Coping With Fear

In my journey through the Book of Truth, I have discovered that crime and fear and frustration at it, is not new. The first hijacking and anger at how people get away from Biblecrime, is succinctly described in Psalm 10 vss 1-2

“Why, O Lord, do you stand far off? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble? In his arrogance the wicked man hunts down the weak, who are caught in the schemes he devises.”

(Sounds like abuse of retirement funds – leaving pensioners penniless.)  Further on, maybe the world’s first reference to a hijacking, vs8

“He lies in wait near the villages; from ambush he murders the innocent, watching in secret for his victims.” 

The psalmist laments about how evil people get away with brutality and violence. But in the end he concludes (verse 14) “But you , O God, DO see trouble and grief; you consider it to take it in hand.”
Hi-jackings, violence and even corruption all appear in the Bible..
2 Chronicles. Chapter 27 vs 2b says, “The people however continued their corrupt practices.”
That was all taking place under a just and God-fearing King. As I consider how to overcome my fear of crime and the  future, 5 points come to mind to keep me focussed on where my trust lies.

1. We are just passing through. This world is not our home. It is a stopping place amidst everlasting life. We feel it keenly because it is all we know. I try and see myself as an inhabitant of heaven, just hanging out on earth right now.

2. We can’t figure it all out here on earth. There are always going to be things we don’t understand….devastating tragedy that is entirely out of our hands. But we are a fragment of a much bigger picture which we will never see or try and work out this side of eternity. I try not to figure it all out or explain it because I know I can’t. All I can do, like the psalmist says, is trust that God does see trouble and grief and He will take it in hand.

3. Lay It Down. The fear that grips my optimistic heart the most, is fear that something dreadful may happen to my family. It bites the hardest – it raises panic – it fills me with anxiety. All I can do to cope with it, is to continually lay it down and commit it entirely to God. To mentally imagine my family in God’s hands. He’s holding them. He loves them more than I do. He has their future. If God allows them to die before me, I will see them again. It is a thought process I don’t dwell on. It’s too much to bear, so when I feel it rising, I quell it as soon as I can, laying their safety all down before Jesus. I cannot carry this burden.

4. To keep from sinking into a mire of despair, we need to focus on the positive. Look for it. Stop and admire the view. Remind yourself of all the wonderful things in your life. Don’t focus on the bad – don’t talk about how bad it all is. If you find yourself wanting to dwell on misery, rather retrain your mind to pray about it. I have travelled enough to have experienced that Cape Town is a wonderful place to live. It is the most beautiful city in the world. I count my blessings.

5. “Make up your mind.” To really get the right attitude, we need to know the right Person. Jesus has got the whole world in His hands. If we can trust Him with 100% of our lives (which we can), then we can rest assured that whatever happens, He is faithful and He will carry us through whatever comes our way. What got this blog started this morning was a Bible verse out of Romans 14. It’s largely about being judgemental, but there are parts of two verses that apply to so many other things. Part of verse 13 says, “Make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother’s way.” Verse 17 says, “For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.”
For me, to overcome the fear of the future, I have to make up my mind to embrace what God wants for me – that being righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. Along with that comes memorising some of God’s promises…

Favourite Bible verseAnd others…

Philippians 413Romans 839Steadfast heartA steadfast spirit in believing God is in control.

I will trust Him.

Keep the smile going!

God bless you!

In His Grip,

Helga xx :-)

Posted in Day to Day Blogs | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Can I Give You A Hug? – 6 Powerful Words.

I was bowled over. It’s hard for me to put into words the magnitude and powerful impact these words had on me. I think the reason I was so floored by them, was because, truth be told, I was the one that should have said them and not been on the receiving end of the question.  I got the hug. I absolutely hugged back. But I walked away in wonder. I had experienced something super-natural.

I had taken a meal to a family who are going through a very difficult time. When severe ill-health strikes a home, one feels so helpless. I pray every day for them. Taking a  meal was just something practical – just so you feel you are doing ‘something.’  R is sick – very sick. M is his wife. She is in complete distress over all that is happening. I actually have never met R&M before. I have seen her on FB and have read her (incredibly well-written) blog but we’ve never been introduced before.

