Thanks / Apology – you pick – Car service dealerships causing me anger

A year ago I had all those hassles with purchasing a second-hand car from a reputable dealership. Unfortunately, the purchase did not go smoothly and I had to fight for the dealership to sort out the problems with the Suzuki. Notably the damaged caliper pins, the shaking car idling and the paint scratches. This followed on to include faulty windscreen wipers, a stiff steering wheel, and a car where the engine stayed on after the ignition was turned off.

After eventually getting into the dealer principal’s office he took it on to sort it out. He took it to the Suzuki Mount Edgecombe, Flanders Drive group, who had previously seen the car. The problems were fixed and the car has run well this year.

Then today, as it is 12 months later and I am doing a long road trip next week, I took the car in to the people who ‘fixed’ the complaints I originally had. Unfortunately, I was dealing with them this time and not the dealer principal. It took me three different people to get to someone who could give me directions and half an hour for him to call me back. This morning in trying to get there in delayed traffic the receptionist panicked at my call and couldn’t help. When I was lost and called, she needed to transfer me to someone to help me, I couldn’t hold in case I ran out of airtime, so I stopped on the side of the road to ask builders where I had to turn to get to Suzuki Service. 07h50 I arrive. I check in the car.

09h00 we get a lift to Gateway because they were short on drivers and cars to lift people.

In the morning I get a call to seal nicks in my windscreen.

Later I get a message at 13h45 that my car has gone into the service section. Then at 14h45 they phone to ask me to pay over R4000 for two CV Boots! Then over R3000 for an ignition clean! To ask me to pay over R10 000 in total! I turn them down, knowing a CV boot costs R650 from my last car ordeals.

I get the car back and all that had been fixed a year ago has been unfixed! The engine runs briefly after the ignition is turned off. The car now revs at 1000 when it is parked in neutral!?! At 80km it sits over 3500 revs! Never has it done this in the whole year! The steering wheel is tight again and the car isn’t as smoothly running as it was. Even the windscreen wipers are a problem again 😦

I now know that it was the Suzuki guys and not the dealership’s fault a year ago! But this time I don’t have a dealer principal to fight for me.

SUCKS!

Sending Prayers BIG time at the moment for God’s provision to help me rectify what Suzuki Service Centre have mucked up – at more cost of my own – Dear Lord, Help, Please. Amen

 

 

I can’t figure out why #frustrated #stuck

Friday 23 June 2017

Well, here I sit. 18h27 in a classroom on a far off farm, 20km from ‘civilisation’. Where the bore holes have run out of water. Thank-You Lord, for my showers when I get them! Amen!

And what am I thinking: “Why? Why did I end up here? Like this?” I know ‘how’ I got here, what decisions I made, the course of progress that brought me here. BUT, I can’t figure out the ‘why’.

I can’t act out here, there isn’t even a group of people to start an Amateur Dramatic Society with. In addition to that, if there were, my 24-7 workload between teaching and boarding keeps me so exhausted I merely function. My writing has gone out the window to stress and over-work. My poetry has dried up with the drought we are having. Voice overs are not a thing that anyone here has even heard of. There is no staff bonding, no staff development as human beings, no staff Spiritual upliftment or get-aways like my ex-colleague has at her school. Nothing. It’s just meeting, meeting, meeting, do, do, do, emails, emails, emails, work, work, work 😦

It is a spot in the world from which everyone seems to perpetually try to escape. All because it’s like they want to drown you in work and deadlines and expectations that are super human. The only way to keep up is to be at work and doing work ALL THE TIME. And you aren’t even getting a tenth of what the bankers and execs get paid for all their hours and hours. We haven’t even signed off reports for the second term and I have to put together budgets for 2018 (bearing in mind the 2017 budget was only received last month and my department lost the money because our performances were in March!). I also have to set my entire timetable for five grades by next week, along with my testing timetable! All this for over 5 weeks away!

So I sit here – shattered from all the work. Demotivated for never having any quality human adult time. Sending email after email after email to parents for irresponsible learners. Wasting my time – literally. Literally wasting THE MOST PRECIOUS resource I have. Wasting it, like it means nothing, like I mean nothing. Like every word and every request from me, means nothing. It’s so very depleting, especially when I am doing the best I can without actually falling apart (God is the glue right now). I have told ‘those in charge’ and then get told I’m not working quick enough? I have to kill myself more and mark faster! … Wait for it… so marks can be ready more than 9 school days BEFORE reports go out! Never mind that my Grade 12 work meant having to take my Sunday afternoon to another teacher 150km away from the school to get it moderated… (Thank-You Lord for her help!)

