Tuesday, January 08, 2019

A positive attitude for 2019.

Image result for the amazing results of positive thinking pdf free download
 Dr. Norman Vincent Peale: 9780743234832: Amazon.com

Not really my dogs but funny how we all relate.

A couple of days ago, about a week or so, I was sitting at my computer feeling very down and wondering what on Earth the new year was going to deliver up. I have found myself becoming more and more negative and hopeless over the past couple of years. There are of course a few reasons for this but, not realizing why, I couldn't break out of this depressing state of mind.
While sitting there looking around at my home my eyes fell on my book shelf. I casually scanned through the titles and then my eyes fell on the title of a book I've had in my possession for about fifty odd years, maybe not quite that long but certainly a very long time. It's a book I've treasured very much, even though I've not read it for ages, but have always made sure it traveled with me whenever I've moved home, which is quite often.

The Amazing results of positive thinking by Norman Vincent Peale.

I looked at it and thought to myself, "Maybe I should give it another read, I really need to get out of this emotionally negative hole I'm in, it may well help."
I took it from the book shelf and opened it to the beginning and this is how chapter one begins.
"Does positive thinking always work? Yes.
I started reading and, to tell the truth, I now remember just why I treasured this book so much.
I must tell you that my state of mind at this time sort of held me back from being enthusiastic about really believing it was going to work. Well it has worked amazingly.
I normally get up early in the morning, switch my computer on and open either BBC News or CNN, or some other mainstream news network and only after I've become totally horrified by what is happening in the world go on to open my mail or blog. 
One of the first things that Mr Peale says is to empty your mind of all negative thoughts and replace them with positive thoughts. Give your mind a thorough shampoo and rinse and thereby clean up your thinking by washing away the negativity. 
For a long time now I've thought that the mainstream media are the cause of all the trouble in the political arena all around the world. I've considered the reporting to be biased and agenda driven. All you have to do is look at the reporting on the election of President Donald Trump to see what I mean. Quite frankly I don't care who the President of the United States of America is, I live in Africa. Another thing is, you can open BBC or CNN or ABC or even the South African reporting of world affairs and they all report on the same thing and their stories are all the same. Very uninformative and boring. 
So in an effort to counter this incredible negativity I started looking for Good News websites  and have found some truly inspiring sites with very uplifting stories 
Bee Keepers Christmas gifts for the environment.

about real non-political people from all over the world and their stories. I must admit I prefer them to mainstream news outlets.
Another thing that I started doing was looking over my previous blog post and have noticed a slow dropping of of uplifting stories in my own writing over the years. This is good, that I've noticed it that is, and it has inspired me to change how I write and what I write about. I'm very glad about this.

I've added two  links above and whether or not you want to get good news they are really worth visiting. I must warn you though, they could bring an unexpected lump to your throat.
Has getting rid of negativity, as far as possible, made any difference in my circumstances so far?
Yes of course it has. I'm still in the same old boat that I've been in for so long but at least now I'm not getting depressed or miserable about it anymore. I'm sleeping better, I'm more enthusiastic about the day and when I go to bed at night and talk to the Lord I find myself saying with all honesty, "I love you Lord and not because I feel guilty or want something, but because I really do love You."
The books by Norman Vincent Peale are really worth reading no matter what state your thoughts are in. The two links (in yellow colour) are also really worth visiting. I highly recommend checking out the books and the Good News Sites.
Blessings for 2019 from Geoff in South Africa.