I handed the meal over to M’s Mom and as I was about to leave, I got trapped into a conversation with the local neighbourhood watch man. While we were talking, M arrived home. What do you say to someone you have actually never met who is suffering the worst nightmare of her life?. I smiled weakly. The neighbourhood watch man talked on. M got out the car and walked across to the gate. In the background the neighbourhood watch guy kept on talking. He knows nothing of what is going on in this house. His focus is security. I wanted him to stop so I could focus on M. As she passed me, I turned to her and asked, ‘so is today a better day?’

Ignoring my question, she responded with 6 powerful words, “Can I give you a hug?’

We hugged. A long comforting sincere hug. Give a hug get a hug

Then she said, “I’m serious, I can’t tell you how much I appreciate all your support.”

It floored me. It humbled me.

I mumbled something about it being the least I could do.

In that moment, M displayed a quality that can only be described as Christ-like. Amidst her worst life trial, she was looking outside of herself. She was showing gratitude. The Holy Spirit had risen up inside of her when she spoke the words, ‘can I give you a hug’. She unwittingly ministered to my ‘un-huggy’ soul. That’s how it’s done.

Thank you M.

God has used you.

“Can I give you a hug?” Try it sometime.

God bless you.

In His Grip,

Helga x

Posted in Day to Day Blogs | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Five Reasons I Read The Bible

I am passionate about the Bible. I love reading it. It speaks to my heart. Yet I too am human and I need to discipline myself to pick it up and read it. Every time I do, I am rewarded. It’s richness, it’s truths, the power of the Holy Spirit speaking through it make me into a better person. I need to read nothing else. The Bible has it all.

1. It’s the Word of God.

The Bible is an amazing book. It’s made up of ancient texts, the first of which dates back to about 1500 BC and the last at about AD100. While written by 40 different men, the same consistent thread winds its way through centuries of writings. The focus is the need we broken people have for a Saviour and how He came in the person of Jesus Christ.

2. No Other Book in History Claims to Contain the Word of God.

Throughout the Bible we read, “the Lord says” and what follows are what God has said. At least 3000 times, we read what God says.

3. Historically Factual.

It is a remarkable thing when you see evidence, in the 21st century of events that occurred during Bible times. It was one of the highlights of my trip to Rome in 2013. I stood beneath the oldest arch in the world and looked at a picture carved in the ancient rock. It depicted Roman soldiers robbing the Temple in AD70. The reliability has been researched by many scholars over the years. The preservation of the Masoretic Text, the Septuagint and the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls add to the reliabilty of the Old Testament writings.

Comparisons have been done between secular writers during the time of the New Testament, whose writing has been accepted and the authors of the New Testament, such as Matthew, Mark, Luke, John and Paul. The secular writing give reliability and authenticity to the New Testament writing.

(Reference: https://www.probe.org/are-the-biblical-documents-reliable/)

4. It’s Real Stories of Real People Who Struggle Just Like Us

The Bible is made up of so many different kinds of writings, it cannot help but strike a chord. There’s law, history, prophecy, poetry, wisdom, parables and teaching for life. If you want to know how to live your life or if you want to be inspired, read the Bible.

5. It Contains Words of Eternal Life

This is something I have really only understood the more I have read the Bible. It is the reason I am so passionate about what it contains. On so many occasions, I have finished my Bible reading for the day and thought to myself, ‘this is why I keep on reading the Bible.’ It’s far deeper than just reading an interesting book. God speaks. Those words penetrate deep into my soul. They give me guidance; they encourage me; they challenge me; they humble me; they point out the error of my ways; they have made me cry; they have made me rejoice; they have lifted my spirits; they have given me a glimpse of the bigger picture; they have struck a chord with me that is supernatural and over and over again, they have drawn me closer to God.

Bible

Read the Bible. If you are a newbie, start with the Gospel of John in the New Testament. I remember reading John 1 for the first time after I became a Christian in July 1979. Even today, when I read these words, I get a sense of wonder and amazement that I am a child of God.