So why? Why am I in a place where I can’t write, I can’t act, I can’t do voice overs, I can’t sleep in case a knock arrives at my door because I am on duty. I can’t get to a church, purely because I can’t actually find the physical energy to do so. I’m hesitant to drive the 20km to get to anything in town, as the trucks and traffic on the street-light-less freeway is just not the easiest to drive.

How do I force myself out of fatigue and overwork to do anything, when everything seems to be pushing against me? I know I am not to lean on my own understanding. I know that I need to trust God. I know that He is good. I know that He won’t leave me… But now, here, so often it crosses my mind that I am not a believer. That I missed some prayer somewhere, or some dunking under water, or something that would make me know why. (And my gut replies that this is not the case…) Know what I am doing here, when it feels worse than the Ancient Guy who was doomed for eternity to push a boulder up and hill and watch it roll down again; and repeat; and repeat; and repeat…

I have been here a year now. I have not written what I wanted to. I have not settled in to find any joy. I have not found anyone or anything here to be a source of inspiration for anything: I have not made many crafts, I have not coloured much or painted or made any “Pass It On” books. I have not been inspired with any projects like I used to be. I have not created poetry, I have not been invited to join any social events I could attend, and I have not written anything of substance, or meaning, or relevance to anything in the world at all… It feels like a waste being here, like my precious time is literally being wasted… Yet, another force seems to tell me to stay, seems to be wanting me to be here, right here in this place…

So Why? Why am I on this farm far away from everything, frustrated and believing that God is saying “Wait through this”… I do not understand – AT ALL.

I never imagined this. I never forethought anything like this. I never manifested anything like this. I absolutely do not recall anything in my mind or past that could have created where I am now, nothing. So why? If not manifested, if not pre-created, if not visualised, if not prayed for, if not desired, why? And then maybe back to the question I thought I could answer: “How”? How did the options that arrived with me and led me here, arrive with me in the first place?

I’m only blogging this because I have nothing in me to blog. I have nothing in me that is inspired to be created or dying to be written. Not even a Twitter Poem 😦 Inside me is a blank nothingness of the frustration of not understanding why all seems to have been taken from me, to now make me be just an unappreciated servant.

Dear Lord, for whatever reason you have placed me here, or need me here, please let it be short-lived Father, please. For You know the plans, but I have reached unmotivated, duty-orientated nothingness where all my time is draining away with nothing being achieved or created. Lord? Oh, Lord 😦

Biggest disease of 21st century: Selfishness

This disease of “me, me, me, me” has bothered me for a VERY long time, not excluding myself as a sufferer, and it seems to be getting worse!

Take for example my living circumstances. I am a boarding mistress at a school 20km away from a shop. There are two people ‘managing’ the boarding establishment facilities. In lieu of monetary payment I was told I would get accommodation, food and use of facilities. I arrive. No, food is only when the learners are present. I have no kitchen in my boarding room.

No, we do not accommodate gluten-free individuals, you have lived with this in your life and you need to make a plan. With my picky food choices and temperamental constitution, I said fine, I will make a plan. I am making plans with left overs or what I can get when I can drive out to the shops and what I can cook in a microwave, what I can cook that won’t set off the temperamental fire alarm.

Accommodation, I learn, that the water is‘on’ in boarding when the learners are there – term time. Then it gets switched off. So I have had to make plans whilst staying there with regards to showers, because I LIVE there outside of learner terms. I am hoping that now that I have bothered the maintenance man a few times to turn on the water, I may now get to have the water. I am waiting to see.

I was chaperoning overseas and received a WatsApp message that I would not be able to use the laundry on my return with 3 weeks of washing. After a load of requesting, (no pun intended) those of us returning from tours eventually got permission to use the laundry. Upon arrival the room had been guarded and the locks changed and the room literally now hosts only: a washing machine and tumble dryer. The tumble dryer is necessary because of the mould and mildew problem in the boarding house.

I go there this “FREEDOM DAY”, the irony! And they have put an inserta lock in the door so I may not wash my laundry where I live. I am not ‘free’ to do my washing. That’s sheets, towels and 4 loads (between darks and colours) of 10 days of living-activity-wear-dirty clothes!

Beyond angry that on top of a teaching load that was distributed between three full time drama teachers last year, which I now have to do on my own at this school, I now have to add, to my day and night boarding duties, extra support classes and afternoon lessons, more washing because ‘they’ won’t keep the laundry room open over a long weekend?!?!

I asked the bank teller what she thought and she said that it is COMMON SENSE that people need to do their washing! I asked a friend’s mom and she said that is just thoughtless and that the management haven’t locked themselves out of their own washing machine. I told a teacher at another school and she said “That’s ridiculous!” I told another teacher friend at a different school and what did she say: “That is so selfish!”

