against the danger of abduction by people who use attactive lures to lure children into their cars or homes from where they can more easily abduct them. We tell our children never to accept anything from any person unless we (their parents) say its ok. This is really important advice. Every year, millions of children all over the world are duped by fine looking things and lured into dangerous situations. However it is not only children who need to beware. I have been hearing stories on BBC and Radio Netherlands of women who have been persuaded to leave their home countries in Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe to go to "jobs" in Europe, that turn out to be be slavery situations. These women often land up being forced into prostitution. They had been promised prosperity. Fortunately some women have managed to get away and expose the evil practice. And their message to people back home is stay where you are! DON'T BE DUPED! Finally (for this point anyway) there are many activities which on the surface may seem good and even beneficicial but are "laced with poison" a spiritual poison which damages the soul. I have in mind such things as horoscope, tarot cards, fortune telling, yoga, free masons, oija boards, heavy-metal rock music, hypnosis.

  • One cannot assume that your understanding or picture of a concept is going to be the same as another person's. Until recently I only thought of a mermaid as a lovable make-believe creature. Now I realise that there is a very different perspective to that. The lesson i draw from this is to ensure when communicating that I take care to ensure that the intended meaning of what is being said is understood. That is if I am speaking I must make sure that those listening understand what I mean, and do not "put another spin" on my words. IF I'm listening, I should try to clarify with the speaker what is meant if i'm in any doubt.

Well so much for mermaids: Now onto my news.


  1. Exams are finished. (For this year, anyway.) This is the best news.
  2. Musical only ten days away and there's a lot to be done between now and then. Oh - Our Music teacher left again this week. This time he ain't coming back. We have found another keyboard player (no mean task in Harare) but it is all rather nerve wracking - still the show must go on. I said in my introduction of myself back in September, that I'll try my hand at anything - well this week was a typical example of that. I was music teacher and even a dance coach (Now that's a hoot!). Thank goodness, next week we will have a real dance teacher to come in and give the children some guidance, courtesy of a pupils' mother who has kindly taken care of the financial side of things.
  3. I forgot to mention last week that I was called up by people from Radio Japan International for their "Hello from Tokyo" Programme. Unfortunately I missed the broadcast on Saturday, so I did not get to hear myself.

Thanks again for reading. Please let me know what you think. I welcome comments provided they are specifically about the content and not merely "nice blog and now I want to sell you something." My response is the same I give to the street venders in town: "Very nice, I'm sure, but NOT TODAY, thank you." However if you want to discuss anthing I've talked about on this blog, you are most welcome. Email me at johnblog2005@yahoo.com or my home email address.

John Blog

Saturday, November 05, 2005

This week, I am trying a different way of posting my blog. I'm doing it via email.
What a week it has been. The count down to the Musical is gathering pace! We are just about two and a half weeks away. Most of my exams are complete. Only one to go. Hurray.
A verse of Scripture which I was encouraged with this week was Galatians 6:9: "Do not become weary in doing good, for in the proper time we will reap a harvest of righteousness."
It is easy to give up trying to do the right thing, especially when one's efforts are unappreciated and ignored. It is easy to stop doing the right thing, when you look around you and people who are cheating seem to be rewarded for their dishonesty. But the verse says in the proper time. We often do not know when that it is, and we become discouraged.
Needless to say when you are in the midst of the struggle, it is easy to lose focus on the goal. But Paul in this verse reminds us again, that at the proper time, we will reap a harvest of righteousness. However, even with the goal in focus, without help we will fall flat on our faces. However, with Christ living in our hearts and the Holy Spirit, we are helped. The key is Waiting on God. What does that expression mean? I believe that it means that we need to spend time in prayer (not a few minutes) seeking God's will in how to move forward, and there is a wonderful promise in the book of Isaiah. Isaiah 40:Those who wait on the Lord will RENEW the Strength. They will soar on wings like eagles, and will run and NOT GROW WEARY, they will walk and not be faint."
It may seem disappointing at times when we work hard to bless somebody, and either the act is taken for granted, or it is completely ignored. We wonder was it worth the struggle. It was, for we have heavenly father who notes everything we do. Now I don't want you to get the idea that God somehow weighs the good up against the bad that we do. That is a wrong thinking. We are saved ONLY by faith in Jesus Christ and it is becase of God's grace. But the good that we do, does go un-noticed.
That's all for this week.
Remember, you can email me either on my personal email or the one that I have set up for this blog - johnblog2005@yahoo.com

