Page 1

Issue no 3




Why I drank - a teen talks How to argue (nicely) MOTHER’S BLOG

My life as a


flop-proof chocolate crunchies World champs

Is God ever disappointed in us?

Work tips you’ll never regret Gold medals are not enough

for anyone who ever wondered about God


Hello... welcome and

thislife magazine!


to the third issue of


e’re now exactly one year old and still growing! We consider this a triumph against many odds, including that small matter of a global financial meltdown…

What are we about? Life. The challenges. The joys. The chocolate crunchies. People who inspire us. Shopping. Whether you are single, a parent, a business person, a teen, an almost-teen or a recycled teen, there is something specifically planned for you. And the God bit we mentioned on the front cover? Well, in the immortal words of

someone or other, suck it and see. Our life source is the Anglican Parish of St John’s, Wynberg, Cape Town (, which we happen to rate. But we understand if you don’t feel like darkening the doors of a church. We’re more interested in reflecting a perfect God, and how he changes people’s lives, than dwelling on the imperfect church. We will always be a work in progress, so please send us input (contact details below). What you like about us. What you don’t. Bones you have to pick with anything we’ve written. Challenge us! And don’t forget to enter our competitions. We’re beautifully local, so there’s a very good chance of winning! Have a nice day now. Katy Macdonald Ed

foodielife Flop-proof chocolate crunchies sportymoment Surfski champs: ‘gold medals are not enough’ teenlife ‘Why I drank’ agony How to argue (nicely) singlelife Pushing past pain: my life as a single stickyissues Is God ever disappointed in us? Plus WIN lifecoaching sessions 14 worklife Business tips you’ll never regret Plus WIN a thislife togbag 19 joeblogs A mother’s blog


AND THE REST 04 spotlight on…Teacher Lungi gives hope through hairstyling 13 younglife Arnold’s photolog and Muffin Moment Plus WIN R250! 16 paparazzi Did our snappers catch YOU in the act? 17 betterlife Christina’s restaurant: a path out of poverty 18 parentlife Six steps to healthy kids 20 seniormoment Red-blooded missionary spills the beans 22 hotbooks ‘Books that have inspired me’ Plus WIN new books 23 who?what?where? Courses for YOU: divorce recovery, parenting, Alpha, marriage… PLUS your guide to the churches of St John’s Parish, Wynberg 24 feelgood shopping top ten presents that keep on giving




A special thank you to Max Bosanquet and Martin Yodaiken of Cape Photography (, who lent us their studio


You can rely on your thislife team for impressive body parts


05 06 08 09 10 12

Global bit: 1. America: Thanks to our website (, we have readers contacting us from places as far-flung as Wisconsin. Wayne Jacobsen, writer and co-author of runaway best-seller The Shack, also put us on his blog. 2. England: A sister mag is being planned right now in the UK by someone who read us and liked us. Woohoo!

our winners! (come on boys, try a little harder…)


Thank you bit: Thank you, thank you and thank you again, beloved sponsors and distribution partners! If you’re not one, fancy becoming one? Surprisingly painless. Contact me.

THEY SAID IT ‘I believe in a forgiving God, a God who sees in my heart. I will take my chances with him forgiving me because I think he is more accepting and forgiving than the rest of the public.’ Darva Conger, former Playboy model ‘Money provides the luxury of making choices, but it doesn’t bring happiness, contentment or fulfilment.’ Andre Agassi, tennis player ‘God answers all the prayers. Sometimes he answers “yes”, sometimes he answers “no”, and sometimes the answer is “you gotta be kidding”.’ Former US President Jimmy Carter ‘Drinking beer is easy. Trashing your hotel room is easy. But being a Christian, that’s a tough call. That’s rebellion.’ Rockstar Alice Cooper ‘When I said, ‘my foot is slipping’, your love, O Lord, supported me.’

The Bible

‘I did not come to judge the world, but to save it.’

Jesus Christ


Claire Larkin, our ‘soccer dolly’ winner

Georgie Grobler, winner of the book Lost in Las Vegas

Tamara Kleinschmidt, winner of a candelit dinner for two at Michael’s in Rondebosch

Nicky Tillett, winner of the Richard Lange CD, Faithful

CONTACT US/COMPETITIONS Want to enter a competition, give input or send a comment or question to anyone who wrote in this magazine? • Email Katy at (If you send pics by email, please shrink them first, all emails 2MB and under, please) • Sms Katy on 076 905 2338 • Fax Katy on 021 658 4140 • Physically deliver anything (mark it ‘Katy @ thislife’) to the St John’s Parish office. It’s the brick hall off the large sandy car park at St John’s Church, St John’s Road, Wynberg (above Springfield Convent), tel 021 761 9020


this page proudly sponsored by Constantiaberg Funeral Home tel 021 671 2400 (24hr), mobile 083 653 6536 (Alan Lindhorst)



Introducing an occasional series highlighting the activities of people in St John’s Parish, Wynberg

Lungi Sibaca, 43, hairdressing teacher



ho’s the cook? Janet van Wyk, St John’s Church, Wynberg hat’s good about these crunchies? ‘They’re so easy to make and you

only use one bowl so cleaning up is minimal. They always get rave reviews and people

think you’re a great cook but actually anyone can make them, they’re flop-proof!’

Sticky business: crunchie cook Janet van Wyk with expert foodtasters Thomas and Stuart


crunchies: Mix all crunchy dry ingredients together. Add butter/marg. Put into a 20 x 30 cm baking tray and bake at 180˚C for about 20-25 minutes. icing: Mix all three ingredients together and add water little by little, icing should not be too runny just liquid enough to scrape it on. Spread it onto the crunchies while they are still hot from the oven.

A: Instant or two-


change, to see them going somewhere. When our first set of graduates leaves us, we hope they will set up their own businesses or go on to further skills training and become independent. I used to be an ordinary foundation phase teacher but decided to branch out and help children with learning barriers to use their hands.

The learners come here from mainstream education without any self-esteem. They have lost everything, they see themselves as nothing, but when you teach them they start to open up. They can be very creative when it comes to working with their hands and they know more than they think. I like to see them

I have peace of mind when I am here with my learners.


athi-tha [‘Then there is light’] School of Skills was launched in 2009 by the Department of Education. Its vision statement is ‘To produce competent, independent learners with expertise that will enable them to contribute productively to the economy of our country’. It caters for 220 children aged 14 and over who for a great variety of reasons have difficulties with mainstream schooling.


this page proudly sponsored by Kenilworth Connect Group, aka “Spaghetti Junction” join us? Dave / Rose Dallas 082 852 9586 or see p23 re connect groups



Q: “My children are always asking for instant noodles after school. They’re so quick and easy but how healthy are they?” Sue Marr, mother of three.

’ve been teaching at Lathi-tha School of Skills in Khayelitsha since it opened nearly two years ago. I teach hairdressing and cosmetology – everything you need for personal care.

crunchies: • 2 cups oats • 2 cups flour • 1 cup sugar • 2 tbsp cocoa • 2 tsp baking powder • 375g melted butter/margarine icing: • 3 cups icing sugar • 2 tbsp cocoa • 3 tbsp melted

(Got a query? Send it to Eva at

hope through hairdressing


minute noodles are popular but not Eva Warren of Christ particularly healthy as Church, Kenilworth, they are often high in registered dietitian salt and fat, sometimes particularly unhealthy saturated fat. However, if you do not use the flavour sachet and serve the noodles plain or with homemade, low-salt stock, they become a better option, much lower in salt and fat. Essentially though, noodles are refined carbohydrates like white bread – good for putting calories into hungry children, but not much else. More nutritious children’s stop-gaps include fresh fruit and yoghurt; dried fruit (eg mango/guava); or trail mix (dried fruit and nuts) or peanuts and raisins (if your child is old enough to eat nuts safely); wholewheat or brown bread sandwich with a protein filling, eg peanut butter, tuna, egg, chicken, cottage cheese. Popcorn is another option, ideally made at home with a little oil (or in a non-stick pot with no oil), and just a little salt or a few herbs added.

Leave to cool before cutting into squares.

DOMESTIC GODDESS TIP: Make the icing in the same bowl as the crunchy mixture!

TIP: when you are forced into buying treats, commercial flavoured popcorn is lower in fat than chips.

HIE C N U CR DOWchN es? LOWlthy are crunlublei fibre, wehbiclohod

lat hea f so How t source o ls and regu ies are a a e c lev gre run h are a holesterol ber c s m t e a sugar. m O t and uce c always re a d f hem? e f r o lot ake t ver, a helps m e in o w t a o H avoid ont ine sugar. arine, they c or margar g r s a a t d use se m trea ter you u ansfats, an e but f I s . u e I tr . ld bat anola igh in Shou ngoing de like c h is h e o ic n h n o a w o d rt It’s ype turate embe rick’ t ounsa oose, rem n o the ‘b m , ou ch a soft gly! ever y parin s it What e us




they’re flop-proof! 5




sportymoment B


Coffee/tea? Filter coffee or café latte Butter/margarine? Margarine. That’s all Nikki will allow!


My ultimate comfort food is…

orn and raised in Fish Hoek, world champ and world record holders Dawid and Nikki Mocke met when she was just 13. Now 30 and 33, they have been married eight years. From a youthful start as Fish Hoek Nippers (junior lifesavers), they have found themselves achieving beyond their wildest dreams. Dawid has earned six Springbok caps in lifesaving and canoeing, and is currently

I was 19 and my next big event was the 1996 Surf Lifesaving world titles in Durban. I was fit and confident. However, in the quarter finals I tripped in a pothole as I was running up the beach, fell flat on my face and was out of the event. In an instant, everything I had put my trust in came to nothing. In Ecclesiastes 2:11 it says: ‘Yet when I surveyed all my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun’


world champion for the second year running (for those who were wondering, a surfski is nothing to do with waterski-ing, it’s a sit-on-top kayak designed for big ocean conditions).