Indeed – SELFISH! No consideration for other human beings and what they need; and this is when it is there job to consider other people because they are in charge of “BOARDING!”

Selfish in that if there is a reason for this, then why hasn’t anyone been told? Selfish in that I have recently had a meeting where boarding management hauled me over the coals for asking too many questions and wanting too much information! Apparently, if the learners need to ask me questions, because I am the “boarding mistress” I must tell them that I don’t know, and I must look like I am incompetent because my superiors want to hold INFORMATION to THEMSELVES!

This school is the Twilight Zone for me! For those old enough to remember the TV show of bizarre happenings. Complete Twilight Zone.

It is bizarre that the world is PUMPING: “Communication, communication is the key to everything” and it has made communication WORSE. Like a literal example of THE BLIND DO NOT SEE and the DEAF DO NOT HEAR.

So many other examples of selfishness all around: Smokers, where their secondary smoke is more hazardous for those around them, than what they are inhaling. Where their desire to die early through cancer, means they are actively deciding that someone else should take care of them when they are hooked up to machines and riddled with cancer. They are actively depriving their families – if they have them – of extra income for everyone to share, due to the cigarettes themselves and the higher medical aid rates, or the transport costs to hospitals, or whatever one can whittle it down too. “I earn the money I can do what I like with it” – I, I, I, mine, mine, mine! Self, self, self. How did the world get to this place that is destroying relationships?

Phones and “Selfies”. More and more and more Instagram sites are purely pictures of the Self. There are literally no other photos, no awareness of any beautiful sites around, just photos of the one person who owns the phone. Why? Narcissism? Am I just not a fan of looking at myself and now I can’t understand why others are obsessed with themselves?

Depression? The desire to focus only on myself and wallow in self-pity about me… how is that healthy? Even David in the Bible suffered from depression when his son died, but he made sure he got up each morning and washed and ate and got on with his day as king. A son born later became the one who furthered the genetic line to eventually lead to the birth of Jesus Christ. If David had have stayed focused on himself, committed suicide, locked himself away, been selfish, both the Old and New Testament would have fallen apart and a story aging thousands of years would not have been.

Divorce? I married him/her because s/he made ME happy. I’m divorcing him/her because s/he doesn’t make ME happy anymore. Is the problem monogamy or selfishness? We raise girls to be ‘independent’ now, has that been over-enforced to now create a group of women who don’t know how to love? Who don’t know how to care for others / about others? Who don’t know how to handle sharing dependency? Women who think about themselves first? Is all this hype about ‘know yourself’, be with ‘yourself’, hear ‘yourself’ really what propaganda cracks it up to be? I am still super single, spinster of note, and this ‘be with yourself’ stuff has caused me more headaches and doubt than anyone else I know. It’s selfish. When do epiphanies arrive? When I am helping others, engaging with others, conversing with others, that’s when.

Suicide? I can’t do this. I don’t want to be here. I don’t care that a large group of people are going to be distraught, broken and irreconcilable for the rest of their lives because of my actions.

Addictions? A lack of desire to control self. A lack of ability to speak out to others and ask for help. An inability to see outside of self and see the damage being created – physically, emotionally, mentally, financially, spiritually. And others who don’t want to help, or don’t bothering helping properly and continuously, because “I don’t feel like it”, “I don’t want to”, “Why should I?”. I, I, I.

War, power, control? I must be ‘right’. I have to ‘protect’ myself. Who defined that ‘right’? “Protected” from who? From what? Why? I must keep my “stuff”? Why? It’s going to be out of reach when you are dead anyway. I must have ‘money’? Why do you need trees broken down and turned into paper with a particular picture on? Why do we need to be surrounded by stuff to be comfortable? Not excluding me, I am a terrible hoarder.

Entitlement? I deserve x, y, z, because I think I do. Can you even get more selfish? One who has done nothing but take from others and thinks that it is ‘right’ to do so? “I must get what I want purely because I want it”? Selfishness – staying in the mentality of a two-year-old, mine, mine, mine, without doing any work, without earning, without deserving, just ‘give it to me’. Someone else must sacrifice, someone else must work, someone else must organise and then just give it to me, because I haven’t graduated from my diapers and I don’t want to … We are moving to a state where there are going to be no more ‘someone else’s’ left because they would have died off.

Selfishness – a disease indeed, and one the majority of the world supports, contributes to and encourages. A disease that is breaking down everything that is so beautiful into the nothingness of Self. Self will die. These bodies will rot. The ‘stuff’ around us will decay. So why has it been made so important?