John 1:12
“Yet to all who did receive Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God-…”

I got that right. You can too!

God bless you!

In His Grip,

Helga xx :-)

Posted in Day to Day Blogs | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Banting Chocolate Cake in a Mug – (with costs!)

This is a real tasty winter’s treat. Adapted from a traditional flour & sugar-filled recipe, I changed it to make it Banting friendly.

Ingredients: 

  • 4 tablespoons of almond flour (you can grind your own almonds) – (+/- R10) – you can try it with less expensive coconut flour, but the consistency may be a little crumbly. Worth a shot though.
  • 2 tablespoons of xylitol (you may need to experiment with this to get your own sweetness level) – (+/- R3)
  • 2 flat tablespoons cocoa – (+/- R2)
  • 1 egg -(+/- R2)
  • 3 tablespoons milk -(+/- 50c)
  • 3 tablespoons oil -(+/- R3)

Method:

  1.  Add almond flour, xylitol and cocoa to a large mug and mix.
  2. Break in the egg and whisk.
  3. Add oil and milk and mix well.
  4. Microwave for 3 minutes on maximum power (1000watt).
  5. Wait until it stops rising and sets in the mug.

Banting flour and sugarDry ingredients in the mug

Dry ingredients in the cup

After that it was time for the wet ingredients….

Wet ingredientsI broke an egg into the mug and mixed away…

Mix in the eggWith milk, egg and oil, it’s quite wet…

With milk and oilOnce it was well mixed, into the microwave it went for 3 minutes. It rose to about half way up the big mug, so it’s perfectly do-able in a smaller mug…it won’t overflow…and magically, it came out looking like this…

3 minutes laterI slipped a knife around it and emptied it into a bowl, zooted it up with a strawberry and some cream and had it for lunch!

3 minute Banting chocolate cake in a mug

For the future: it is VERY filling and quite rich. You can easily split it in half and make one between two. It was incredibly easy and worth having the expensive ingredients around to make it. Be on the lookout for less expensive almond flour. The shop I bought at was the closest and very ‘dear’!

I enjoyed it with coffee (in the same mug the cake had come out of…why wash up 2?!)

Ecclesiastes 2:24
“There is nothing better for a person than that he should eat and drink and find enjoyment in his toil. This also, I saw, is from the hand of God..”

Enjoy life.

Keep the smile going!

God bless you!

In His Grip,

Helga xx :-)

Posted in Day to Day Blogs | Tagged , , | 9 Comments

My Sister Held Up At Gun Point

What a distressing message to see. I got in from gym yesterday and turned on my computer. On opening Facebook, this was the first status update I saw…

Annes status

Of course, her cell phone had been stolen and so I contacted her sister-in-law (part of the wonderful family Anne refers to her in her status) and Debi came back to me very quickly with Anne’s office number. I called to find out how she was and what happened.

What a terrible violation of her space. She and her son Darryl arrived home at about 6-30pm on Wednesday night. It was getting dark. They had parked their car in the driveway and the gate was closed. Darryl approached the security gate and as soon as it was unlocked 5 men jumped over the wall and shoved Anne and Darryl into the house. They pushed them into the first room on the left which is a bedroom and cable-tied their hands together. They took Anne’s rings off her fingers and grabbed their cell phones.

Man-Holding-Gun-1One of the men, armed with a gun, stayed with them, while the others began to ransack the house. Shouting ‘Where’s the money? where’s the money?’ Anne said they had none. They found the safe and again shouted ‘where’s the key?’ but Anne didn’t know which key they were referring to. Then they said she was making too  much noise, to they took pillow cases off the pillows and gagged them with them. They emptied Anne’s bag and took all the keys for the house, for her car and for her office and as they were finishing up, Jessica, Darryl’s girlfriend, who had been in the flat behind the house, walked in. She took was cable-tied and pushed to the floor. It all happened very quickly and ended when they got the car keys. The gunman stayed inside with his gun pointed at Jess while the others went outside, but they couldn’t get the gate open. They came back in shouting and asking how to open the gate. Darryl told them to force it open. When the gunman heard the car reversing out the gate, he ran out, slamming the door behind him.