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Blessings for Africa in 2019

2018 is in the final few seconds of life while 2019 is chomping at the bit waiting to take the stage. How exciting!
What do you think will come about in the next year?
South Africa will be holding general elections early in 2019. The African National Congress will more than likely hold onto power again which could mean more corruption and violence with lots of accusations and backbiting. Everyone in this country knows about the corruption. Oh well I live in Africa and I love it.
Click on the image to enlarge, you will be amazed. Source

Africa's size has been misrepresented since 1569 by the introduction of The Mercator projection. The Mercator map shows Africa as being smaller than Greenland whereas it is in fact 14 times bigger. How about that.
The mineral resources available in Africa are astounding, gas, oil, coal, chrome, copper, aluminium, arsenic, asbestos, bauxite, uranium, diamonds, gold, silver and the list goes on and on. And the quantities of these minerals are huge. And then we have the animal life, also in abundance and in stunning beauty.
So what I can see happening in 2019 is a further influx of Chinese businessmen buying up more and more of Africa while plundering the resources to send back to china. If Africa is not protected then this is not unusual.

My message for the African people, watch out for corruption, don't run away, be strong and stand up for your country irrespective of what you have to endure.  Be strong, be strong, be strong and may God almighty come to your defense. If you ask for His help He will come to you and protect you, you know that.
Blessings from Geoff in South Africa.

Monday, December 24, 2018

Children's presents this year, 2018

Five get into a fix by Enid Blyton.

Hi everyone.
This year I have only three little girls and one teenage boy to buy presents for, children that is. There are a few adults to be gifted but that's another story.
I decided to give the children books instead of throw away junk. Books will last a lifetime and more and the wonderful thing about reading a book is it is very private and can be done anywhere, on the bus, in the park, snuggled up in bed. The only thing about books that could be considered a drawback is possibly their price, they are a bit on the dear side. So what I did was to seek out a reasonably priced second hand book store.
These are the books I acquired for the girls:
The first is for the youngest little girl, she's six years old now and not really ready to read such advanced books but to have Daddy read a bedtime story from this book will definitely be good for her and Daddy.
As you can see, this is an old book with illustrations and a fantastic story to enthrall this little girl. This edition was printed in 1957. How cool is that?
The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame.

Next up is The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame for the next older little girl, She's 8.
This little girl can read but still uses the phonetic pronunciation when spelling out words. It's actually quite challenging to understand her when she's doing spelling homework, ga, ha, ta and so on. Anyway she reads doctor Seuss rather well but it has become evident that she needs to move onto more age appropriate reading matter and I think this book will be perfect for her and eventually her little sister as well. It too is illustrated but not as old as the other books, actually I think it was printed in about 1971.
Okay so that's the two little girls who come to spend weekends with their Dad here where I'm staying.

This is the oldest children's book I was able to find.
The next three books go to a friend of the families daughter. Why does she get three books you may well ask? Well the reason for that is Firstly she is a bit older than the other two little girls and secondly she has a birthday in January. She will be turning ten soon and is already an accomplished reader and loves reading very much. Another thing is that this young lady has developed the habit of really looking after her stuff and books so I have more confidence giving her the oldest book.

The Island of Adventure by Enid Blyton.
I've been told that Enid Blyton books are exactly the right books to give to little girls. I personally have never read any of her books but I have read The Water Babies by Charles Kingsley but that is the book she'll be getting for her birthday in January. For Christmas the other book she's getting to keep her occupied is Watership Down by Richard Adams. I haven't read this book even though I've had it in my book case for years, just not my kind of reading matter, but that's okay, now someone who will appreciate it can have days of enjoyment with it.
The Water Babies by Charles Kingsley
Watership Down by Richard Adams
 I do know that children nowadays no longer read printed books and would rather spend their time on social media with their friends or playing computer games but as far as I'm concerned they are losing out on one of the finest pastimes ever invented. Relaxing with a good book away from all advertising and distractions.
All these books I've managed to find are in excellent condition and will, if looked after, last a lifetime. I have books in my possession that I've had for many decades and still go back to them to re-read them occasionally. Very happy I still have them. The last book I gave to the young teenage boy Hammer of God by Arthur C Clark. It's a science fiction book, which I did read some time ago, and since the first books I started reading were science fiction thrillers a long, long time ago I decided he may enjoy this book. Arthur C Clark has been one of my favourite authors all through my life. Unfortunately I didn't take a picture so you will just have to look it up if you want to take a look.
Anyway, that's my children's gifting list for this Christmas. If they have any of my traits in them they should enjoy these books for years to come.
From My heart to yours, Blessings and peace this Christmas, Geoff in South Africa.