Sunday, October 30, 2005

First order of business - I now have a email address at which you can post all your comments about this blog. I don't mind what you say - you can give it the thumbs down or thumbs up - disagree with me or ask question - put me right, if you like. The email address is johnblog2005@yahoo.com Those who know me continue to use the address known to you.

The week that lies ahead of us, contains two rather interesting dates. The first is October 31st and the second one is November 5th. Well I'm sure most of you will recognise these dates to be Halloween and Guy Fawkes Night respectively. While neither of these "holidays" are very significant in Zimbabwe, where I live, I still would like to comment about them and shed some light on why as a Christian, I do not celebrate Halloween.

What is a holiday? - it more than a "day off" - it normally carries with it a certain significance in the case of the two holidays under discussion it does not signify a day off. There is someone to honour (Labour Day - we honour workers - or at least we should, Mother's Day, Father's Day, St. Patrick's Day etc), something to commemorate, that is remember with sadness (Holocaust, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Day of Remembrance (November 11th) Yom Kippur), and now especially in the USA September 11th has taken on a great significance) or indeed something to Celebrate - that is remember with joy and gladness (Independence Days around the world, Christmas, Easter, Pesach (Passover), Purim, Divali, Eid-ul-Fitr). Now it goes without saying that few holidays hold universal significance - with the exception of Mother's and Father's Days I cannot think of any. Christmas and Easter are of significance to Christians. Pesach, Sukkot, Purim and Hannukkah are significant to Jews, Eid-ul-Fitr is celebrated by Muslims, Divali by Hindus). While I might take an interest in the celebrations of other faiths, I certainly would not participate in them. In an increasingly Multicultural world, especially in the Western Countries, people object to the open or public displays of religious significance, especially on what is considered "public property." Hence the demand that Public Schools do not have a Nativity Play - depicting the Birth story of Jesus - or "crib scenes" on public displays. Father Christmas's (Santa Claus), reindeer, etc. are no problem as they have no religious significance. Some object to the expression "Happy Christmas" and insist on the more neutral and culturally inclusive "Season's Greetings." The message seems to be Celebrate the celebrations you want to celebrate but don't impose them on those who don't believe as you do.

So we come back to the issue of Halloween. What is its significance? What or who are we honouring, comemorating or celebrating? How did Halloween get started in the first place?

Some people might be surprised that I, a Christian, object to Halloween, after all isn't it a Christian Holiday?The word "Halloween" comes from "All Hallows Eve" that is the day before (Eve) All Saints Day (All Hallows), a day when Christians in this case Roman Catholics, comemorate the Saints - Christian martyrs and people who through their lives displayed particular Christian qualities which in their death has earned them "sainthood". However, we need to dig a bit deeper to find the real significance of Halloween. Halloween has its roots in Celtic Paganism. On October 31st, the Celtics would honor their god, Samhain (The Lord of the dead.) They believed this god had complete command over all of the darkness including that of the winter. This day, evil spirits were able to enter the world of the humans. I quote from an artical I read about Halloween - "Since the origin of Halloween started being a holiday for the dead, it continues to be that way. The Druid priests would sacrifice humans in order to keep the spirits of the dead happy. This is a hard reality to face the origins of Halloween. This means that the holiday that has been celebrated for so many years, really stems from a practice of killing others." (http://holiday.christianet.com/originofhalloween.htm )

Unlike Easter and even Christmas, whose roots are also tainted with Paganism, Halloween's main significance remains that of death, whitchcraft and the underworld. You only need to look at how people dress up for Halloween or how they may decorate their homes for the Halloween Party to see what Halloween is REALLY all about. Witches, Ghosts, Monsters, Skeletons are seen on every street (in the USA), knocking on doors and saying "trick-or-treat". The Decor may feature a spiders' web with a huge "Black Widow spider inn its centre. What is its significance - clearly DEATH. What is the colour that predominates in Halloween? Is it not BLACK?