Anne, Darryl and Jess had their hands cable-tied, but not their feet. They got up and managed to call the neighbour who called the local police forum. They were in the area and arrived within 2 minutes.Police car

It was the first time that area had been hit by such an armed robbery. Anne has lived in that house in Johannesburg for 20 years. Her extended family came immediately to her home and stayed with her for several hours. She turned down their offer for her to spend the night at their house. She just felt that she eventually would have to come home, so she dealt with it on the day. Amazingly, the police took finger prints the same night.

This morning I called Anne again to find out how she is doing. She’s doing amazingly well considering the circumstances. Instead of dwelling on it, she’s trying to put it in a box and not let it affect her.  The car has not been found. Yesterday, she had all the locks changed which made her feel more secure.

We discussed what she could have done differently and to be honest, there wasn’t much. It’s not supposed to happen that 5 men hold you up at your front door. It seems it was an opportunistic crime. The Police Forum had driven past just a few minutes before it happened. It seemed that these men in a black car had seen the security vehicle leave the road and they drove slowly up it. When they saw Darryl in the garden, they stopped, got out the car, waited for him to open the gate and then jumped over the wall. Armed with a gun, a knobkerrie and a screwdriver, they began the attack.

We know this happens in South Africa and that other parts of the world are not immune. It’s been a shocking week, hearing of the Tunisian beach attack. The world has gone crazy. Human life is not valued. But this is not new. There has been violence since Cain killed Abel.

Psalm 10 is pretty graphic. Verses 8-11
“He lies in wait near the villages; from ambush he murders the innocent. His eyes watch in secret for his victims; like a lion in cover he lies in wait. He lies in wait to catch the helpless; he catches the helpless and drags them off in his net. His victims are crushed, they collapse; they fall under his strength. He says to himself, “God will never notice; he covers his face and never sees.””

But God does see and He ultimately will be the final judge. We are grateful that Anne, Darryl and Jess are physically fine. Emotionally, they will recover.

Pray for South Africa.

Take care.

God bless you!

In His Grip,

Helga xx :-)

Posted in Day to Day Blogs | Tagged | 3 Comments

Making Marriage Work – The Power Struggle

We live in a society of feminism, where women are equal to men in all areas and professions. So when it comes to control within the marriage, there have to be clearly defined roles, so that each partner has control of their area. At the end of the day, the control is shared.

The next step in the process is to decide which partner is responsible for which area of control.

In Western society, whenever we get to the role of the wife in a marriage, if the word SUBMIT comes up, generally people cringe. It so goes against the grain of the independent woman of our day and age. But in God’s design, which is the one I choose to follow, when the husband fulfills his role in the way God planned it, the woman’s role of submission actually works. What has happened in the world today is that we have messed things up by not fulfilling our roles. The husband may be abusive, domineering, controlling, unfaithful, unloving and unreasonable. No wife will be able to submit in that situation, but if the husband fulfills his role, the wife will be happy to submit to him because he does not take advantage of her and he loves her and protects her.

The Christian perspective may be a difficult pill for many women to swallow. There’s no better way of sizing it up then from the Insight section of the Bible League’s Devotional Study Bible. It says:

“In return for the care and protection given by the husband, the wife is to help the husband in any way that is lawful. She is to give herself to him, even as he gives himself to her. She is to submit to him as the authority in the home. “Wives, submit to your husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ is the head of the church.” (Ephesians 5:22-23). The role of the wife is to make the life of the husband more enjoyable, easier. He cares for her and in return she is to care for him. She is to encourage him, defend him, and lift him up in the eyes of all her relatives and friends. She is to honor his decisions and abide by them. This does not mean that she may not voice her opinion or suggest council to him. But it does mean that his decision is final. To obey her husband is no more demeaning for a wife than is obedience by the church to Jesus Christ.”

Husbands, before you throw your fist in the air in victory, your part in the deal is just as demanding.