Wholenut slab or “skuimpies” (meringues) I love surfskiing because…

The ocean is totally limitless and you can paddle any day, any time

All of a sudden, I realised I was chasing the wind and would not find significance in my achievements. I was in a place of desperation after I realised this, and after the world titles I had no more motivation whatsoever. I didn’t know what to live for anymore and was caught in a downward spiral

Most irritating habit in self? Wasting time Most irritating habit in others? Talking while I am talking One thing I didn’t expect about fatherhood is…

Nikki has made 18 national teams for lifesaving, marathon canoe and sprint canoe paddling. Career highlights to date? marathon paddler in 1998. Guinness Don’t ask why).

World champion

world record holder of 2003 (she paddled from Cuba to Florida on a paddle board with 3 other girls.

World lifesaving surfski champion in 2004. Crowning it all were the Olympic

Games in 2008, where she

came 7th in the final of the K4s (that’s a four-man canoe to most of us).

Dawid has a degree in information science and worked in software before leaving to start the Varsity College surfski school. Nikki is a primary school teacher. Sam, their ‘machine of a son’, is one year old. They still live in Fish Hoek.

In this place of desperation, I called out to the only solid thing I could recall. I remembered from church days the parable of the two men building their houses. One built his house on sand and the other on a rock. The house on sand got destroyed (like my house), but the house on the rock remained. I decided to build my house on the rock

Having actually to discipline my son

Slobby habit?

I never put anything away after I have used it

How God?

I always knew about God. Like the Bible says, creation itself is a testimony to God’s existence, but I had my reservations. The bottom line: I didn’t have a relationship with God and I didn’t believe it was possible

Since then one of my favourite mantras has been a scripture I found in the Bible: ‘His pleasure is not in the strength of the horse, nor his delight in the legs of a man; the Lord delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love’

Because my parents were Christian I used to go to a church, but it was more out of habit and respect for my parents than anything else. As I got older and started to form my own opinions, I decided I would do it my way and have the best of both worlds. In my opinion, God’s word was only a guideline and not the ultimate truth. I believed some of it, but not all of it. I never actively sought to know him because I didn’t believe existence was all about God

I realised God wasn’t interested in what I could achieve, but only in having a relationship with him, trusting in his love for me. From that day on, my life had more meaning than ever before. I suddenly felt I had a real purpose on this earth Every major decision I have ever made since then has only been after prayerful consideration, and it’s been amazing how sometimes unorthodox decisions which didn’t make sense at the time have turned out in my life. A good example would be my current ‘job’, if you could call it that. I make a living from paddling and I would never have decided to pursue that based purely on the wisdom of the world

I was a reckless and impulsive person who wanted to experience everything life had to offer. During this time I got up to no good and did some stuff that I’m not very proud of today So if my existence wasn’t about God, then what was it about? Well, when you don’t live for him, you live for yourself, and when you live for yourself you try to be as significant as possible. For me, this meant achieving success so I would be a somebody and stand out from the crowd. I tried to find my significance in my performance as an athlete. ‘Who I am’ meant ‘what I achieve’

Spending time with God: easy/hard?

Used to be so easy, now I have Sam jumping on me!

Make me president and I’d…

Make Fridays part of the weekend

‘Gold medals are never enough’: world champs Dawid and Nikki Mocke with son Sam on Fish Hoek beach


Butter/margarine? Neither really

Spending time with God: easy/hard?

It’s challenging and different every time I go out. I love the people, the lifestyle and the adrenaline when it’s big

Since motherhood, finding the time is harder, but spending time with God is a non-negotiable. So I realised I don’t need to sit with my bible, I need to be creative. Driving and vacuuming can also be time with God!

Most irritating habit in self? I’m impatient

Favourite spiritual thought?

I love surfski-ing because…

Most irritating habit in others? Taking long to do stuff

A gold medal is an awesome thing, but if you can’t be enough without it, you will never be enough with it

How God? Well I first found a boyfriend (Dawid) who was going

One thing I didn’t expect about motherhood is…

to church and because I wanted to hang out with him, I would go to church with him…

‘I suddenly felt I had a real purpose on this earth’

That it’s non stop! Like NON STOP! And how much I really love Sam

Best thing about God? His perfect peace! 6

this page proudly sponsored by Mount Camdeboo




sportymoment 7




them. Also, one of them is Christ Church, Kenilworth’s very own worship pastor Tim Smith (the one in the middle of the pic NOT eating the corset thingy

Fresh back from The Fringe, the wacky wing of the

Where did they get the corset thingy? Someone threw it at them

seriously hip Edinburgh Festival, the Brothers Streep are basking in some rave reviews and recovering from a month-long diet of crisps

during the launch of their debut album, ‘Suitable For The Whole Family’

Check out their fan page on

The-Brothers-Streep/21014492312 or find out where to catch them


Why are we randomly telling you this? Cos you might just like

teenlife Why I drank…

I also stuck to my non-drinking friends and my church youth group. I found when I built up a strong friendship group with others who didn’t drink I was far less often in positions of temptation. If there was a massive party I just wouldn’t go to it as I knew it would make me too vulnerable.

for beating the BOOZE TRAP

Tip 1 Don’t be fooled – drinking affects you

In your teens, your brain is still being formed into the way it’ll be for the rest of your life. This makes it really vulnerable to excessive alcohol. Even regular drinking can really mess up the structures developing inside your brain... and can lead to problems with your concentration (as if you needed than to be any worse that it is already!). Alcohol also damages your long-term and working memory, which makes it difficult for you to remember things, think clearly and solve problems.

I refused to believe what society drums into you



own, and any bad vibes you get from people can be offset by the fact that there is someone else in the same boat as you.

Tip 4 Have some good alternatives available

If you’re not sure what non-alcoholic options there will be at the party, bring some of your own. There’s a whole range of trendy drinks that’ll help you be part of the party without getting you drunk.

What to say if someone calls you a wuss for not drinking?

• Well you could try Mr/Miss Nice Guy (there’s a proverb that says a kind word turns away anger). So… ‘Have fun guys, I’m just not cool with that. Sorry!’ • Or… use an upcoming sporting event as a reason to keep away from alcohol. ‘My coach says ...’

If the pressure continues, how about something like…

• ‘Glad drinking makes you feel cool. I’m really happy for you.’ • ‘Sorry ... why does joining you make me brave?’ • ‘So what takes more courage guys - to join you or stand up for what I believe?’ • ‘Anyone here brave enough to join me [in not drinking]?’ • ‘Hey, I’m waiting to have fun laughing at you just now ...’

Found on Facebook…

• ‘Wuss? If I want to cause myself brain damage I’d rather be bailing on a mountain bike [or something else awesome] than drinking myself into oblivion.’ • ‘Er, why exactly do you need me drunk?’ • ‘Alcohol messes with my awesome smile/body.’ • ‘When you turn 30 and need a new liver, don’t come crying to me coz mine’s in mint condish!’ • ‘Some of us are confident enough to have fun without getting drunk.’ Tip 2 Decide before the party what you’re going • ‘Ok, cool, don’t care if u think that.’ to drink and not drink If you don’t realise in advance that there’s a group of • ‘I’m a wuss? Your FACE is a wuss!’ people around you trying their hardest to get you to Tips by Andrew Vaughan, leader, Ambies Youth Group, drink, the chances are you’re going to cave in and Christ Church, Kenilworth. do what they want. Parties aren’t particularly good Got a places to think about what might happen if you question about drink too much. So make your decision not to drink life/stress/suffering/ before you get there. dating/God etc? Send Tip 3 Get a friend to be a non-drinking buddy it to Andrew on It’s way easier not to do what everyone else is www.justaskingblog. doing if there are two or more of you who’ve decided not to drink. That way you’re not on your


teenlife 8

details p3

help me! When I get angry about things I either push them down

In life, conflict is inevitable. And in itself, it’s not bad. Anger is a God-given emotion, often a signal that your rights have been violated, your needs are not being met or that you are compromising yourself. It’s how you choose to express your anger that makes it good or bad. Exploding in anger or suppressing it is not healthy. Destructive conflict is damaging and can leave you and your loved ones wounded. Chronic anger results in broken relationships and has many painful consequences. When you avoid dealing with your anger effectively, it becomes destructive. If you can respond rather than react to your anger, your conflict can become constructive and even bring about character growth. Give these techniques a try.

Since I turned 18 I can drink legally, but I think I know where to stop. My advice to others is: if you know you’ll be weak, don’t go wherever the alcohol will be. And get a good group of friends who can have fun without drinking.’


See our contact


So first I had a beer and then I went on to vodka. I did feel a little guilty but then I got caught up in the excitement of it all. I didn’t get totally drunk but I was heading towards being smashed and enjoyed the feeling.