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Christmas is here again?

Christmas is just around the corner, again. It's funny how so many of us say "Christmas is here, where has the year gone?" Well the truth is that after the New Year celebrations, we tend to forget all about Christmas and get back to our mundane busy lives trying to keep ahead of the wolf  prowling outside the door. Basically we are trying to make sure the bank doesn't come and take all our "Stuff" like the car or the house and so on.
Oh well, this is the world we have built for ourselves and our children. Work, work, work. Make a good life for yourself and be prosperous, provide for your children and keep the bank happy.
Aren't you glad God doesn't ask anything of the sorts of us. Gods advice on how to live a successful life tells us something completely different. "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and love your neighbour as yourself."
That's the kind of advice I take seriously.
Blessings and love from Geoff in South Africa.

Friday, December 14, 2018

Forget what you've lost and be grateful for what you have.

About a week or so ago I was watching some arbitrary movie or series episode when one of the characters said,
"Forget what you've lost and be grateful for what you have."
I don't know what video it was but those words had quite a big influence on me. Or should I rather say are having quite a big influence on me?
Each night, before bed, I talk to the lord about the day that has just passed, things like how productive the day has been, thanking Him for the day and any other issues I want to bring before Him. I also read a passage or two from my Bible to hear what the Lord has to say to me. This has been going on for decades now and is part of my daily life.
Well for the past week or so my Bible has opened on the book of Ecclesiastes.
The book of Ecclesiastes is a book about wisdom and how not to be a fool, how to live your life in peace and what is worth worrying about and what is just a waste of time and effort.
The verses that jumped out at me on more than one occasion were:
Ecclesiastes 9 verse 7-9
7  Go to it then, eat your food and enjoy it, and drink your wine with a cheerful heart; for already God has accepted what you have done.  8  Always be dressed in white and never fail to anoint your head.   9  Enjoy life with a woman you love all the days of your allotted span here under the sun, empty as they are, for that is your lot while you live and labour here under the sun.
I don't just read a few verses but read from before the verses that jump out at me and after the verses no matter where I'm reading.
I must tell you that, as far as living is concerned, I have a very unusual life especially from a financial standpoint. I have absolutely no money almost all the time and when I do have some it is mostly swallowed up by things like petrol or materials to complete some job or other. But the thing is I am not really interested in money. ( Yes I know that that attitude freaks my children and friends out) but Jesus tells us in no uncertain terms that the "love" of money is the root of all evil and that we should give it away and come follow Him. He talks about the young rich leader and how it will be difficult for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God. He also tells us that He is our shepherd and that we are not to worry, He will take care of us.
I've learned over the years that it is far better to believe in God and The Son of Man and live a peaceful life without all the stress of trying to accumulate stuff, stuff you have to pay for.
A long time ago, before I really knew anything about God or The Son of Man, my children and I lived on various boats in a boatyard in Durban harbour. What that taught me, amongst other things, was that it is far more freeing to have very few possessions, possessions tie you down and prevent you from being able to up anchor and leave whenever you like. We didn't need much to get by and, to tell the truth, my children and I had the best year of our lives. ( we lived there for about a year.)
Now I take things much easier than I did previously. I eat my food and enjoy it, I drink my wine with a cheerful heart and no I don't enjoy life with a woman I love choosing instead to live alone relying on Jesus to see me through.
I'm 63 years old already and don't need anyone to make me feel loved, Jesus does that for me every day and for that I'm eternally grateful. I have food in my tummy, a roof over my head and something to drink. I must say I really do like the taste of fresh water, very refreshing. I may not have much, in the eyes of the rich, and there are things that would be interesting to do or see that are out of my reach but that hasn't stopped me in the past and probably won't stop me in the future.
I was one of those unusual fathers who had custody of his children from a very young age, Shelley was one and James was two when I got custody, I was twenty five. I then raised them as a single parent.
Shelley has her competent deckhand certificate, as do I, a B com degree and is coping with life excellently. James has climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, traveled the world and is a computer "boff" and is also coping very well.
Single parents are cool.