It seems to me that people take leave of their senses at this time. Most of the year, we protect children from unnecessary fear, and tell them not to worry about ghosts, goblins and boogy men - they are not real. We will chide a child who deliberately tries to frighten younger children. Then comes Halloween and the same adults turn around and start doing the frightening - it seems to be me to be a real lack of consistency there. I think that what many people do not realise is that this whole thing instils a subconscious fear in people, especially impressionable children. Just as you would probably not let your preteen child watch "Nightmare on Elm Street" or "Friday the 13th" or similar horror movies, deliberately frightening children, in the way it is done at Halloween is, in my belief, psychologically harming. I have not done any studies, and I am not a psychologist, so perhaps I shouldn't have made the last statement, but call it a hunch if you like - that's my opinion. We are all aware that young children find it particularly difficult to draw the line between fantasy and reality. That is why they believe in fairies at the bottom of the garden and fairy tales like Cinderella. Some might say they are gullible - I'd prefer to use the term trusting. They believe that those significant adults in their lives would not lie to them about anything. My contention is that the whole of Halloween has a negative emphasis and contradicts what we believe in and speak about to our children every other day of the year. It often represents a crisis in a child's life when he/she realises that Father Christmas (Santa Clause), the Easter bunny and the Tooth fairy are mythical. Fortunately most people survive the crisis and come through fairly unscathed, but does that make it Okay? IF you were involved in a car accident, caused by a person driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, but you were not seriously injured, does the fact that you were not seriously injured minimise the person's guilt or responsibility? Of course, you would say no. Is there such a thing as a "harmless lie?" I used to think so - I'm not so sure any more. You see if one lies, the one lied to may well find out that he/she was lied to, and the result is a loss in credibility or trust. Now put that into the scenario between an adult and a child where trust is so important. The child can be liable to two possible misconceptions:
  1. That the adult cannot be trusted in more important issues.
  2. It's okay to tell lies or to keep secrets.

Someone told me that, nowadays, that the candy being given out during trick or treating has to be tested to ensure that it has not been poisoned. Well I suppose that fits nicely with the theme of Halloween, a few dead children having eaten candy that was trustfully accepted. Excuse me for being cynical, but I wonder why more people of various religious persuasions are not objecting to this holiday. Why can satanists impose their celebration of death on the general public in the form of Halloween when Christians are not allowed to "impose" their celebration of life?

John 10:10 Says "The thief comes only to steal, kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full."

Deuteronomy 30:19 Moses wrote: "This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life so that you ad your children may live."

It strikes me that since Halloween seems to be about death and the "dark side" - its not a huge leap to say that celebrating Halloween is like choosing death. So this is why I personally would choose not to "do Halloween."

What about Guy Fawkes Night. Well It is not as far as I know as spiritually loaded as Halloween. Basically there was a plot in 1605 (wow 300 yearsago!) by a group of Catholics and led by Guy Fawkes plotted to blow up the houses of parliament. The plot however failed and Guy Fawkes and his fellow conspiritors were arrested. Henceforth the date of November 5th was celebrated as Guy Fawkes Night and traditionally fireworks displays take place on this night. It really is a British celebration, but has spread around the world - especially to the English Speaking world where at some point they countries were under British rule. The only negative is the effect of the fire crackers and fireworks on domestic animals - particularly dogs.

Now as for news. Much as the same as before - I'm over the "tummy bug" that caused me some disruption a couple of weeks ago. Wrote an Exam last Monday and only have three left to write. The play is making progress - the children are learning the words and the actions fairly well. Today was the School swimming gala - it went off quite well.

See Ya next week - don't forget to email me your comments - johnblog2005@yahoo.com

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Hi friends,

Well last weeks blog really spoke to me many times through the week as I "busied" myself with the various tasks that needed doing. Minutes after I posted i started getting "comments" only they were people trying to sell arb. stuff. This week i am going to block comments. If you are a friend of mine, and know my email address, (which I have deliberately not posted on this blog ) then please do email me with your comments. It is the only way that I can tell you visited. If you came across this site by chance, well you are welcome to read what I have to say, but unfortunately due to the abuse of some, I will not be able to get feedback from you.