The pressure continued but when I was 16 I had a powerful experience of the Holy Spirit and became serious about God. It says in the Bible you should obey the law of the land, so drinking became a ‘no’ for me. It was a very hard decision, especially when I was 17 and all my friends were going out drinking. I remember going to the Grahamstown Youth Jazz festival and really feeling like the odd one out. But every time I felt tempted, I remembered the feeling of how real God is and how God is more powerful than the urge for alcohol, and I would replay that in

We will publish it with an answer or

and feel really resentful for days or blurt them out in a way that I usually end up regretting. How can I get better at arguing?’

my mind. I refused to believe what society drums into you: sex is cool, going out every weekend is cool, going underage into a club is cool, and let’s see how much we can all drink without getting drunk…

When I got back to Cape Town, some of my nondrinking friends found out about the incident, which made me feel embarrassed. I felt I had made a bad reputation for myself and was determined to put it right. I did drink alcohol once more, but it was New Year’s Eve and I had just one drink.

pseudonym if you’d like to stay anonymous.


started to feel the pressure to drink around Grade 8. People had started to drink at parties and there was pressure to fit in with the whole crowd. It’s hard to stand out as someone who isn’t cool. The first time I gave in was in Grade 9. I went away with five of my friends to Hermanus for a weekend. One of them had bought alcohol and at first I didn’t drink but then they nagged me to and I eventually gave in. They said things like ‘Come on, it makes you feel good. Look at the great effect it’s having on us, what’s wrong with you?’


send thislife your question, giving yourself a

Q ‘Please

one teen’s story

The next time was the very next night with quite a few of my friends. We played pool and drinking games. But that night my friend and I realised we were doing the wrong thing. It just felt more serious the second night in a row. We had been lying to friends and the family we were staying with, and it felt wrong. I also didn’t like the fact that I wasn’t totally in control of my body.

Q &agony A

Email, sms or physically

send you a personal response.

What do they do? ‘Acoustic comedy’ (= acoustic rock + comedy lyrics). Check it out, might just be your thang







How to argue (nicely)

How to do conflict well

• Don’t shout! Communicate your feelings calmly, eg ‘I feel frustrated.’ Shouting escalates conflict, and half an hour later you will probably feel bad or guilty. • Don’t interrupt! Interrupting someone, especially someone angry, can inflame the situation. Listen while they speak – if necessary, BREATHE DEEPLY to avoid interrupting them! • Try the Sandwich Technique, which involves affirming the good while confronting.

Here’s the trick:

And some more don’ts…

a. Start with a positive statement. b. Confront (state the problem) and request change, eg ‘I want you to stop criticising me.’ c. End with a positive statement about the person you are confronting, eg ‘You are a caring husband but the way you tease me is really upsetting. I feel distant from you when you criticise me, even as a joke. I miss being close to you but can’t get close when I feel belittled. I do love you and long for us to be close again.’ • Instead of viewing your family member as opposition, remind each other that you are a team and aim for a win/win situation. Work until you reach a consensus. • Acknowledge the other person’s point of view. • Ask questions: ‘What is hurting you?’ ‘How can we resolve this?’

• Avoid ‘you should… you always… you never…’ and swearing! • Stop blaming others and stop nagging! • Never attack someone’s personality, eg ‘You are selfish/unkind/thoughtless!’ Rather focus on their behaviour, eg ‘What you did was selfish/unkind/thoughtless.’ • No angry gestures (finger pointing, head nodding, rolling or narrowing the eyes, invading personal space). No angry facial expressions or smiling when angry. Maintain a calm, serious facial expression. • Don’t bring up past mistakes – stay in the present. • Avoid abrupt, aggressive tones. A calm voice can diffuse conflict.

Some more do’s

And if you forget all of these and really lose it?

• Turn to God who can empower change. • Take responsibility for your role in the conflict. • When conflict escalates, call time-out. This gives each person time to calm down and then resume the discussion half an hour later in order to discuss the matter calmly. Time-out should never be used to avoid a problem. • Timing: aim to resolve conflict before the day’s end. ‘Be angry, yet do not sin. Do not let the sun go down on your anger’ (the Bible). Remember not to confront anyone when you or your partner are tired or going to bed. Rather ask your spouse what his or her best time is to discuss a concern you have. • Choose your battles. Don’t waste energy on road rage or arguing over things that are not worth it. Will this matter in five years’ time? • If conflict is ongoing and acrimonious, get help! Try wise counsel, counselling and prayer. ‘Anger is natural’: Karin Tilney, counsellor at Church of the Holy Spirit

• Forgive yourself and others. We’re not perfect human beings, which means everyone has an angry outburst once in a while. Apologise and ask for forgiveness. Take responsibility for your behaviour and tell your loved one that even though you were angry it doesn’t mean you don’t love them. Forgive those who have hurt you so you can experience freedom from the shackles of unforgiveness and resentment. • Learn your lesson. After you’ve calmed down from a conflict, reflect on the anger-generating situation: 1. What was stressing you at the time? 2. What were your trigger thoughts? 3. How could you have handled the conflict differently? 4. How could you have met your own needs? 5. What limits did you fail to set? • And finally, consider…did you/have you really surrendered the conflict to God? If not, it’s never too late! If you’re not plugged into a church or group of believers, consider doing so.

Remember, conflict can be a catalyst to learn more about yourself and grow. If your anger is often more intense than the situation warrants, it may indicate that there are unresolved issues in your past. If this is you, get some counselling! It’s braver to seek help than push things down! agony




agony 9






Pain puts us in a vulnerable position before God, allowing us to know him in more intimate ways. It opens the door for personal growth and character shaping. All of those are desired outcomes of my life, and I hope for your life, too. I don’t like the route that’s required to get there, but I wouldn’t trade the results. Painful circumstances place me at the point of decision. I can choose to fight my way through God’s plan, writhing and straining at every turn of events, or I can choose to submit to his divine direction.

‘How’s your love life?’, ‘I have a friend you should meet’, ‘God has someone wonderful for you’…

But a searingly real and often humorous book, ‘Living Whole Without a Better Half’ shows another way. American Wendy Widder tells single life like it is: warts, pain, bitterness and all, but ultimately sheds a fresh

perspective on single life as an incredible opportunity.

Here we excerpt a few sections from her touching and inspiring book. happening. They pictured being passionately loved by an amazingly handsome man (my guy friends picture a stunningly beautiful woman), but instead they’re pursued by those they’d rather leave for someone else or worse yet, no one chases them at all. They expected that they would be liked and admired by all their peers, but instead they’re clawing their way into a clique. They supposed they’d be surrounded by continuous good times, but instead they eat ice cream out of the carton on a quiet Friday night.

Life isn’t fair Then we look up from our unhappy circumstances and wonder why she isn’t eating cookies and cream in her living room. We ask ourselves how he got invited to the party. Somehow we’ve missed the all-important lesson that fits into three simple words: life isn’t fair. God never promised fairness in our fallen world, but my problem is that I think I deserve it anyway. My real problem is that I don’t want to let go of my pride and give in to God’s plan.

People are a great source of manna One of the greatest sources of manna in my life comes from people around me. While everyone needs encouragement, singles especially need people who will walk with them. It’s a matter of survival for me to have friends who can lend faithful support and encouragement. There was a time when I wasn’t willing to let people walk so closely with me. In fact, when I was in college, I nearly lost a dear friend who was frustrated with my lack of vulnerability. I wouldn’t even let the people closest to me see where I struggled, much less ask for any help. Somewhere along the way, I learned better. I look around at several key friends now and can only imagine how horrible it would be to walk tough roads without them…Friends like these don’t lurk behind every corner, but they are worth looking for. They are worth every ounce of vulnerability I can squeeze out, because they are the ones who push me forward when I cower in fear from the risks of relationships, new ventures and changes.


he struggles of singleness are real, and they are significant. Being single in a world designed by God for partnership brings pain. I fight the feelings of ‘unsettledness’, tempted to wonder if and when marriage will come. I cradle tiny babies in my arms, filled with wistful longings to have my own. I go solo to social evenings populated by couples and feel the all-too-familiar stabs of aloneness. I get weary of waking up to the furry face of Edward, my stuffed elephant. I tire of digging up dates to attend friends’ weddings. I battle the loneliness of not having a constant, committed companion. Two of the most destructive forces among singles are bitterness and envy. I have a lot of single friends who, like me, didn’t plan their lives the way they are





A trusted friend must have access to the details of my daily living, and they must have permission to ask tough questions. Maybe you need to meet with someone once a week. Perhaps you should be doing a bible study with a friend. Maybe you need a phone call every day. I don’t know how it works for you. I just know it has to work.

Lifeline Part of the mystery of suffering is God’s choice to be silent in the midst of our pain. God is often silent to the questions over which we lose sleep, yet he has spoken. He has spoken through the written words of scripture, and those words come alive when we are dying inside. The still, small voice of scripture whispers rock-solid promises. God throws us a lifeline of the living word to gently pull us out of the mire and close to his heart.

singlelife 10





The Master Puzzler often takes his time revealing that new dimension. He may choose to turn the cube a little more slowly, drawing out the groan of the jumbled mess. He may allow great pain to course through my life. But he knows the solution; he knows the way I must take. And he can get me there.

I want answers for the unknowns and solutions for the problems

Bombarded by the good intentions of others,

singles can find themselves in a mad pursuit to find their ‘better half’ instead of living the whole life God intended for all his children.

wonder what on earth he is doing with my life, but I’m so thankful that he understands what I can’t. With a lot of patience on my part and an expert series of twists on his part, life takes on a whole new dimension.

There have been bone-chilling winters in my life when God has allowed stormy squalls of pain to rage around me. On the accompanying dark, icy mornings, I’ve awakened wishing I could just roll over again to escape the agony. I’ve pulled my tired toes to the floor, put one foot in front of the other, and reluctantly inched into another day no brighter than the one before. Breathe in. Breathe out. The crushing pain of a shattered heart is intense, but life manages to go on whether or not I think I can. Somehow the days become weeks, the calendar pictures keep changing, and I make it through.