Hold both hands open and give, leaving self to last, receiving so much more in love of others.

Aeroplanes and Mobile Devices – Boom, Bang, Crash?

As a teacher and aunt of 4 children aged 3 and under, it has come to my attention that many adults have not left their two year old self behind. Take the more-than-plump (she couldn’t put the middle arm rest down for the size of her hips and thighs), fake-flower in her hair, no-eye-contact little woman sitting with me in row 23 on my flight yesterday; or the Ray-Banned-two-phone-holding-tall-my-rules-my-way-only post-teen who sat in front of me on a flight last Tuesday…

The latter, even after being spoken to thrice by the air-hostess and once by myself, did not desire to turn his cell phone off for take-off. Eventually he, and his equally participative – also only post-pubescent according to a birth-date – friend, conceded and turned them off.

On the other hand, the former, plump-fifty-ish, self-absorbed individual, faced a different, non-fighting airhost and she did not turn her phone off for take-off. Not only did her little head-flowered outfit and plump physique remind me distinctly of my two-year old niece, but her mannerisms did too. She turned her head and shoulder away from me as if trying to ‘hide’ from me in her seat near mine – which is humanly impossible. She had her phone in her one hand holding it so tightly that the sweat was beading off it as she tried to open her bag and deviously hide the phone in it – with one non-phone-holding hand, with her eyes not looking at the bag because she was turning her head from me. Seriously? Fifty-odd and acting like a guilty two-year-old?

Why? Because she was selfish and guilty, and she knew it, yet carried on her behaviour. She was putting an entire plane in jeopardy because she didn’t ‘feel like’, or was incapable of, turning her phone off. “Rules are made to be broken”, “Why should I?”, “I don’t want to”, all the lines of someone who is immature, selfish and guilty.

I can’t put my head in the sand and say these people who exist as adult-by-birth-date, child-by-maturity aren’t around. Nor can I ignore that they are potentially causing great harm to others. Have these recent plane crashes actually been because people have left their phones on? Have the signals interfered with the plane electronics? Aeroplane flaps interfered with? Bang, boom, crash?

Unless, seeing as the flight attendant didn’t seem fazed on the second flight, maybe the “turn off your cell phones” is actually redundant and has no meaning. If it had meaning, then surely the flight attendant would have made sure the phone was off?

So, possible solutions:

1) Include the reasons for turning off cell phones in the “Safety Procedures” demonstration presented by the airhosts.

2) Use a device on flights that can detect phones that are on (I have seen this used on international flights) and use it, shaming those who disregard other human life and have zero respect for anyone’s safety. . . if these phones even are a safety issue, as I now have huge doubts.

3) Publish articles in ALL the in flight magazines as to WHY we have to turn off our phones. Maybe add articles about the potential result of cancer from all those waves bouncing around the little tin shape we are flying in?

When we landed, I was even more infuriated as the woman kept watching me then her bag, then me, then her bag. Eventually, after everyone else had had their phones on since touch-down, the same woman who the airhostess had to again ask to turn off her tablet before landing, quickly grabbed her phone out of her bag when she thought I wasn’t watching and in a touch of the back of the phone, she was on WatApp in about two seconds. What phone on earth turns on and starts and has your App ready in two seconds? Surely that phone company should be marketing the brilliance of zero waiting time to turn their mobile device on to be spontaneously active?

Children: no qualms in lying through their teeth either, especially when adults let them get away with it. Lying: a sign of complete immaturity and selfishness if ever there was one, I reckon anyway.

Electronic Devices – The 21st Century Abusers / Manipulators

Abuse – to put to a wrong or improper use. To attack in words; to revile. To harm or injure by wrong or cruel treatment. (Penguin Dictionary)

Manipulation – to handle or operate skillfully. To control, exploit, or influence by artful, unfair, or insidious means, esp to one’s own advantage. (Penguin Dictionary)

When I write of ‘electronic devices’, I am writing about mobile-phones and their content, Tablets and their use, Ipads, laptops, computers, fitbits, Xboxes and the like as each can take on its own form of being the abuser / manipulator – the item dictating behaviour.

I am a big fan of Andy Stanley and his ways of explaining human behaviour. He is real and genuinely authentic in what he points out. In one of his presentations he speaks about “What makes you happy”. This being something that people around the world would love to know in many cases. Andy goes on to itemise the rational way in which “happiness” is gained, slowly, over time. I found his insights amazing, thought-provoking and completely true in all the angles I could work through. The opening point was this: “Happy people have:

  • Peace with Themselves
  • Peace with Others
  • Peace with their Higher Power.”