The Bible tells us:

“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her to make her holy. …In the same way husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife, loves himself”. (Ephesians 5:25 &28).

There’s no place for violence in the role of the husband. There is a place for kindness, care, love, tenderness, acceptance, protection and respect.

In this day and age women have no difficulty in assuming the role of head of the home. It’s not that they are not capable of it. That couldn’t be further from the truth. The real truth, I believe is that unless she is a single parent it’s not her job. Of course there may be times in your life when your husband is not able to be provider, but that doesn’t mean he need not fill his role of leader, decision maker protector and spiritual head.

About the roles of the husband, Dr. James Dobson states there are 3 primary roles: That of provider, protector, leader of the family both generally and spiritually.

It is important that each partner understands his or her role in the marriage. When partners fulfill their role, home life feels safe, is happy and there is peace! Isn’t that what we are all aiming for?

Another phrase that Dr. Dobson used on his Focus on the Family program was that women want a man who they can look up to, but won’t look down on them.

The wife does not assume the role of the servant to the husband and the husband is not a brute of a master who demands unequivocal obedience.

If there is a conflict of roles or a power struggle in your home, perhaps it is time address the issue. Have a discussion about how you are measuring up to the Biblical Standard. The choice is yours, but it works!

TEN TIPS TO ALLEVIATING THE POWER STRUGGLE

  1. Pray together.
  2. Wife, your husband is the head of the home.
  3. Husband, take the lead and be the head of your home.
  4. Wife, respect your husband.
  5. Husband, love your wife.
  6. Wife, support your husband in their decisions.
  7. Husband, make decisions in collaboration with your wife.
  8. Listen a lot.
  9. Love a lot.
  10. Smile a lot.

  BE WILLING TO MAKE SACRIFICES.

Hello day one of marriage!

When it comes to marriage, sacrifice is part of the deal for both husband and wife.

It starts on the first day of your married life and continues your whole life through. It works like this. You are no longer a single person with only yourself to worry about. The moment you say “I do,” you now have to think for two. No longer what you say, you can do. You have to take into account the thoughts, desires and needs of your mate.

At times, it’s a hard call.

Which is why I so often take my hat off to Mike and give him an extra pat on the back. He had been a bachelor for so long, he was very set in his ways. The sacrifices he had to make were harder because he had done things that way for such a long time. For me, I was young and flexible. For me it was a learning experience, which in some ways worked very much in Mike’s favour. He would say “this is how I do it.” And I would say “okay, so I’ll do it that way as well!”

But it didn’t always work like that! When we met, Mike was living at the YMCA and I was living in a nurses’ home, where men were not allowed in the rooms. So for the whole year of our courtship, Mike never saw how I lived.

The month before we married, I moved out of the nurses’ home and into an apartment which would be our first home. On the day I moved, Mike came to help me. This was the first time he had seen my room. I will never forget him standing at the door with a concerned look on his face. He was marrying a “messie” and he had just found out! Being the eternal diplomat, he said nothing. But that look on his face made me realise something was up!

Poor Mike!

After I moved in, we didn’t have too much stuff, so it was easy to keep relatively organized.  But after we married, one day I came home from work to a seriously disturbed husband. A dark cloud hung over his head, but every time I asked him what the problem was, he replied “it’s nothing.” Eventually I dragged it out of him. He went up to the dressing table and wiped his finger across it, revealing a dark line of dust. “Housework, Helgs. The place is so dusty!” “Ohhhhh,” I replied, “Housework! I can do that!” I had never had to cook or clean! It was a new beginning. If I was to please my husband, August 1986 was the time to start learning the art and grind of housework!

Never was there a time as happy as when Mike came home to a clean house. But essentially, the upbringing I had did not allow for housework to be a high priority. As much as it was a sacrifice for me to clean, it was a sacrifice for Mike to put up with my half-hearted efforts. As the years have progressed, I have clearly seen my standard rise. I have seen Mike’s very high standard drop a notch or two & the two of us have met comfortably in the middle.