Wildest dreams After years in the dating desert, God chose to surprise me. Jay was everything I’d ever put on a list and more. He exceeded my wildest dreams, and I had some wild ones. He went beyond my highest expectations, and I had some high ones. He was easily what no one else had ever been, or what I was sure nobody else could ever be. And wonder of wonders, he loved me. Life was on a long-awaited track. It wasn’t a perfect track; it was laden with its share of weights and obstacles. Big ones. But I had no doubts about those obstacles; they weren’t insurmountable. The weights weren’t unbearable. Jay and I would make it. We had what it would take. I knew it. Ten months later came Jay’s uncertainties. Against every inclination of my heart, we broke up. In the torrents of tears that followed that horrible July night, God held me. He didn’t take the pain away, but like a loving parent, he kissed the wound and soothed it with his healing ointment. He tenderly bathed my wounds with his Word. He applied the salve of his promises to my torn-apart heart, and the slow healing began.

I can choose In the struggle to retain my life dreams and somehow make them happen, I’ve sometimes felt like a Rubik’s cube. Just when I get one side of my life falling into place and making some sense, I realise that so much else is beyond my control. I am helpless to solve things, and in fact, I make a bigger mess and create more pain. It’s only when I hand it back to the Master Puzzler that there is hope. He may twist and change the whole puzzle, and it may appear to me that he’s just created another disaster beyond repair, yet I know that my puzzle is never out of his control. Sometimes the transitions, twists and turns of life make me creak and groan. I don’t understand, and I don’t see the solution. Sometimes I


ne minute with

Wendy Widder,

author of ‘Living Whole Without

a Better Half’

Ultimate comfort food? Milk and homemade chocolate chip cookies. Dogs/cats? Dogs, no contest. Big ones.




The unpopular truth is that God often does his greatest work while we wait. It’s when he puts us in prison, when he traps us inside the cold, clammy walls of a stone cell, that he gives us the greatest opportunity to experience his deliverance.

Nightmares God is big, and his power is limitless. I believe this with all my heart, but I still struggle with fear. My faith in God’s power doesn’t automatically ease my fear because, although God is big enough to bail me out, he sometimes allows me to tread a significant amount of water in what appears to be a sinking ship. Even though I believe in his bigness, my fears may still become reality. My worst nightmares can still come true. God is big, but he doesn’t always choose to manifest his strength in the way I want. God’s perspective on the world is very different from my own. I see the world myopically, only able to focus on what concerns me and those close to me. His eyes, however, see everything. He sees what I don’t. He knows what is best, and he’s big enough to accomplish it. Whenever life threatens me, I can be afraid, or I can choose to trust. Fear comes naturally. I see my whole life in one glimpse and think I have to solve all the issues. I want answers for the unknowns and solutions for the problems. The scary parts loom over me, and I struggle for control….fear is a lump in my throat, rising without effort. Trust is the constant swallowing of truth, sending the lump back to its place. Truth: God only gives good gifts. Truth: God is still in control…With each swallow, my trembling hands relax in the omnipotent grip of my big God. With each swallow, my pounding heart slows in the calming presence of the One who’s in control. ‘The Lord is my light and my salvation – whom shall I fear?’ (Psalm 27 verse 1).

Satisfy the craving God placed within men and women the longing to be loved and the need to be happy. However, he didn’t create anything in all the world that could meet those needs. Only he can. No amount of kicking and screaming, searching and experimenting, can change the fundamental fact that we need God. We need him for more than eternal life; we need him for this life. We need him to satisfy the craving that gnaws at our souls. Whenever we stuff things into the place only he can fill, we lose….The beauty of a relationship with God is that he can retrieve all those little pieces of us and put them back together into the persons he designed us to be.

Make me president and I’d . . . President of what? I’d probably rather not be president of anything because of the admin - the bane of my existence. Favourite spiritual read/thought/quote? My favourite author these days is Eugene Peterson, particularly his series on spiritual theology and conversation. Nearly every page has profound thoughts. Reading him is like eating decadent chocolate - best in small bites so as to be fully savoured.


singlelife 11


One thing never to say to a single person? ‘God has someone wonderful for you.’ Maybe he does, maybe he doesn’t. How do you know?!

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Q: How can we believe a bible full of contradictions? We could also be confused by the fact that the Old A: Billions of people have based their lives on the Bible. Testament is full of laws which Christians no longer keep. But can an intelligent person believe it?

Well, yes! Unlike other spiritual books such as the Koran, used in Islam, it does not demand blind faith. Ancient history supports the Bible’s accuracy as a historical record; the gospels provide multiple reliable accounts of Jesus’ life; archaeology backs up the Biblical account; and textual scholarship confirms that the books of the Bible haven’t changed since they were first written.

Rev Andrew Gready, St John’s Church, Wynberg


The Bible was written by human beings, so for example in the gospels, different stories about Jesus are told in various ways, just as eyewitness accounts by people usually differ slightly. But the gospels never contradict each other on the important things, like that fact that Jesus died and rose again.

Rev Duncan Mclea,

Christ Church, Kenilworth (

This is good news because it means we don’t have to try and impress God. Trying to make a good impression (pretending to be something we are not) always runs counter to building an honest, open, trusting relationship – and that’s what God is after.

It helps to realise that many of these laws were temporary. Jesus later repealed some, including the dietary ones, saying the important thing is what comes out of your mouth, not what goes into it. Why did God bother with these rules in the first place? Because he wanted a special relationship with his people – and he wanted them to be seen to be different.

when we make bad destructive choices which go against his plan and design for us. When we choose to ignore him and disregard the instructions he has given us on how to live well, he will be sad because he wants the best for us. In Matthew 23:37, we read how Jesus wept over the people of Jerusalem because they made bad choices and ignored the messengers God had sent them. This grieved him deeply. But it did not stop him loving them and wanting to embrace them and show them how to live well and fulfil their destiny. That’s what God really wanted for them, and what he wants for us – the sheer pleasure and delight of living the way he designed us to live, and fulfilling the destiny he has for us.

Why did it happen? If God is so great, why didn’t he stop the floods and protect these four babies?

Rev Alan Kilpatrick,

St Luke’s Church, Diep River


Agree or disagree? The three Revs invite you to email them

But is it God’s fault? I’d argue that much pain in the world is a result of people rather than nature, even if the pain is caused by natural disasters. For example, famines – would people starve if we really loved our neighbour as ourselves? There’s more than enough food for everyone. Maybe if political wars stopped or the arms race was abandoned, then food could get to the right place.

apathy about our environment and about the welfare of the Pakistani people. Flood damage could be reduced by taking care of the environment or building better houses that can withstand a flood.


Having fun on the trampoline with my friends Remi & Kyle

My brother and I love playing soccer

My favouri te playing ga pastime mes on th e PC and surfin g the net

pancake moment A mother was preparing pancakes for her sons, who

Best friend and neighbour Chadley, and friend and brother Devon

began arguing over who would get the first pancake.

you can win too!

Their mother saw the opportunity for a moral lesson. ‘If Jesus were sitting here, he would say Let my brother

share your world with us

have the first pancake, I can wait.’ The older brother turned to the younger one and said, ‘Ryan, you be Jesus!’

Well done to Arnold for submitting his photolog and winning the trip for two at Cool Runnings toboggan track!

Calling all 12 year olds and under! Simply send us your photolog with short captions and the one we


love most will be published in our next mag plus

win R250!

Contact details p3

Q: Who’s this? A: A group of grade 4s and 5s from Church of the Holy

Anything God creates will have limitations. Eg, the rock which enables you to stand is also hard enough for you to stub your toe on. The air you breathe is also thin enough to allow you to fall through. In other words, the attributes that enable life sometimes work against us.

Spirit, Kirstenhof. They wanted to share with others all the goodness of God and made gorgeous chocolate muffins and bookmarks for children at Capricorn Primary School in Vrygrond, near Muizenberg. Instead of gobbling up the muffins, most of the children saved their rare treat to share with their families that night. Now that’s what we call selfcontrol! Even the children who find writing hard wrote colourful thank you letters.

The Bible says that when we rebelled against God, it wasn’t only humans who were affected, but all of nature. So some of the events we see today are the effects of the people’s rebellion against God. It’s easy to blame God, but maybe we should rather look at our own hearts and ask the question, ‘What can I do?’

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The best pet ever, no walking, no talking, cleaning or feeding. Winnie is anti-social!

Our happy family mom Olivia, dad Denver and brother Devon

When Jesus came, he said that while the laws were important, love was actually a more vital goal. The main thrust of God’s message (‘Have a relationship with me, and love people as much as you love yourself’) has never changed.

Q: Why did God let the Pakistan floods happen? A: ‘I looked at the picture in the newspaper in disbelief. Much of the damage done by floods can be attributed to Four children were pictured covered in flies, lying on the ground, alive but abandoned. I couldn’t get my head around it. I still can’t picture what it’s like for so many people to die and suffer – but the photo brought home to me the reality of suffering.


For example, before Jesus was born, God told the people of Israel not to eat pork – but everyone knows that nowadays Christians eat bacon!