Just a few of the myriad of things I've done in my life.

I've been to the Victoria falls, Fished for Tiger fish and Vundu, a super large barbel type fish, on Lake Kariba. I've flown a Bell Jet Ranger helicopter (at the controls), flown light fixed wing aircraft. I've scuba dived off the East coast of Africa, jumped the highest bungee jump in the world, I've sailed the ocean up and down the African coast, traveled be steam train to foreign countries with my children, made movies all over Southern Africa, some of which you are sure to have watched like The Lord of War, but mostly I've praised the Lord and read His words to find fulfillment for more than thirty years and it's been good, very good. I've had a very interesting life indeed.
Victoria falls Zimbabwe and Zambia border. Image source
I've had this fantastic life despite the fact that I don't have money. Better in fact than a lot of my friends who have spent their lives striving for success but not really living.
Bless you Lord Jeshua and Bless you Father Yahweh, I love and thank you for all that you have done for this outcast old man and for what you continue to do for him and his children.
Bless you Lord and thank You, Geoff.
Canoeing on Lake Kariba. Image source

If I may make a few suggestions.
Firstly stop fretting about what you don't have and begin living freely. Come visit Southern Africa, yes it may seem dangerous to you but that's just because you haven't been here yet, it's very interesting and the people are really friendly. But most of all start trusting Jesus and let Him be your shepherd, It results in a peaceful life well worth living.
Blessings from Geoff in South Africa.
One last thing that I think is important; In the book of Ecclesiastes chapter 7 verse 20 states, "The world contains no man so righteous that he can do right always and never do wrong."
It may be time for you to forgive yourself.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Dealing with a counter top stove part 2

Work in progress.
 Well the kitchen drawer under the stove is almost complete. I must tell you that the only things that I've had to spend money on so far is the edging for the boards I've used and the drawer runners.
I used one of the doors I had to remove, to make space for the stove, as a drawer front. The boards I've used were actually old boards that I got from my brother in exchange for some Oak faced chipboard pieces I had left over from a job I recently did, the rest I pretty much already had in the workshop. I think in total I've spent about R 300.00 ( $20.00). Not much really, but I do have all the tools necessary for this kind of job and things like screws and staples, glue, wood filler and so on.
Olive finally at rest for about three seconds.

My cat olive is up on the desk and insists on walking around in front of me brushing her tail in my face, very distracting. Anyway she's my little darling and I forgive her. She'll move on in a little while.
Back to the stove and drawer.
It hasn't taken me long to do this little job, if I exclude all the thought that went into in, only about three days all told but the impact it's had on the kitchen has been quite remarkable.
I can finally see into the pots while I'm cooking and now I have a rather large pot drawer but there have been some consequences.
Cutting the counter top with a router made a huge mess, dust everywhere, but I managed to eventually get that cleaned up and, of course, with the router screaming at the top of the decibel reading scale, Olive and the dogs vanished for about three hours. They have much more sensitive hearing than we do , it must have been quite frightening for them.
Before I did this alteration I would pile the dishes that were to be washed right where the stove now sits. Also my bread board and cutting board were next to the stove on the counter top, you have no idea how many times I've turned to the place where they were before while cooking. I'm getting used to the new layout though and am much happier about the way things are now, much more user friendly.
The view from the lounge. 

There are still a few things that need to be done,The top cupboard that is where the stove was will have to be lowered a bit and a wooden utensil hanging rack fitted on the wall,  the edging inside the drawer and the area where my cutting boards are now housed needs a bit of work done but I'm nearly there and things are going along very nicely indeed.
That's it for this post, I'll write more if anything else crops up.
Blessings and good will from Geoff in South Africa.