I think we made some real progress in the play this week and I managed to develop it quite a bit. However on Sunday night, I was really very ill. I had Gastro Entiritis (I think that's how you spell the word). I won't bore you with my symptoms, but suffice to say I felt awful.

On Monday Afternoon I went to write another exam. Having not been able to crack open the books the previous day for a final swat, I was pretty nervous going into that exam, apart from the effects of the sickness which were still troubling me at that time. However, I wrote the exam to the best of my ability and now we can only wait and hope for the results.

I also wrote an exam yesterday. That one was on Religious Studies. It was Multiple Choice so we wait and see how it went.

Last night at Youth Group, Chrissie spoke about the lie that Satan tells us that there is plenty of time and we can decide to commit our lives to Jesus Christ later. The truth is, that at any moment, things can occur that can either end our lives, or can incapacitate us completely. We do not know the day or the hour when Jesus will return and will He find us ready for Him when He comes.

The other aspect of this is that God has a real purpose for our lives. As Christians, are we putting off things that God is saying, "do it NOW" and more or less saying, I'll do it, Lord, tomorrow or later. Later may be too late! How often we have regrets - if only.... When I was in high school, I remember I had a strong prompting to go and talk to a certain boy - but he was not part of my crowd, and I was not part of his. I did not do it. That boy committed suicide. If only...

Friend, if you are reading this and thinking, "That's me. I have put off following Christ. I know that is what I need to do." Then my friend, don't let another day go by. The Bible says, "Today, if you hear my voice., do not harden your hearts." Whether you are 5, 15 or 50 or beyond ask the Lord Jesus Christ to be your Saviour.

The truth is, my friend, that everyone needs a saviour. The Bible says : "For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God." (Rom 3:23) and later "The wages of sin is death." (Rom 6:23) If you are living without Christ, you are destined for hell. Hell is eternal separation from God. This would be the predicament of every human being were it not for the intervention of Jesus Christ, God's Son, who died on the cross, to take on the punishment of all sin. Jesus is the ONE AND ONLY way to the Father, God. The Bible says that if you believe, in your heart that Jesus was raised from the dead, and you confess with your mouth that He is Lord, then you will be saved.
Talk to Him now, confess your sin to Him, ask Him to forgive your sin, and ask Him to come into your life today. He will. Then follow it up by starting to walk in a different direction. The Holy Spirit will enter you Spirit at the moment of that decision. Join a fellowship of Christians, if you are not already part of one. Talk to the Pastor or leadership and tell them about your decision to follow Christ. If you know me and my email address you can email me (I would appreciate that).

Start to live differently than you have before. Turn your back on those things that brought you down before. If you are dealing with an addiction, friend, seek help. God does not want you bound up like that. But most of all, my friend rejoice. Be exceedingly happy because, the most awesome thing has happened in your life.

If you made, or are making the decision to follow Jesus, I can direct you to a website that will help you. www.yoursforlife.net

If what I have written above has offended or upset you. I am sorry you are upset by it, but I hope that you will give careful consideration to what I have said. I sincerely believe that it is only through Jesus Christ that a person can experience Salvation. You of course are free to believe differently, and to post a blog publicizing those convictions. Some day, we shall all know who was right or who was wrong.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Last week, I asked what the common theme to my quotations was. Did you get it? I’m sure you all did, it was really rather straight forward - enthusiasm.

This week I would like to start with three quotations that come from the Word of God, the Bible.

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” – Colossians 3:23 –24

“Then, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all things to the glory of God. – 1 Corinthians 10:31

“Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the grave, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom. - Ecclesiastes 9:10

Over the last few weeks, I have been very busy. Selling a car, studying for exams, working. It’s easy to get into a flat spin. I have been reminded that all this activity is useless if it is not for the Lord. One can be so easily distracted from what’s really important by so much activity. I think of the story of Jesus' friends, Mary and Martha. I must confess that sometimes there is a bit too much Martha in me and not enough Mary.