Q: Is God ever disappointed in us? A: In a word, no! For God to be disappointed in us So God is not disappointed with us, but he will be sad would mean that his knowledge of us was somehow defective and he had unreal expectations of us. That is not the case. Psalm 103:14 says God ‘knows of what we are made’. He knows how weak we are and how we get blown this way and that, depending on what is happening around and in us. The great thing is that in spite of knowing us for exactly what and who we are, he loves us with an everlasting love. That is what the psalmist goes on to say in Psalm 103.

everyone, I’m Arnold. I’m 12 years old and as you

can see, I’m the world’s best vuvuzela blower and Bafana Bafana supporter. I go to St. Philip’s Church in Kenwyn.

Send us your entry (see p3 for details)





younglife 13





Making it in business without losing it in life

Is it possible to build strong, successful companies without the trick – without the promise of the prize one day, the prize that is always a little further away? Is it possible to carve a career and still be a human being, not just a human doing? Yes it is, but only if we say the unthinkable – that tomorrow does not hold the prize – only today. Nothing else will keep us

towards me and said ‘I’m OK. I just found it all very moving. I’ve been overseas for five days and when I got back I said to my 14-year-old boy, ‘Well, have you missed me?’ He said ‘No, Dad – because you’re never here.’ He went on ‘You know what really upset me? It was that my son wasn’t being sarcastic. He was just articulating what has become for us a lifestyle.’

Do you fancy going fishing this weekend? Winner’s rostrum

from the foolishness of saying ‘One day I’ll have more time’ or ‘My retirement package will be wonderful’.

I reached out and touched his arm and said ‘It’s never too late’. I was well-intentioned but I wasn’t being completely honest. The truth is that although that man may still build a wonderful relationship with his son, nothing could give either of them back the years that were gone. At the time, the chance to stand on the touchline of football matches seemed as though it would be there forever, and when that father said ‘Next week, son – I’ll be there then,’ he meant it. It was just that there were always business plans to write and accountants to listen to; there were hundreds of people who had demanded a piece of him. But his son hadn’t demanded; he had just asked – until one day he had just stopped asking.

If you and I are to discover the heart and soul of success it may be wise not just to consider the ‘now’, but to try to imagine life some years down the road, take a look back and try to answer the question: What will matter to me then? We crave not just real estate but relationships. And if that weren’t sobering enough, all those we knew in business, who understood the old rules, are suddenly gone. Those who are left will say to us ‘We’ll never get by without you’. But they will. The very next day…

HOW TO FIND SOME BALANCE: a useful piece of advice If you are lucky enough to have a few seconds when a phone is not demanding to be answered or a moment when someone is not knocking on your office door asking you to ‘spare a minute’, then nurture that brief episode. If you’re in an airport lounge, don’t feel under pressure to get straight on your mobile or to fish some papers out of your briefcase, don’t even feel the need to look busy. Instead, buy yourself a coffee, find a quiet corner and enjoy the glorious luxury of not making the ‘best’ use of your time. Just think. The sheer lack of ‘thinking time’ – time to smell the roses, to strategise, to let our visions and dreams crystallise, to consider our real priorities – is one of the reasons why many businesses get stuck in a rut.

Why would we live like that? What amount of money or power would lure us into an existence where we have an incredibly high standard of living but such a low quality of life? The answer is unpalatable. What drives us is the illusion of the race. To understand the illusion we must first understand the reality. Reality is the Olympic marathon runner, getting up at five in the morning to endure darkness and cold as he pounds the roads in training. It is the forsaking of time with family, or friends, or entertainment, because for the immediate future the race must be all. It is the dedication of oneself to a dream – to the possibility of the prize. And as he runs the streets, he dreams of the moment when he ascends the winner’s rostrum and holds his medal high as his country’s anthem is played.

worklifeWhat do all business people really need to know?

British businessman and author Rob Parsons has compelling food for thought. Here we excerpt from his book The Heart of Success, a best-seller that has been sold globally and translated into 12 languages.


meet men and women every day – successful men and women – who have often achieved beyond their wildest dreams. These are men and women whom others would love to emulate and yet they would give all they possess if only they could change the past. So what is their great regret? Is it that they could have been more effective salespeople, received wider acclaim for their academic papers, or pushed harder to get that promotion? Rarely. No – the regret is almost always in the area of relationships.

kids would be grown and gone before they knew it. As I spoke, I saw the usual looks of disbelief from the young and knowing nods from those with a few grey hairs. And then I said, ‘The days when your children want you to watch them in school plays, teach them to fly a kite, and listen to that story over and over again are very limited. The time is hurtling towards you when you’re going to say to a 14-year-old, “Do you fancy going fishing this weekend?” and he’ll reply, “Do you mind if we don’t, Dad – I said I’d go out with some friends.”’

Some years ago, I was asked to speak to a large financial institution on the matter of balancing home and work. The senior executives and sales force had all been gathered for a day in which they had examined the performance for the previous year and set goals for a new millennium. I was the closing speaker. I commended them for the success they had known and acknowledged that, to achieve it, somebody somewhere had worked long hours and made many sacrifices.

I told them of a little maths I did one day that changed my life. I worked out the number of days in the first 18 years of my children’s lives – 6,755. No amount of success, money or prestige can buy us one day more. If your child is 10 years old, you have 2,922 left. I said, ‘I understand as well as anybody the pressures of modern business life, but those days of your children’s lives are irreplaceable: so far as is possible, try not to miss one of them.’

Disbelief But then I urged those successful men and women not to forget the fact that although work is important, when they are older it is in the area of relationships that they will crave success. I warned them that, if they had children, those





When I finished, the chairman, a man of about 60, stood up to thank me. He was obviously having some difficulty speaking, but somehow concluded his remarks and took his seat next to me on the podium. And then I saw that his eyes were full of tears. As unobtrusively as I could, bearing in mind that we were in full view of the audience, I asked him if he was all right. He turned

worklife 14





If anything really matters to us – matters so much that when we are old we want to look back and say ‘This is what I did; this is what I was’ – we probably have to begin the process of change: to plant a seed – today… The carpenter put it like this: ‘What does it profit a man to gain the whole world, yet lose his own soul?’

Now imagine the unthinkable. Imagine that the training was for 40 years. Forty years of sacrifice, 40 years of dedication to the goal. But at the very last moment an official comes and says ‘There is no prize. There is no medal. The winner’s rostrum was an illusion.’


• Life won’t always be this busy – a slower day is coming • I’m working such long hours so I can give them all more than I had when I was a kid • The office/business will never survive without me

With partner and friends

• Create ‘safe havens’ for your friends or family when you can give them the dignity of being present mentally. Switch off the phones for an hour in the evening and at restaurants • Remember: good listeners don’t interrupt, finish sentences for others, let anybody see them looking at their watch


For companies

• Don’t ever say ‘We expect our people to leave their home problems at the front door.’ You might as well ask them to leave their left leg there • Consider in-house training that includes the issue of work-life balance. Leading edge companies are already doing this • Consider an in-house library on family-related issues • Don’t ever be threatened by an employee who tells you his or her family is more important than their job. You’ve found a person with values – now channel them to help them succeed for you and still have a life

For parents

• Children love receiving letters; if you have to be away from home, drop them a line • Whenever possible try not to take phone calls in time you have designated for your children – buy an answerphone, switch off the mobile • Tell your children every day that you love them


a thislife togbag! Simply sm s TOGBAG to 076 905 2 338.

ob Parsons: ‘The prize is now’

A senior partner in a British law firm, Rob Parsons has combined his career with a number of other unusual ventures. The married father of two adult children, he co-founded one of the UK’s most successful legal training and consultancy firms, launched a family-issues charity (Care for the Family), and in 2000 founded Letsdolife, a consultancy and seminar provider to the corporate sector, which focuses on personal and corporate effectiveness. He has addressed three-quarters of a million people at seminars worldwide

The Heart of Success, available at or call 031 716 3300. Book: R149. DVD (running time 50 minutes): R99.

this page proudly sponsored by Redford Capital contact us at




It was established in 2003 to serve the six churches of St John’s Parish, Wynberg, in their response to poverty and injustice. It has grown into an organisation which serves around 90 churches, reaching out to some of the most vulnerable in our society. It has tabs on many of the urgent needs in greater Cape Town

paparazzi what are the people of St John’s Parish getting up to?

WENDY (Church of the Holy Spirit) and MONIQUE (HHO Africa) @ a Habitat for Humanity build, Mfuleni, Cape Town

Where’s the Warehouse? 12 Plantation Road, Wetton, 7780

KEIRA @ her 4th birthday party in St Philip’s church hall

CLAUS and BUNS @ Christ Church men’s retreat, Hermanus



ho’s this? Christina Mtandana and her

business partner Asanda Maawu

What are they doing? Cooking in their restaurant Siqalo Sethu (‘Our Start’)

Where is it? Sweet Home Farm, near Ottery, Cape Town

Who eats there? The local community, people from neighbouring suburbs, and local and international visitors who want to experience something different

ETHAN, JEN NA, ANDREA , leaving Em manuel Chu KELLY and JASON rch band pra ctice

What’s the story? Christina moved from

COWGIRL/BOY MAVIS and GREGORY @ St Luke’s dinner dance

house, and Brenda Carter, a volunteer with experience in the restaurant business. Brenda became Christina’s ‘business buddy’ and together they worked though excellent business practice Having branched out into event catering too,

Siqalo Sethu is now full-time and truly start-

ing to thrive. Christina recently made Asanda her business partner and also created a position for a part-time assistant

Christina: ‘I want to show people around me that poverty is not something you have to stay in. I remember when my child-

the Eastern Cape to Cape Town years ago to find work, but found none. In the meantime she was involved in a support group run by the Warehouse at Sweet Home Farm, one of the city’s most vulnerable communities. When the Warehouse asked her to cater for a group of guests it was bringing to the community, she grabbed the opportunity with both hands. The rest is history

ren went to school hungry - but not any more!’