Consequently, after having watched segments of the DVD, I ended up having a conversation with some of my Grade 8s. They were speaking about how they each have to have a psychologist because they can talk to psychologists. It followed on that they trust psychologists because they can’t talk to anyone else about their problems. This is truly a sad reflection of how broken human relationships are, that these children (12 -13 years old) have to pay someone R500.00 odd (or however much in your currency) an hour to “have someone to talk to”.

I told them that I remembered attending a conference a few years ago at a “Writer’s Festival” in Durban, South Africa, and in the plenary session of chatting with a couple of published authors, the question arose as to how the guy started his writing career. It turned out that his career was triggered when his friend from University committed suicide. The writer then said that in his circumstance he had a few options; one, would be to be negative for himself too. Two: would be to pay a ‘professional’ to talk to them about it, which he clarified that he would never do, because how can another human being truly know him, “all you are doing is paying to tell them something you could tell someone else for free”. Three: was to write about it. He said he simply took the healthiest option (my account is purely based on how my memory recalled the session). So I asked the grade 8s why they had to pay so much money to talk to someone, when they could talk to anyone and that was when the trust issue came up. Along with this another point arose: how they don’t want to appear weak around others and they don’t want to be ashamed for ‘having something wrong’ with themselves.

Granted, they are only grade 8, but still, that’s barely puberty and they already don’t trust the people nearest and dearest to them AND they feel judged and insecure around those who are nearest and dearest to them. This leads on to the direction that they cannot be “Happy”. Why?

  • They have no peace with themselves, they can’t trust others and they are walking around with guilt, shame and a feeling that being weak is ‘abnormal’, ‘wrong’ and ‘a problem’; when any honest person should tell them ‘weak’ in this challenging world is to be expected. Every person I have engaged with across the world has shown that they are not always ‘strong’ or ‘in control’.
  • They have no peace with others. You can’t be at peace with other human beings if your locus of control is them. If they are letting others dictate, judge and control their emotions like this, then they won’t ever have peace.
  • They don’t have peace with a higher power. The truest, most faithful and beautiful higher powers are those faiths where the premise is based on grace and unconditional love. These grade 8s showed me that they don’t believe in Grace (forgiveness no matter what they have done or who they are) or unconditional love, because when you know unconditional love, you don’t feel shame or guilt, you feel peace and that peace creates an inner joy, ‘happiness’, that goes beyond human understanding.

In trying to relate to them and discuss it, the conversation went on to the ‘why’ they feel this distrust and low self-esteem and the like. They were horrified when I told them it was partly because of their lifestyles and their mobile phones.

“Miss! How can you say that?”

“Simple girls. Your self-worth is stuck in those machines. I have seen you lifting that phone and taking picture after picture of yourselves, and then deleting because you don’t like it. Every time the process gets longer and you reject each of those images of yourselves more and more. Then you finally post a Selfie of yourself, but then a few days later you don’t like it anymore, you don’t like that you anymore and you are changing it again (most likely because some other person didn’t ‘like’ the picture, or made a comment that changed your appreciation of yourself). Each photo you reject, each set of hours you take focusing on yourself is internally depressing you because you are not happy with yourself, and you are only focusing on yourself. Therefore you are focusing on ‘unhappy’.  Often the biggest cause of depression and the biggest reason people go into psychologists’ offices in the first place is often, not always, because they are suffering from intense selfishness (Tim LaHaye, 1992). When you wake up thinking of yourself, you are going to be miserable, because you don’t like the photos of yourself that’s why you take dozens and dozens, you don’t think you are ‘perfect’ enough…  and that’s another story that bothers me, girls; what are you comparing yourselves to? You are different to every single human being on the planet, thus there is only ONE you, and in order to be ‘perfect’ that means you have to be compared to something exactly the same as you and ‘be better’ than it, but another you doesn’t exist!?!? So you are a perfect you, yet you tell yourselves hundreds of times that you are not, for example: by all the Selfies you take and delete. You girls know very well that when you wake up thinking about other people, wanting to help other people and acting out in a loving way to others, that you have a much happier day. So I can say that I think your phones are part of the problem, because I watch you and I see that your misery, depression and insufficiency in yourself comes from the rubbish you watch on TV, the nonsense you Tweet and Facebook, and the way you let it all change who you are, how you feel and what you do with your day. It’s ridiculous to let some electronic devices manipulate you, and control your day and you.”

They looked at me, taking in all of my rant. As I slowed down, I started realising that I had probably over-stepped the mark, yet they said, “You are so right, Miss”.