It’s most often the little things that require sacrifice in marriage ie. Which movie to see, will it be a Sci-Fi or a Romantic Comedy? Which restaurant, his choice or hers? Although you may sacrifice your choice today, there must be balance where you get your choice next time.

Don’t dwell on the sacrifices you’ve made. Often it’s not that you have sacrificed for your marriage, but more commonly it’s been for your family as a whole. My experience shows that it has been worth it. I have also discovered that if you make the effort in sacrificing in the little things, your spouse and whole family for that matter will be more likely to sacrifice for you too.

Sacrifice is part of married life. You do not marry to be served but to serve and the sooner you learn that lesson, the happier you will be! That applies to both husbands and wives.

Keep the smile going.

God bless you!

In His Grip,

Helga xx :-)

Mike and Helga -grey

Posted in Day to Day Blogs, Marriage | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

How To Make a Difference in SA

With all the negativity that surrounds us, it’s great to see something positive happen. And it all began with a woman taking notice of a beggar at a street corner. Pam Green stopped to speak to Joseph who was at a regular spot in Sandton, Johannesburg. He was not asking for money. This intelligent young man was begging for a job. To hand he had a flip file containing his matric results and his CV. Homeless and jobless, he desperately needed some employment. Pam took photos of Joseph and posted a simple message to her Facebook account. It quickly went viral, with more than 30 000 people sharing it!

Pams first message

JosephThe response was overwhelming. Just a little more than 24 hours later, Pam had another message to post…Pams second message just over 24 hours laterRemember the starfish story?

From eventsforchange.wordpress.com

From eventsforchange.wordpress.com

Each of us can make a difference, if we take the time to stop and notice. It’s not easy to do in this day and age. I read through the comments on Joseph’s picture…there were a number of doubtful and very negative people but most wanted to help. Starfish

I believe the first step in coping with poverty and making a difference is planning. We know poverty is going to be there. Someone will knock at our door needing food. We will be approached by beggars at traffic lights. We hold it within our power to help. I don’t believe in giving cash handouts. Food is a different story. I can buy a few extra tins and have them in my car. That’s all I need to do. Be prepared and when the opportunity arises, I’ll be so happy to have something available! Today I bought my stash of tinned fish and a few other goodies. It cost me R112 for 15 items. They are in my car. Giving will now be a pleasure! It’s the 1st July, so it will be interesting to see how long it takes for me to give them all away. Watch this space!

Proverbs 28:27 Whoever gives to the poor will not want, but he who hides his eyes will get many a curse.

Keep the smile going.

God bless you!

In His Grip,

Helga xx :-)

Posted in Day to Day Blogs | 2 Comments

Cheapest Banting Staple Foods

There are several Banting food products that I am seldom without. These all come in under R100/kilo so don’t include nuts and coconut oil!

1. EGGS

You can get 18 free range eggs for about R30. They are designed to make an entire chicken, so you can understand that they are jam packed with rich minerals and protein that is like rocket fuel. Their versatility knows no bounds – scramble, fry, boil, omelette, stuffed – however you like them they are good for you.

Two eggs


2. CHEESE

You can get a variety of cheese for under R100/kilogram. Adding cheese to your diet adds calcium, protein and flavour.

Feta3. BUTTER

You can get 500g of butter in SA for about R40. Butter is another versatile product. Use it for frying or for adding to Bullet Proof Coffee (which I never have – I don’t like it!). You can use it for sauces, add it to hot veggies and mix it with scrambled eggs.  Make the switch to butter from margarine because margarine contains transfats, which you are trying to avoid.

Butter

4. AVOCADOS

When in season, these are one of the best, least controversial Banting products going. The greatest Banting critics will never argue about Avos. Selling at about R5-6 each in winter, they are a basement bargain Banting baby that should always be ripening somewhere in your kitchen. Add them to salads or as an addition to your cooked breakfast. Eat them on their own with salt and pepper. Make them into bread. Mash them and serve with seed crackers.

Avos5. SALAD INGREDIENTS

These are always available in my fridge. If I’ve had a busy day, a multi-ingredient salad becomes the main vegetable at dinner time. I add anything and everything, from raw veggies and seeds, to nuts and sometimes a taste of fruit. The family love it!