Christina was encouraged by WorkSpring, an entrepreneurial programme run by the Ware-

Certainly, if you have any kind of business experience to offer. See ‘Workspring’ details on this page


Brenda (business buddy): ‘Working with Christina & later Asanda has been a real joy. Every bit of help I’ve been able to give has been met with fervour and determination. It’s been inspiring and deeply rewarding, often in unexpected ways’

Can I be a business buddy too?


and welcome you to join them for lunch. Menus: hot lunch (R40), sandwich lunch with fruit (R35), or mealie pap and mince (R25). Drinks are included in the price. TURKISH FEASTERS ALAN and TIM @ Christ Church home fundraiser for Habitat for Humanity

KENNY, MEGAN and MARCEY, St John’s interns, back in town from a visit to the Anglican Diocese of York, UK





paparazzi 16


hat’s the Warehouse?




Please call Christina 071 001 8782 or Asanda 084 288 7926 to book, 24 hour notice needed. Closed Fridays and Sundays. Christina will arrange for diners to be taken to and from the restaurant if they park at the nearby Warehouse (see map on this page). The restaurant also caters for functions and recently provided amagwinyas (a kind of vetkoek/doughnut) at a southern suburbs school fundraiser.


What are its projects?

WorkSpring Helping individuals become aware of their own ability to generate a sustainable income and supporting entrepreneurs in the creation, management and refinement of their businesses Care for Kids Equipping churches to serve orphaned and vulnerable children in their local community Link Exposing school-leavers to a network of opportunities in further education and skills development to improve their access to employment Sweet Home Farm An informal settlement facing some of the worst social ills rooted in poverty, Sweet Home Farm is a community served through youth work, a senior citizens’ club and other support groups Fusion Working with youth in gang-dominated areas using a model which helps restore high-risk youth Justice Revival An advocacy group that speaks up for the voiceless Urban Gleaning Connecting people who want to share their time, resources, skills and finances with others Training and Equipping Teaching community development to churches, NGOs and individuals

Fancy getting involved? There’s room for you! Ring 021 761 1168 and speak

to Caroline if you’re interested.

Food and hygiene packs

This is an ongoing opportunity to partner with families who are caring for orphaned and vulnerable children in the most practical of ways. These families receive food and hygiene packs on a monthly basis. Please call Caroline on 021 761 1168 for further details.

Opportunities to give

We recycle your quality second-hand or new furniture, clean clothes and linen to people in need. Please drop off any items Monday to Friday between 8am and 4pm. As we wish to bless people fully with your gifts, please make sure all items are in good condition for use. If you have a large electrical or furniture item such as a computer, appliance or bed, please call Caroline (021 761 1168) to establish if we can use it and to arrange collection.

Call us: 021 761 1168 Click on us:

Christmas 2010

Just Christmas

The Warehouse is running a campaign, which includes ethical gift purchasing from small businesses and the opportunity to buy presents for orphaned children Visit for more info


radio by d h the Catc e starte , m n m o a s r prog mes Dob mily, a F Ja a, e on th outh Afric t s u c Fo ere in S CFM a C h right days on 8am k , e we am 2.30 8pm. and


eer pressure. Academic demands. Eating disorders. Decisions about love, romance and sex. Life goals, and how to achieve them. These are just some of the challenges that children face today – and the age at which they encounter them is getting younger and younger. As parents, are we guiding our children on their journey to adulthood? Are we equipping them to make wise choices? Whether they are still

playing hopscotch or sailing precariously through a stormy sea of teenage hormones, are they truly secure in their identities as our valued and loved sons and daughters?

It’s all very confusing and parents often feel like screaming ‘where’s the manual?’ when it comes to the nitty gritty of childrearing. And while there isn’t one to cover every personality and situation, the good news is that American household name Dr James Dobson has just brought out Bringing up Girls, a natural follow-on to his most recent best-seller, Bringing up Boys.


The good-humoured, down-to-earth Dr Dobson, heard daily till he recently retired by 200 million people on 4,000 radio stations throughout the world, has been involved for decades in US government family policies. He is the father of one boy and one girl. Here we excerpt from his new book.

Healthy Children to Healthy Adults:


y ostensibly strong, capable kids sit at the nest’s edge, testing their wingspan. Sometimes I want to push them off. For two reasons. One, they care nothing for orderly living. Crusty egg pans and other dirty delights adorn the kitchen like careless modern art. Two, they are western, middle-class know-it-alls. Debates, persuasions, manipulations rage in our household. All reject the gospel with vehemence. That, I don’t mind. They’re entitled to test the faith.

The Six Steps Parents Really Need to Know*

1.Having dinner with your children.

Nothing says ‘I truly care about you’ more than spending dinnertime with your children at least five nights a week. More than any other day-to-day behaviour, parents who dine with their children produce healthier adults because it sends the clear signal that their children are a high priority. Parents who miss dinner – no matter what the excuse – are sending the wrong message, and that message is unfortunately being heard loud and clear.

2.Taking your children to church or

synagogue weekly. It is no coincidence that the most successful anti-drug and anti-alcohol programmes have a spiritual component. If your children are taught at a young age that there is something out there bigger and more important than themselves, they are more likely to respect and appreciate the wonders of life, and less likely to destroy it with drugs and alcohol.


hecking your child’s homework nightly. There are two components at work here. First, a parent’s daily participation in the homework assignments communicates that their children matter, and it also serves as an early warning sign if something is off track. Furthermore,




children need to see that their intellectual development is just as important as their physical development. The more engaged a child is in intellectual pursuits, the less likely he or she is to engage in harmful physical behaviour.

4.Demanding the truth from your children –

and getting it. Parents who insist on knowing exactly where their children are on Friday and Saturday nights are sending a clear message that not every place, every friend, or every behaviour is acceptable. Children who tell them the truth are acknowledging those boundaries, but if they would lie about where they are, they are most assuredly lying about what they do. Deceit in the name of ‘teenagers will be teenagers’ should never be tolerated.


ncourage them to participate in a team sport. Sorry, but individual sports and other group activities like band and drama don’t count. Team members are often even less tolerant of substance abuse than parents – for good reason. When teenagers are forced to depend on each other’s physical health and performance, they are less likely to engage in harmful physical behaviour. Peer pressure to do the right thing can be a powerful motivating force. Dr James Dobson:

I remember that argument about prayer. They dismissed it as mere wishful thinking and coincidence. I had to admit, answers to prayer could be coincidence. Like when I lose my keys, pause in my frustration to pray, and find them soon afterwards. But what, I asked, was their explanation of the change in me? Years ago, when they were more interested in sweets than sweethearts, I flew into tempers. I flung around words and smacks indiscriminately, a legacy I was unwillingly passing on from my dark childhood years. Invariably, I ending up weeping and slinking out to buy chocolate cake and sink my face into its comforts. Now, having spent many healing hours in God’s presence, I’m knitted up on the inside. I don’t bite back when provoked, nor do I stuff down white rolls loaded with butter.

‘eat with your kids’

What has changed all that? Psychiatry? Self-help books? No, God who has a face – Jesus – who knows pain and human weakness: He Who Hears when I lift up my heart. I forget how that particular debate ended, but on Tuesday my son rushes in, saying he’s lost his wallet. ‘Pray mom’, he urges, ‘I need to find it, like, now’. A minute later he returns. ‘Got it, thanks mom.’ ‘It was just coincidence,’ I say. ‘Maybe not, hey mom,’ he says and rushes out. I smile up to the heavens.

5.Taking your children on vacation for

at least a week at a time. Long weekends don’t qualify because it just isn’t long enough to break the daily routine or reconnect the relationship. You need a week without their texting, your emailing, and everyone’s cell phones. There are no shortcuts here. Switching your portable devices to vibrate is not enough. Turn them completely off so that you can turn your children back on.

a mother’s blog


Want to read more of this writer? Go to

A Copy of Bringing up Girls or Bringing up Boys by smsing GIRLS or BOYS to 076 905 2338 (also available at R110 from CUM Books or


( based on US government-led research by Columbia University)


parentlife 18




parentlife 19

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oyce Scott might look like a village sweetie but the truth is, she’s more of a radical. Here she spills a few beans on the 28 years she spent in Africa as a missionary.