Abuse – to put to a wrong or improper use.  Mobiles are taking over family time, one-on-one human interaction and learning inter-personal skills. If all courting is done via text or Watsapp, how can there be a personal marriage with real conversation? Electronic devices are used instead of having a family dinner. Never mind the now open door to sleep deprivation, pornography, gambling and relying on ‘likes’, ‘follows’ and replies to feel any self-worth or purpose.

To attack in words; to revile. School level cyber-bullying is scaring me as to the extent people; parents and learners use it to harm others, to be vindictive and nasty. The worst part of it is that it is a coward’s way to deal with nastiness, “I’m going to be nasty to you whilst I am far away from you, because I know it’s wrong and I know I don’t want people to see me as the problem”.

To harm or injure by wrong or cruel treatment. Humans being on their phones, laptops and devices into the very early / late hours. Addiction to electronic devices creating rehab centres in Asia. Cyber-bullying. Pornography. Problems with spine deformations with the bad posture created when using some devices. Obesity rates in numerous countries are becoming worse and worse.

Manipulation – to handle or operate skillfully. Every school-going child knows fully well what their electronic devices can do.

To control, exploit, or influence by artful, unfair, or insidious means, esp to one’s own advantage. Emails that are received from marketers who have used electronic information from cards and purchase history to sell things electronically. Often selling items at times when the receivers of the marketing have no money; do not actually need the product and/or are manipulated into buying it. Advertising that attacks screens on all devices. Background music on specific electronic devices that insight particular emotions. Camera angles that create the exact mental and emotional manipulation that the director, editor and/or sponsor requires, especially if there is a number there to call…

Sitting from the outside, watching what is going on with these grade 8s (and humanity), seeing the desperation of a generation becoming more and more reliant on the external loci of Twitter, Instagam, Snapchat and all the rest to find their self-worth; as they ignorantly consume those means that will always leave them unfulfilled, unsatisfied and unhappy, makes my heart weep. The irony: I was told by a counsellor that the career of psychology has the highest number of anti-depressant consumers in the world. Seems to me that their jobs are going to get harder and society is supporting it in every way possible.

Hate Speech Bill – South Africa Commentary / Objection needed

Dear Mr T. Ross

RE: HATE CRIMES BILL – public comment

hatecrimes@justice.gov.za

Herewith my request with regards to the “Hate Crimes Bill” currently being processed in Parliament:

  • That the Bill be given far more time for scrutiny, evaluation and response by the public.
  • That the definition of “Hate Crimes” is too broad and is not going to link with the Constitution for Freedom of Speech and Democracy and freedom for all. This needs to be reworked.
  • The Christian Bible does not contain hate speech by way that any speech coming from a person’s mouth contains their personal choice of presentation and interpretation (as per Reader Response Theory academic studies), and any person receiving speech receives it in the tone and interpretation of their own choice. Neither the speaking, nor the interpreting, comes from an ‘inherent’ meaning in any written texts. The people speaking and hearing create their meaning, not the paper and ink.

Please address these points urgently,

Signed an EXTREMELY concerned South African citizen who wants to live in LOVE not the FEAR this “Bill” creates. We need to stop using the word “hate” and start using the word “love”. People’s hearts need to change, not more ‘crimes by law definition’ be created.

Shannan.

 

Yesterday, I received a WatsApp video from a dear Christian Friend. The clip was created by the Family Policy Institute www.familypolicyinstitutue.com. info@familyinstitutepolicy.com  In the video the gentleman asks people to send emails to the address above. He lists three things that we should email in regards to, but no instruction is given as to how we should word the email, or what we should say, or how the policy is being dealt with and what exactly the public need to contribute. I think that the policy would need to be downloaded and commented on from that perspective.

In this world of three minute media where all one does is watch and pass on via whatever social ‘feed’ is utilised, I can only pray that people will not be apathetic and think ‘someone else will do something’. Someone told me “Have faith in God, He will do something”… and all that is in my head is that that is like me saying to my class: “Right learners here is your task, please respond.”

And the class says to me: “No, Miss, we aren’t going to respond because you already know the answer and we will just wait for you to give it to us…” I don’t think that My Teacher would be very happy if I said: “Sorry God, I’ll just wait for You to do something for me.”

So, I am asking you to copy and paste the beginning of my blog and send it off to Mr T Ross. If you can work those copy and paste buttons 😉 OR, even better, download the Bill and give it a full dissertation 😉

Further to my opening, the following points have circumvented my mind a few times…

1) Have the other faiths been included? As the references to homosexuality are in the Old Testament, and the Old Testament is shared by the Jews, Muslims and Christians, are all the faiths defending their Scriptures?