Thursday, December 06, 2018

How to manage height issues for a counter-top stove.

Work in progress Geoff style.

In Johannesburg, when you buy a house, it normally comes with a stove. That doesn't mean you will like the stove it comes with nor does it mean it will be a great big stove but sometimes you will get a stove that meets your needs very nicely indeed.
When I moved into this little cottage it came with a counter-top two plate stove with small oven attached which suited me and my single lifestyle very nicely. The only problem with this type of stove is that it was sitting on top of the kitchen counter. When I tried cooking with a pot on the hot-plate I could never see into the pot which, any cook will tell you, is very off-putting. This is how I, Eventually, solved the problem, or should I say, am presently solving the problem.
When I was still living in Melkbosstrand in the Western Cape I had a stove very similar to the one I now have, actually the whole cottage was very similar to this cottage. In that  cottage the kitchen was also open plan but what someone had done was to sink the stove in near the end of the counter top. Not very well done, in my opinion, but it certainly worked well. This time I have done the same thing but Geoff style.
As you can see the job is still in progress at this stage but, in order for me to make the most of the limited space I have available, I'm going to be manufacturing a small vertical unit to accommodate my cutting boards and other flat things I use in the kitchen. This unit will be on the right of the stove in an area which needs to be closed up or sorted out one way or the other.
Below the stove I'm going to be using one of the doors that were in this area and manufacturing a pot drawer. This will utilize the space efficiently and open a bit of space in one of the other cupboards where the pots are at the moment.
There are a whole lot of other things I'll be doing to this kitchen over the Christmas period when everything is pretty much closed, especially work wise.
I'll keep on working and posting about this project until I'm satisfied with the results.
Blessings from Geoff in Johannesburg South Africa.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Our Galaxy and our universe. Questions anyone?

Milky Way galaxy center. Image source. 
We have all been told at some time or other that at the center of the Milky way, the galaxy where our planet resides, is a super massive black hole. This morning while thinking about that I Googled Galactic center and came across this image from the MeerKAT radio telescope here in South Africa. This is the clearest image ever obtained of our galaxy's center.
And it was done by my countrymen, I'm so proud of them. Well done!
Anyway, the reason I was thinking about our galaxy was because of an article I read some time ago by Doctor Andrea Ghez in Space and Astronomy news where she starts talking about rationalizing the data observed to fit the theory astronomers have with regards to star formation and the black hole theory.
The theory of star formation states; young stars cannot form near the galactic center because tidal forces would rip the dust apart before a star could form. But guess what they have observed in the center of our galaxy. Young stars.
The more accepted theory is apparently that the young stars they have observed close to the central black hole must have formed when there was a much higher density of gas and dust than there is now.
Now I do realize that I'm not a genius and that I'm just a carpenter with minimal intelligence but something doesn't add up here, well for me anyway.

What if the galaxy isn't being held together by a black hole and is in fact creating stars at the central hub which are then slowly moving out towards the spiral arms.
Image and article source

The Milky Way takes 1 000 000 000 years to do one revolution, we've only been doing scientific studies of this galaxy for about one hundred or so years with any degree of accuracy.
That means that the galaxy has only turned 10/1 000 000 000 TH of one rotation in the last hundred years. Apparently all disc galaxies take a billion years to rotate once with old and young stars at the extremities not just young stars. The time figures stated above and in the article may not be correct.
In the beginning the Earth was void and darkness covered the face of the abyss.
There is at present only one who has the answer and it's not the scientists.
In the next decade or so the square kilometer array will be coming on line and the MeerKAT radio telescope is part of that array. We will soon be getting some very new theories as to how the Universe formed. I'm looking forward to it.
Blessings from Geoff in South Africa.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Lupus. Huge prayer request to all believers.