seniormoment my life in africa

Joyce Scott: red-blooded missionary

The Joyce File Born: Free State, South Africa School: Queen Alexandra Secondary School, Port Alfred Age: 79 Likes: Poetry, swimming, music Dislikes: Okra, vuvuzelas Most irritating habit in self: Losing keys Most irritating habit in others: Being late


only just made it into this world: my mother was 43 when I was born on a Free State farm! I grew up in a modest home in Port Alfred. I quit school at 14 because my parents couldn’t afford boarding school in Grahamstown. But my dad always taught us to educate ourselves, read widely and ask the right questions. My family loved to sing. We’d go to town by cart and horses before we had a car, my brother sitting in the back with the cream cans, and we would sing all the way. I later became very involved in developing music for African churches but it’s quite ironic because my entire musical training consists of two years of piano lessons by a kind neighbour. My parents were Christians and I went to Sunday school but when I left home and

went to work in Grahamstown, I went to a church meeting and for the first time I realised having Christian parents wasn’t what counted. I went to the front and knelt down and gave my life to God. But it turned out to be a very bad experience because one of the youth ‘counsellors’ followed up on me and was very negative. He’d say things like ‘I see you are wearing lipstick,’ and ‘You don’t go to the movies, do you?’ I thought if that’s what being a born-again Christian means, forget it, especially for a red-blooded person like me! I went my own way and ended up in a rather disastrous relationship tangle. I moved to Cape Town and went on a Christian camp in Glencairn. There I realised that though I wanted nothing of the church, I did want Jesus. So I stood up to confess this in public, but afterwards I ran into the bush before anyone could ‘counsel’ me. I said ‘Lord, I want to obey you and no-one else.’ This was a very definite covenant I made and it was very freeing. In my 60 years since then there have been many failures, but God has never failed to remind me of our covenant, and brought me back to himself – the place of peace and happiness. Over time I got involved in church work, and then a friend in church upped and went to Kenya as a missionary. I remember thinking ‘Good grief, is that what could happen to you?’ I had no desire for anything to do with missions, but over time and learning to listen carefully to God, I realised this was what he wanted and so did I. In 1961 I went to


Kenya with Africa Inland Mission (AIM). I was based there for 28 years. The goal of AIM was, and still is, to communicate the historical truth of who Jesus is and why he came to earth to bring life, peace and hope to all who believed in him. I have seen this communicated in so many African lives without damaging the values that are good and unique in their culture. As missionaries we go to learn – not as experts or ‘saints’, but as fellow human beings who have found Christ’s grace and freedom, and want to share it. You could say we are ‘beggars showing other beggars where to find good bread’. Initially I went as a literature worker running a bookshop, then I moved to youth work in Nairobi, and a group of young Kenyans and I formed a song group. After 12 years I was assigned to Kapsabet Bible College to teach music, among other subjects. I had a lot of problems to begin with and felt a real failure. When I tried to teach ‘doh ray me fah soh’, the Africans simply could not get the ‘fah’. Later I went to a lecture by an expert who said that any tune that goes up more than three consecutive notes is simply not traditionally African. But I didn’t know this and just felt I was a very bad teacher. One special day, two Kenyan women students who had seen my struggles came and asked to pray with me. They said ‘Lord, we can see Joyce is having problems teaching us because we are black and she

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is white, and it’s not her fault. Please help her.’ Not long afterwards, I went to a seminar on contextualising theology where a Nigerian theologian, Dr Byang Kato, talked of his childhood frustration at having been taught Western music by a missionary. ‘I couldn’t understand why I had to learn her music to praise God in my country’, he said. That really hit home. I was hot with embarrassment. I had grown up in the Eastern Cape loving the sound of Xhosa singing, but I also found some African music very repetitious. So I very specifically asked God to help me with my cultural deafness, and my arrogance in thinking my music was the music that everyone should learn, and to help me listen with a different attitude.

indigenous music for hundreds of churches in Kenya. I stayed in Kenya for 12 more years and worked with 14 different tribes. I came home to South Africa in 1990 but still go back occasionally and have acted as a consultant in eight other African countries, including Sudan, Algeria and the Comoro Islands. I have also just been to Singapore for the third Global Consultation on Music and Missions, and feel the Holy Spirit is convincing people all round the world that you can’t force Western church music and traditions on people from other cultures. Their own indigenous ‘heart music’ is a natural means of expression and communication.

Five years ago I developed leukaemia but I was very fortunate that it was the kind for which a cure was recently I truly believe God found. The medication answered that prayer had terrible side effects and opened my ears. but I came out of it and I started listening with can’t believe how well I Joyce and musicians in Africa a new heart attitude to am now. I didn’t want to the students’ evening devotions. After their die, there were so many things I wanted studies, they would sing a short song over to do, like finish the book I was writing on and over and over, and I realised their rep- indigenous music, Moving into African etition was not mindless, it was meditation. Music*. Now there’s another book I still want to write, about the wonderful adventI ended up staying at Kapsabet for five ures and discoveries of my life so far! years and changing the rhythms and tunes the church had been teaching. I encourAt 79, I’m still single. Many missionaries aged the use of songs composed by the are single women and feel called to it by students. Not everyone on the staff liked it the Lord. I’ve never had that. I would have and I often felt a failure. But I stuck with it loved the joy of being married, of children and told people I was doing what I beand grandchildren. But there is always pain lieved God had told me to do, and I was somewhere in everyone’s life and there’s sorry if they didn’t like it! My big moment no doubt that God can grow our characters came at one graduation service of the through pain and problems, if we let him. Bible students. All the graduations were And I give thanks for what joy there is. I’ve huge events and I had done my usual thing learnt the inestimable value of singleness of finding African songs and polishing them through wonderful friendships, the best up. The speaker was the same Dr Byang one being with Jesus. And the greatest Kato who had unknowingly challenged me! thing is God’s grace that keeps me going, Before he spoke, he said ‘Whoever has 24 hours at a time.’ been doing the music here, I want to thank * God for this – this is the way it should be, Contact or it is the best of both worlds.’ It was a very 078 404 0707 for a R120 copy of affirming moment for me and helped me Moving into African Music, cope with the flak I’d experienced. which includes a CD of the indigenous I left the bible college when I was asked worship Joyce refers to. by the African church leaders to develop

JOYCE’S THOUGHTS… On mistakes ‘I’ve made lots of them. Over time I’ve learnt to say sorry. Fortunately, African people accept an apology.’ On missionaries ‘Some missionaries are a pain in the neck. How do they get to be missionaries? I had to live with one woman who was completely out of touch with reality and treated her students like children. Others are regular ones, and then there are the ones who are beautiful, whose relationship with Christ permeates everything they do with joy. I think what makes a good missionary is total commitment to Jesus Christ and a very realistic understanding of yourself and your failures. You need to be a lifetime learner! Flexibility and a sense of humour are pretty important, too.’

On friendship ‘Years ago I had a friend who, like me, felt called to full-time mission, but eventually realised God wanted her to get married instead. She said to her now husband, ‘I’ll only marry you if we can support Joyce financially.’ He agreed and they still support me even today. That’s friendship!’ On culture: African or Western? ‘All cultures have good parts and messy parts! I sincerely believe that it takes the gospel to find and affirm what’s good in every culture (even in mine!) and transform the rest.’ MUSICAL MOMENT Go to and click on ‘Musical moment’ to hear short recordings of indigenous worship music Joyce has collected


GETTING OUT My favourite thing to do in Cape Town is…

Hannes Fehrsen, St John’s Church … getting out to the wilderness. Cape Point and the West Coast National Park are pretty high on the list. So is coffee! Actually I like it best the way I make it at home but I also enjoy a coffee at Kirstenbosch Gardens, Woolworths in Cavendish Square and any Mugg and Bean. I recently installed a state-of-the-art solar power system at Wortelgat, a Christian camp in the Overberg, which was very fulfilling and a real challenge!

Cynthia De Monk, St Luke’s Church … competing in the Golden Games, an annual event organised by the Department of Social Welfare. They have all kinds of sporting codes, from soccer and athletics to more gentle sports like passing the ball and throwing rings. Clubs compete first at regional level, then we have provincial championships. This year I went through to the finals in Oudtshoorn and won a bronze medal for the rugby ball throw! I really enjoyed meeting people from other areas. Interested in the Golden Games? Contact Gertie Thompson on 021 715 6443

Sylvia du Toit, Emmanuel Church … knitting! My children always say that I can’t sit still. I joined a group of ladies who formed a craft club and we meet every Monday morning. We have such fun together and make all kinds of things. We’ve knitted caps for premature babies at Red Cross Hospital, blankets for Woodside Special Care Centre and are now making meditative prayer mats for people confined to bed. Sometimes we take a ‘sabbatical’ and all go out for breakfast instead! Join Sylvia and friends? Call 021 762 2595



Her Mother’s Hope


A co sing by sm book CINE to FRAN 5 2338 0 076 9


Well, at least you know what you’re going to be reading about. The author founded the USA’s Million Mighty Men movement, and his theme is how the future King David gathered a bunch of ‘losers’ (see 1 Samuel 22:2) and transformed them into a fighting force. But first there were six personal battles that every man had to win for himself… Perkins starts from the premise that many churches have become ‘feminised’ and uncomfortable for menfolk who are not ‘spiritual jellyfish’. He may be correct but an evident weakness in the book is the author’s assumption that most men are essentially the same. Fortunately, it builds up to two very useful final chapters: Chapter 8, Fight for Your Friends and Chapter 9, Fight for a Strong Faith. Overall, it’s a thought-provoking read to find out what the six battles are, how to approach them, and whether, in fact, you would want to be Mighty Man Number 1, 000, 001 yourself! (see p23 for details).

Tel: 021 761 9020 Fax: 021 762 5970 Website:

WpyIN of this

reject the idea that it’s somehow a bad thing to be a man…By “man” I mean physically strong, emotionally tough, and mentally and spiritually combative. I’m speaking of men who enjoy football, rugby, hockey, hoops, golf and war movies – extract from Chapter 2.

Borrow this book from the Christ Church resource centre, Kenilworth

(next to Springfield Convent and St John’s Church)

Reviewed by Renee Hester-Fourie, contracts administrator

Reviewed by Clyde Broster, former teacher


The parish comprises six Anglican churches, detailed here, which are varied in tradition and worship style but united in ethos.

Parish office: St John’s Road, Wynberg

by Francine Rivers

by Bill Perkins, R80, CUM Books

The Hub: St John’s Parish, Wynberg


hat’s it about? Mothers and daughters, and their complicated relationships. First of a two-parter.