2) Reader Response Theory. Has this been consulted and dealt with? This is the academic way of thinking that has gone into the reasoning that no text within itself has any definitive meaning. The meaning is created by the people who use the text, through their own personal choices and applications of the text. In other words, a human’s personal experience will create the feelings, tones, individual means of expression and intonation patterns, based purely on themselves as individuals and not on a set of words in a book.

3) I’d like to extend my thanks to those with legal minds and legal training who are stepping up in defense of a Book that holds stories more than 2000 years old. In a world that is becoming more and more apathetic, it is indeed good news to know that they are out there making the difference that those of us in the other spheres of service can’t. Thank-you for your training, your proactive behaviour and for stepping out as missionaries in the field of law. God is Good.

I have been pondering the scenario and I would like to lift up this blog as a prayer to those fighting for the integrity and historical context of The Word of God. In no way should a 21st century law be able to condemn or twist or take out of its authentic context, a Book of Stories that is part of something from 2000 years ago, a provision of the only constant stability in a world that is becoming more unstable and inconstant by the day. Literally.

For those wanting to condemn 2000 year old words as hate speech, I would have to ask why? The Old Testament was around during the Ancient Greek and Roman times when there was even pottery created with pictures of gay men doing their thing on it. Promiscuity and homosexuality are things that have been around for as long as the Bible has been, yet never in 2000 years has any human law placed Christianity in the context of ‘hate speech’… so why would a ‘more secure’, ‘more modern’, ‘more open and accepting’ society take more offense and have less ability to accept what the generations before it created? It is not the words in the Bible that are the problem, but the people who choose how they use the words and/or interpret the words . . . One who is STABLE and SECURE in WHO THEY ARE and WHAT THEY BELIEVE will never be shaken by anything outside of themselves, because they are STABLE and SECURE. It’s an inner peace. I love my inner peace. God is Good.

In the modern 21st century people are seen to be more civilised and more educated. No-one is a gladiator anymore, the Dark Ages of Medieval Religious battles have been (sadly are not altogether gone) and the days of burning people at the stake didn’t last either, all for excellent reason; BUT the BIBLE has lasted, it has stayed, it has outlived violence, treachery, scandal, plagues and even Roman Empires where the words of the emperors, and their statues and buildings have not survived as impeccably as the Word of God, known as The Bible, has.

Still, as we are told, there will be persecutors, those who do not see and do not understand. I pray that those holding up The Word of God will be blessed with His Provision, His Words, His perfect timing and Perfect Inspiration in whatever way or form is needed to ensure that The Word survives just another bump in its eternal Road. I pray for all those involved, that The Light might be turned on inside them so that they can realise the necessity of The Word of God to bring people to Soul Peace and one-on-one interaction and engagement with a truly personal Father in Heaven. I pray that the Lord will insure that the integrity and awesomeness of His Text will not be discredited in any way that would stop potential followers from believing. I pray that all who are unhappy, insecure and broken in themselves find an AWESOME way within themselves to reach their balance, security and stability, and that they realise that this cannot and will not be affected, effected, created or broken by mere paper and ink.

I pray God’s Will Be Done and His Glory be once again Outstanding in the most incredible ways as His Story continues to unfold, and He continues to be victorious in every way.

I pray this in absolute faith that our Good God hears, knows and acts in Amazing Ways!

Amen!

In the Meantime, while you wait, join the Fellowship of Suffering

Herewith, my ponderings on the concept of the “Fellowship of Suffering” after watching Andy Stanley’s DVD on what to do “In the Meantime” whilst you are waiting for something, or are ‘stuck’ in a situation you can’t change. As God works in His AMAZING ways, I was reading “A Voice in the Wind” by Francine Rivers (a loan from a friend) at the same time as I was watching the Stanley series. The book is a fictional historical recapture of the Biblical times of Paul and the disciples, which Andy Stanley speaks about in the DVD series… unbelievable!

So I sit, living through what I am: a ghost visiting me and the knowing that a lawyer sued a priest for continually raping her in the ‘spiritual’ realm every night from when she was a child – “Fellowship of Suffering”; making my life easier, knowing that I am not the only one with such imaginings; knowing that I am not the only one going through an illogical and indescribably inexplicable experience. Thank-You LORD, that mine are born from what feels like an intense, kindly love now, and not a desire to have and control from pure frustration and human-created hell and demand with unGodly intent.