Salad

6. MUSHROOMS

These are going for about R10-15 a punnet depending on where you shop. I use mushrooms in just about everything. They make a fantastic sauce – chopped and sautéed in butter with cream added, it’s hard to beat. Serve them over steaks, fish or in a stir fry. I put them in salads, fry them for breakfast and grill the large ones with melted cheese. You can also buy a couple of large ones, slice them in half and use them in making burgers.

Half a punnet of mushrooms

7. OTHER VEGGIES

The most inexpensive Banting foods, apart from avocado, definitely will include a variety of veggies. You can make an amazing vegetable bake, simply by combining cooked cauliflower, broccoli, a little butternut, sweet potato, courgettes, mushrooms, onions, patty pans, olives, spinach, green, red and yellow peppers. Make a cheese sauce with cream, whole milk and cheese. Bake in the oven covered with grated cheese and crumbled feta. Right there you can feed a large family a delicious meal on a budget.  Stuff peppers with mince mixture and grill them with a cheese topping for a fabulous supper option.

Stir fry veggies

8. FISH

Tuna salad, or tuna on it’s own is fatty, filling and fabulous. A tin of tuna goes for about R13 – get the one in water instead of in the unknown oil. If you do buy pilchards, also watch out for added ingredients such as tomato sauce which will be sweetened. Other fish such as hake is also an inexpensive filling protein to use as a main meal.

Fish
9.CHICKEN FILLETS

You can get chicken fillets surprisingly cheap. I saw them going for something like R30/kilo. They are most versatile. I will cook them on a griddle and serve them in a variety of ways. You can make them into chicken burgers, using massive mushrooms as the ‘bun’. Using these fillets is the healthiest way of making a burger. I may cut them into strips and then add mushrooms and cream. Or I may toss the strips into a salad.  Brain, liver and kidneys are also very inexpensive Banting options.

Chicken fillets10. CREAM

This is my coffee companion. I mainly use cream in coffee. I don’t have too much. If I’m after dessert, I’ll add cream instead of ice cream  and I’ll also use it for sauces.

CreamThere must be others! Let me know yours.

Hebrews 13:5

Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Keep the smile going.

God bless you!

In His Grip

Helga xx

Posted in Banting, Day to Day Blogs | 5 Comments

The Reasons Why I Stay In South Africa

There are many reasons why people leave this country in search of a better life, but from what I have seen and read, it does not come easy. Leaving family and friends and going to a new culture, tears part of their inner being away. It’s the pain of uprooting and while it gets easier as time passes, the yearning of home and upbringing never quite leaves. There are several reasons that come to mind as to why I stay in South Africa.

~ My family are here. This is probably the first and most important reason. I think parents go where their children go. As long as my children are here, I don’t feel the yen to be anywhere else.

~ It’s cheap to live in South Africa. As soon as you move to Europe or Australia, the cost of living rises to a far higher rate than we are used to paying. Starting again AND paying higher prices is one of the hardest things in the world to do. It costs more than money – it costs  emotionally – with heartache leading the way.

~ The weather. We live in the Southern Hemisphere were we enjoy amazing summers, mild winters and beautiful scenery. Within our borders lie sea, mountains, game reserves, hot springs, deserts & semi-deserts, forests, rivers, rapids, lakes, snow covered peaks, magnificent dunes, beaches and islands. We need not leave the country and shell out top dollar for a broad range of activities within driving distance of most of where we live.

Table mountain - so close and yet so far

~ While we worry about crime and it is a concern to us, knowing that we may become victims of crime allows us the opportunity to do something to prevent it. The dangers of the world are not confined to South Africa. We are seeing more and more that our lives are threatened wherever we go. I remember being seriously warned about Termini Railway Station in Rome and how dangerous it was. As we left the station, we clung nervously to our luggage, waiting in expectation for someone to rip our belongings away! Being aware of the dangers and being vigilant is not restricted to South Africa. The same level of care we take in this country most probably has to be had in half of the countries of the world. Here in South Africa we are able to protect ourselves and our homes.