What happens in it? A lot. Unfavoured daughter Marta Schneider dreams of her children having a better life than she did. She leaves Switzerland for the New World but fuelled by the attitude that only the strong survive, her tough love is later misunderstood, especially by her oldest daughter, Hildemara. Amidst World War II, unexpected events force mother and daughter to face their own shortcomings and the ever-widening gap that could separate them permanently. Why I liked it: Francine Rivers had me living with her characters with each turn of the page. Such an array of emotions over the cycles of misinterpretation and redemption: I laughed, raged, cried and was left thinking ‘What memories will I leave behind?’

BOOKS PEOPLE LOVE... Capetonians tell us what inspired them

St Philip’s Church Range Road, Kenwyn 021 788 4623 SUNDAYS 9am (contemp)

Church of the Holy Spirit 38 Raapkraal Road, Kirstenhof 021 701 3201 SUNDAYS 8am (relaxed contemp), 10am (relaxed contemp)

St John’s Church St John’s Road, Wynberg 021 797 8968 SUNDAYS 7.45am (trad), 9.30am (mod/trad blend)

St Luke’s Church Annandale Road, Diep River 021 712 6690 SUNDAYS 7.30am (trad), 9.30am (mod/trad blend) WEDNESDAYS 9am (communion)

Christ Church, Kenilworth Richmond Road, Kenilworth 021 797 6332 SUNDAYS 8am (trad), 10am (mod/trad blend), 7pm (contemp) WEDNESDAYS 10am (trad)

Emmanuel Church Ottery Road, Wynberg 021 797 0179 SUNDAYS 9.30am (relaxed trad)


Christmas 2010

International Food Fair

103rd Annual Hermanus Camp

Sing and Braai! Join Church of the Holy Spirit for Christmas carols in Tokai Forest, preceded by a braai. 5.30 - 8.30 pm. Adults: R30, children under 12: R15. Tickets and further details from John/Gayle: 021 701 3201 or email

St John’s Church, Wynberg. 4 to 9 pm. Sample delicious offerings from Korea, India, Italy, the USA… Children’s entertainment, jazz band, tea garden and much more. Contact Anne Swana 021 797 5905 or 083 317 4811

Calling all boys aged 11 to 15 – join a summer camp adventure! 2 to 15 January 2011. Sailing, canoeing, hiking, swimming, beach games, archery and much more. Want more info? Call Nick Simpson 083 302 3338

COURSES and other stuff

(all welcome, churchgoers or not…)

Sunday 28 November

Saturday 4 December

January 2011

NB This is only a small selection for what’s on offer. Contact the churches individually for more comprehensive info. Beyond Divorce Aimed at anyone who has expe-

Marriage PREPARATION Course Run three

rienced the devastation of separation or divorce, this workshop gives insight from experienced speakers and others who have been through what you have, and assists in the process of readjustment and self discovery. Starts Tuesday 8 Feb 2011, Christ Church, Kenilworth

times a year, all couples intending to tie the knot are welcome. First course starts 7 Feb 2011, Christ Church, Kenilworth

Marriage Course Fancy a weekly date with your spouse? Just the two of you to talk together, enjoy a delicious meal and get some input to encourage and challenge you in your relationship? Recommended for ALL marriages, whether blooming or in need of a little water. Cocktail Party Thurs 10 Feb, Christ Church, Kenilworth. Course begins 17 Feb 2011

Boundaries Course Helps us discover where our responsibilities lie, and where they do not, enabling us to become more functional, healthy and loving in our relationships. 2nd term, 2011, Christ Church, Kenilworth For any info regarding the above courses contact Sue: 021 797 6332 or

JOIN A GROUP? Moms Connect Belinda Walsh, advertising agency owner

The Life You’ve Always Wanted

by John Ortberg, (R109, or CUM Books)


ell, what makes this book so memorable is that it makes me feel normal! The author John Ortberg speaks very amusingly of his own day-to-day internal conflicts, desires and disappointments and provides such practical biblically-based solutions and advice. He doesn’t pretend it’s easy. As the cover says, the crux of the book is to provide ‘spiritual disciplines for ordinary people’ and to show us it’s possible to change. But Ortberg does this in a funny, easy-toread-and-apply sort of way, rather than being theoretical and patronising. There’s something for everyone here. And if you genuinely want to change but are plagued with ‘I could have done better’ or ‘I’m a useless Christian’, this book is a must-have.




Charmaine Stinge, scholar Deep Green by Melody Carlson (R140 from CUM bookstores and Karmal Books, 021 713 0267)


his is the story of a teenager who becomes very popular when she is chosen as a cheerleader. Everything starts to go wrong when she is caught in a love triangle with her best friend. She feels green with envy and although she is popular she is very unhappy until her former best friend introduces her to someone even more important – God! I really related to this book. I think it is a good teenage story and has a nice twist at the end.


hotbooks 22


Keegan Davids, Youth Pastor Velvet Elvis by Rob Bell (R115,


his book explores new ways of looking at Christianity. Rob Bell writes: “Somewhere in my basement sits a Velvet Elvis - a painting of the King himself, air-brushed onto black velvet in a wooden frame. What if the painter of my Velvet Elvis announced there was no more need to paint, that he had painted the ultimate perfect painting?” We know this can’t be true because we know art is a process of learning and exploring. And Rob Bell says it’s no different with faith, we should constantly be exploring new ways of understanding Christianity, not necessarily accept things the way they’ve always been done. I really liked this concept; it challenged me and reignited a passion to do things differently. The book is aimed primarily at young adults but I would recommend it to any reader.




Calling all mothers…come and chill with other mothers of babies and toddlers Venue? Relaxed @ Christ Church Timing? Thursdays: 9.30 to 11.30am Want more info? Contact Jill on 072 329 0281 or Who’s invited? Anyone with a baby or toddler: those in the parish and those who’ve never heard of it

ALPHA MOMENT Alpha @ Church of the Holy Spirit, Kirstenhof, starts 2nd term 2011

Alpha @ St Luke’s Church, Diep River. You are warmly invited to their Alpha info dinner, 13th Feb 2011 Contact the church for details. (The other churches in the parish have not yet announced their Alpha course dates. Please contact them for latest details)

Searching for answers? Consider Group One Eighteen, an informal group which meets on a drop-in basis at a Rondebosch home three times a term (eves) for people with intellectual questions about Christianity Contact Alex Cotchobos, 082 990 3934

Connect groups Fancy a fortnightly meal and talk with a group of like-minded people? Whether you’re a churchgoer or not, there is a place for you. Christ Church’s connect groups meet across the southern suburbs of Cape Town, often in people’s homes For more details about who, when and where, visit or call 021 797 6332

Newsflash! Alpha for prisoners Eight Western Cape prisons are currently hosting Alpha courses, assisted by volunteers from St John’s Parish and other Anglican parishes, plus many more volunteers from Catholic, United, Methodist and non-denominational churches. Adult and juvenile prisoners attend the courses. “I’m inside prison but I’ve never felt so free!” said a course guest at Pollsmoor recently

WHAT IS ALPHA? Alpha ( is a fun, non-threatening course which examines the claims of Christianity, aimed particularly at anyone who doesn’t attend church or who seeks to ‘brush up’ their spirituality. It’s non-denominational and has been attended by over 12 million people in 163 countries worldwide. Usually run evenings, over dinner


Chec Christ Ch k out the Centre – urch Resource books magazin es. Brow , dvds, cds, se for fre and bo e or Where? rrow (R35/year) join Christ Ch 16 Sum urch ce When? M merly Road, Ken ntre, ilworth ondays 1pm, 2p to Fridays 9am m to 4 to Also last Sunday o .30 pm f th e month from 9.1 5 to Call? Th 9.55am ere 021 797 sa on 6332


TOP 10 (+1 for luck)







ant to give a gift that goes on giving?

There’s a wealth of fabulous gifts out there that benefit

community upliftment projects – you just have to know where

to look! We’ve taken the hassle out of it for you and tracked down 10 fabulous gift ideas…


1. Earrings (these are big!) - R85 Karoo Africa @ The Love Project, 55 Kloof Street, 072 972 2044


2. Pencil bag - R114 GreatHeart @ The Love Project, 55 Kloof Street, 072 972 2044 3. Manbag - R280 (also available as padded laptop bag in various designs/colours) @ Learn to Earn, 021 361 5972 or email Andrew on (closed 15 Dec 2010 to 10 Jan 2011) 4. Felt angel - R55 Heartfelt Project @ The Love Project, 55 Kloof Street, 072 972 2044 5. Long legged bowl - R750 Light from Africa, Constantia Nek, 021 794 0291 6. Dog collars - R80 Sisonke Women’s HIV/AIDS Beadwork Co-operative @ The Love Project, 55 Kloof Street, 072 972 2044 7. Hot Cloth - R45 Karoo Africa @ The Love Project, 55 Kloof Street, 072 972 2044 8. Floppy silicone/mosaic vase (design your own or choose existing) - from R190 @ Learn to Earn, 021 361 5972 or email Andrew on (closed 15 Dec 2010 to 10 Jan 2011) 9 Doll - R120 Siphosenkosi @ The Love Project, 55 Kloof Street, 072 972 2044


10. Boys’ lucky tin - R48 Dazzling Daisies @ The Love Project, 55 Kloof Street, 072 972 2044 11. Fabric giftwrap packs - R25 to R38 @ The Love Project, 072 972 2044

10 6 9


issue 3  


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