Another fellow in my ‘Fellowship of Suffering’:  Hadassah, a fictional character, who chooses God over love of the earthly kind… her reasons are as mine: Trusting God; an inability to deal with the guilt and consequences around not choosing God; a knowing in our souls that He is The Way and The Life, without Him there is no Hope, or Genuine Love, or Freedom from self-oppression. To choose an unGodly man would be insane, when there is a SOUL-BELIEF that The Best way forward is to be yoked with a Godly man, a man who lives, breathes and acts Biblical Principles for real (meaning that the Principles of Goodness aren’t only shown only as lip service but in reality; meaning that if he doesn’t act in a Biblical way then he feels the hypocrisy and the guilt and his conscious gnaws at his soul and he falls apart without God). A man who knows that putting God first, and not himself, is the only way to live without being in perpetual Darkness, turmoil and purposelessness.

My third current fellowship member: Marcus – of the book “Echo in the Darkness”, by Francine Rivers – and how everything on earth has lost its value to him: taste is no longer a sensual activity, life’s adventurous exhilarations no longer have an effect like they did before; and all because his eyes have been opened to truth, to LOVE in its true awesomeness. Even so, Marcus still holds onto the Darkness so he can ‘have his way’, ultimately denying, by choice, his own freedom, his own choice to know LOVE in the form of an INCREDIBLE GOD. The choice to know: ULTIMAT EPEACE. The choice to know God through the example of Jesus Christ and the suggested way of Living the Bible teaches. Once again I join Marcus in the ‘Fellowship of Suffering’ because he too hears a voice in the wind, a voice that literally matches the timbre of the voice of the person he fell completely and entirely in love with – body, mind and soul. I too hit that realisation nearly 6 years ago, when I met the man whose voice timbre matched the voice of ‘God in my head’… My experience was the reverse of Marcus’s; I heard ‘God’s voice’ first, then I heard the man’s voice that matched it. Marcus met the woman first and then heard her voice in his head afterwards. Either way: Fellowship of Suffering. Both of us will get through it somehow. I have yet to finishing reading the book, I bought it yesterday 🙂

I know that there is no logical explanation for anything that I am going through. I know that God’s instruction to me over the last 6 years has been “wait”: Wait through melancholic depression. Wait through anxiety and post-traumatic-stress. Wait through physical ailments that have taken me away from my release, my third love: Dancing. Wait through the unhappy, embarrassing and socially-awkward biological state of gluten intolerance, dairy intolerance and crazy-horrible reactions to sugar and alcohol. Wait through the work stress that has not stopped mounting for years with unforeseeable circumstances and colleagues who ‘couldn’t cope’. Wait through financial struggles; wait through family conflicts, explosions and heart-breaking realisations that I would never, ever, have expected. Wait through recovery from accidents. Wait through a searing lonely, empty, separate-from-human-love incompleteness that defies all human rationale and understanding. Wait through the stress of transport hell and fear. Wait through the blood tests and medical trials. Wait through the chronic fatigue. Wait through the confusion and brokenness of being human in a broken world. Wait… that’s was I have been called to do, that’s what my being, my soul, my bones tell me… wait… and now, I have recently been reminded that the waiting, the “in the Meantime suffering”, is purposeful. That all I have been through and am going through in these hardships, purely by the strength and power of my most Awesome Father in Heaven, is my qualification and ability to be uniquely and precisely trained to help others and open the way for them to know that whatever they are going through, however many years it lasts, it will be ok. God is GOOD and you WILL survive, you WILL reap wonderful moments and be used in INCREDIBLE ways to comfort others as God has and IS comforting you. Your life has incredible purpose, if you choose to let it be so. I am choosing to let it be so. I am choosing to have purpose, to use the hell I have been living through to serve others, to be a ‘Hadassah’ and trust in kindness, goodness, truth, honesty, responsibility, accountability, love, purity and hope. I want to live a life I can be proud of, a life where I can stand in front of God, man, whoever, and genuinely say: “I gave my all, I did my best, I gave and I loved as best I could in my brokenness. I chose to have purpose.”

So; do I know for sure if the man with the voice really is “The One” God would like me to be with in person? No. Do I know if what I am waiting for will ever happen as I have imagined? No. Do I know if I am “psychologically” OK? No. Will I keep trusting and waiting? Yes. ABSOLUTELY; for my path is not my own, I am in a joint venture with God and He is a GOOD GOD. I know my conscience and I know what will ruin my story. What will ruin my story is taking the reins from God and trying to do things ‘my way’. What will ruin my desire to end my life with a good story is if I stop listening to the voice, from wherever it comes, and I force myself to go against my Soul-knowing; THAT would be a far, far worse way to live than anything else I can imagine; and I have one very explicit and capable imagination going on 😉

May you choose your story wisely, and live it well. May you join in the “Fellowship of Suffering” to give yourself purpose and overflowing joy. May God’s peace and Love be with you in your journey, every step of the way. God Bless.