Not in image of Jenny, source

I have been reading my earlier posts recently and must admit that things have gone a "little down hill" since I left the farm in Melkbosstrand, Cape Town. A little did I say? I think I should rather say a lot. I'ts like I'm in exile or something.
This morning I went to one of my suppliers to order some boards and while waiting for Les, who was on the phone, overheard him talking to someone else about his wife coping. when he was finished, ordered what I needed, and as I was leaving, asked him what was wrong with his wife.
"She has Lupus" he replied. Now I have absolutely no idea what Lupus is and asked him about it. He told me it was something to do with inflammation of.............
I didn't get what he was saying but promised to pray for her. I then said,"You may not believe but I do." His reaction was quite Surprising, "I do believe." Which really surprised me. Wow that's amazing. There are so few people who do believe in Jesus or God in this city." He then told me she had spent 51 days in hospital last year. Wow! 51 days that's like a quarter of the year. Anyway I left a few minutes after that.
Lupus is apparently something that affects all sorts of things in the body like the skin, kidneys, joints, serious membranes and other organs of the body. There is no known cure for this, well none the medical fraternity acknowledge. But I believe in Jesus and, once in the car started praying for her.
There is a scripture in the book of John where Jesus tells us, "Anything you ask of me I shall do so that the father may receive glory." (Paraphrased)
So her is my request to you people who know and believe the word of God and of course Jesus.

Please take a second or two to say a simple prayer for Jenny Roberts. You may not know her but her husband is my most valued supplier.

I told Les I would be praying for her and now I can tell him people all over the world will be praying for her too.
Here is my blessing to you; May the Lord God almighty and the Son of Man encourage you today and may He show that, for those who believe, nothing is impossible, Geoff. 

Monday, November 12, 2018

Words and their impact on others.

Wow! I had no idea the words of someone else were so infuriating and dangerous. The incident in my previous post happened on Saturday and today is Monday. This Morning, while driving to a job I'm attending to, all I could think about was what had been said to me. I was furious and not yet able to let it go. I asked the Lord to help me set it aside and move on and, a couple of hours later, I wasn't thinking about it anymore. Thank you Lord.
Image Source BBC news India.

When I got home I read a BBC News article about social networking in India and how these people had been lynched because of false news being spread, apparently, because of posts on Whatsapp. Not at all nice to read about.

As a writer I'm aware that my words impact others who read them but had no idea that the spoken word would affect me to such a degree.
Please keep in mind that your words speak right into someone else's soul and could cause damage all the days of their lives and could even cost them their lives, in which case you could be considered a murderer by some and if it was because of what you wrote or said the guilt will haunt you for ever.

When I was 14 years old I was told; "You are so ugly no one will ever love you, you are nothing but a Kaffir." Now I realize that not everyone knows what Kaffir means but it is one of the most offensive words you could ever imagine and is now banned in South Africa. It was a word used to suppress and belittle black South Africans during the Apartheid era predominantly by Afrikaans speaking whites but not always Afrikaans nor always white. (Not only black people were insulted in this way but white, coloured and Indians too. In fact anyone who did not fit the accepted mold.)
At the time my parents were on contract in Zambia, a nation with a black president while I was at an all white boys boarding school in Pietermaritzburg in South Africa. 1969 to 1973, the name and treatment continued the whole time I was at that school.
Image Source Clark House Maritzburg College.

Well that outburst, thrown into my face, has had an immense impact on my life and more than 49 years later still haunts me. I've only been married for 6.5 years, the rest of my days were spent alone and unloved. That person who said those destructive words to me I've never forgotten. I even remember in detail the exact place it was said. In detail! So dude, you are still not forgiven and I hope you read this and realize just how much damage you did with those socially acceptable words.
Please be careful of what you say to others and as a writer it is even more important.
Free speech does not imply the speaker, or writer, is free to say what ever they feel like. It could cost someone their life.

Jesus tells us that the most important command is to love the lord your God with all your heart. The second is like it, "Love your neighbor as yourself." So, if you want others to say good things to and about you just remember : What you say to others will come back and be said to you and because you said it first you will have no leg to stand on, you deserve it.
Blessings to all who have been belittled and maltreated in this way, Geoff in South Africa.