I could do an exegetical analysis of the texts above, but I don’t think that that would add anything to what we read in the plain English. I draw three lessons from these texts:

1) “Whatever you do” – What is it I am doing? Is it God-honoring? If not I should stop.

2) “do it with all your might” – I understand to mean, I should do my very best at it.

3) Remember who it is I am serving – The Lord Jesus Christ. Let everything I do, bring glory to God.

Wow – that is hard, and we all fall far short of that high standard – but the fantastic thing is, that if we ask God for help, He does. That is why He deserves the Glory not us.

I have seen signs around the place that have the initials A. M. D. G. – They stand for a Latin phrase – Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam - To the greater glory of God. People with those letters on their business signs are declaring that their business is for God’s glory. I hope and pray that my life can have A. M. D. G written on it.

Not much in the way of news this week, I have to admit. Briefly I have written 4 exams since Monday. Our musical at school is making progress. The teachers involved in its production had a good meeting on Thursday. Friday was “Half-term” – a day off, and I got a lot of things accomplished, and did a lot of cycling.

May God bless you all in the coming week. A.M.D.G.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

It’s blogging time again.

First of all, I was rather perturbed by a person whom I do not know posting comments to the effect that my blog is not a blog. Well, I beg your pardon – I am sure I bow to your superior knowledge on this subject, but my family and friends who visit this site don’t mind a bit and so I think I will keep on as I am. I do not want to buy any products so please if you do not like it, no-one is forcing you to look at it.

Secondly – last week I was sharing with you the crisis of no music teacher. I am delighted to report that he is back. Our musical is starting to take shape.

I wrote my first exam on Thursday this week. It was on Multicultural Education. I hope I scraped together the 50 marks needed to pass. It is amazing how you can read something a hundred times and yet you are asked for it, and it suddenly vanishes from your memory.

1 down – 10 to go.

Here is another inspiring quote for the week: See if you can guess my theme.

"We act as though comfort and luxury were the chief requirements of life, when all that we need to make us really happy is something to be enthusiastic about."

Charles Kingsley 1819-1875, Author and Clergyman

(Correct me if I’m wrong, Mum, but didn’t he write “The Water Babies”)

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Well, what to blog this week? I know, that sounds very reluctant. Someone might say: “Why bother?” It’s just that I have decided that I will try and do a weekly blog and Saturday is the day I have nominated to do it. I’m still new at this thing.

Thanks first of all to all my friends who have emailed me about my blog. One person emailed and said I looked handsome. Wow! That made my day – actually it’s made my month. Especially since the commenter in question is a lady. (It wasn’t a relative.)

I start writing exams this week and continue until 10 November.

I remarked to a colleague that after riding to and from work all week, I was now “feeling my legs” – her dry retort was, “Well as long as no-one else is feeling your legs.”

We move forward with plans for our musical at the school I am working at. I am directing it and this thing is big. Our music teacher left us this week, and we are not sure as to whether or not he will be returning. Nevertheless as the old saying goes, “the show must go on.” I am a trifle nervous, but there are things that are happening that allow me to be optimistic.

"Your enthusiasm will be infectious, stimulating and attractive to others. They will love you for it. They will go for you and with you."
Norman Vincent Peale
1898-1993, Pastor, Speaker and Author

Well I have no shortage of enthusiasm, so Mr. Norman Vincent Peale, I hope you’re right.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Well, that’s really me and that’s my new means of Transport. I have ridden to and from work all this week, and I am doing 8 km in about 25 minutes on average which is an average speed of 20 km/h. I think that portly fellow you see in the photo shall indeed shrink, in terms of his girth!! There has to be some payout for the shortage of petrol!!
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Saturday, September 24, 2005

Hi, welcome to my blogspot - new area for me.

Some facts about me.

Born in 1969, in Harare Zimbabwe (then Salisbury, Rhodesia).
I am a born-again Christian, single man. I am a teacher. My main hobby is Short Wave Radio Listening. I correspond by email with many people all over the world.

That's it for now! Johnny