~ In South Africa, as with many other African countries, we are blessed in that we have the opportunity to live & do what really counts. The golden rule is to love your neighbour as yourself. Many of our neighbours are poverty-stricken. We see it and it may not look nice. We may want to get away from it, but instead of seeing it as a morbid vice, let us see it as an opportunity to fulfil the golden rule. Seeing poverty on our doorstep keeps us humble and appreciative. In South Africa, we can make a far greater difference than in a magnificently wealthy first world country, where we would be the poor!

~ We live in a country where the Christian church is strong and active. In South Africa, we can worship freely – there is no suppression of our Christian faith. This is a great blessing and one not to be overlooked. Someone once told me of how they did an outreach at the Waterfront. When they approached Malawians and bought up the gospel, they were keen and receptive. When they approached someone from Northern Europe, they were arrogantly disinterested. A wealthy country that can manage on their own, often sees no need for God. Poorer nations depend more on God. Christianity is still taught in the schools, which is a lot more than we can say for many other so-called first world countries.

Hillsong Church Cape Town photo of Table Mountain

~ My attitude often is one of seeing it from the other side. Thousands of EU foreigners pour into our country to enjoy all we have to offer. Some come for a month and return for years. They find it inexpensive, warm and friendly. They get so much more for their money. I’m one of the blessed ones who got to come here 32 years ago and am still appreciating each morning. I love being a tourist in my own city. As a Capetonian, I never want to leave.

As far as infra-structure goes, we are seeing electricity issues, but we have the opportunity to tap into solar energy, put down boreholes and make ourselves more self-sufficient. The road infra-structure is still good. We have some of the best schools and universities on the continent with UCT being the top university in Africa – 141st in the world.

UCT number 1 in Africa

There are excellent medical facilities in our country. While government hospitals may have some weaknesses, when you need specialist care, they are staffed by some of the top specialists this country has to offer. Private medical care is considered some of the best on the continent.

Certainly, South Africa has issues, but so does every other nation on earth. We need to focus on the good and work towards making a difference in this beautiful land we call home.

Mark 12:30-31

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’The second is this: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’There is no commandment greater than these.”

Keep the smile going.

God bless you!

In His Grip,

Helga xx :-)

Posted in Day to Day Blogs | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

From Burning Pain To Forgiveness

Even CNN reported that she “radiates an unmistakeable poise and peace.” It’s the testimony of a young 9 year old who 43 years ago was photographed running away from an explosion – she is terrified, naked, burned and screaming as she runs. It was June 8th 1972. The picture tells a vivid story of the horrors of the Vietnam war….

Kim PhucKim Phuc is the child in centre of the photo. She survived the attack, terribly scarred by napalm a vicious flammable liquid that causes horrific burns. The photographer was from Associated Press. His name was Nick Ut and he was 21 at the time. He saw the explosions and children running towards him. Instinctively, he raised his camera and snapped photographs. By the time Kim got to him, he could see her skin peeling off her. He poured water on her body, covered her and then put her in his car along with other children and took them to hospital. Kim spent more than a year in hospital, having one skin graft after another. She still has the scars. She still remembers the searing pain. While physically she began to heal, emotionally she struggled. When she was 19, she began to search for peace and full internal healing. She found it in a relationship with God through Jesus Christ.

Quote on CNN

Quote from CNN

Now Kim spreads the love of Christ through a speaking ministry and her Kim Foundation to help other children affected by war. Her life has not been straightforward, but she now has a great deal of stability and opportunity to tell the world what happened to her.

Her story is gripping…and is worth listening to, even if it is only for the first 20 minutes.

God never wastes pain.

As I said on my blog on Friday, your life has significance no matter what you have been through or are going through. Keep going. God is with you and will never let you go!

Isaiah 30:18

“The Lord longs to be gracious to you; He rises to show you compassion, for the Lord is a God of justice.”

Keep the smile going.

God bless you!

In His Grip,

Helga xx

Posted in Day to Day Blogs | Tagged , , | Leave a comment