Closing in on a Murderer – van Breda Murders – An Arrest Soon?

Three months ago, on 26th January 2015,  most people reading this had not heard of the van Breda family who lived across two continents. South African by birth and Afrikaans by culture, they had spent several years in Australia by choice. Returning to South Africa, they settled in the picturesque and exclusive riverside de Zalze Golf Estate near Stellenbosch.

Map of de Zalze estate

Martin van Breda was hugely successful, amassing an estate worth R200 million. Living an international life of hard work and pleasure, he and his wife Teresa raised three children and from all external appearances, this was the picture perfect family.

Picture from Google Maps

de Zalze Golf Estate (Picture from Google Maps)

It seems that all was quiet on the home front on the morning of Monday 26th January. Twenty-four ours later, the house would be a crime scene.

The story of the van Breda murders has become well known. Parents Martin and Teresa and their oldest son Rudi were slain in a most brutal way. Completely unsuspecting any form of violence, they were viciously hacked to death at home by an ax-wielding psychopathic-like intruder who completely overpowered them all. Martin, Teresa and Rudi died on the scene. Marli, 16, was left for dead. Henri survived with no life threatening injuries and immediately became, in the eyes of the prying world, the chief suspect.

More and more media reports are speculating that Henri did it. This is nothing new. We all have suspected Henri since he was the only survivor and came away with no injuries apart from those said to have been self inflicted. He told the police he was knocked unconscious when the attacker threw the axe at him and that’s why he only phoned emergency services at 7am on Tuesday morning 27th January 2015.

There are things that have come out that don’t tie up with media reports. We were told a long time ago that the deaths occurred at about 3am on the 27th January. Yet the memorial sheet for the van Bredas said their date of death was 26th…

Picture by Mia Lindeque/EWN

Picture by Mia Lindeque/EWN

That was significant. They wouldn’t put that date on the sheet if it wasn’t so. Something happened the night of the 26th January, while everyone was very much wide awake. Henri told police the attacker launched at Rudi first while he was in his bedroom. At the scuffle, Martin ran in to assist and was attacked next. After he was killed, the rampage continued on the balcony where Teresa and Marli were both found. Neighbours heard nothing. The night passed. At 7am the next morning, Henri was found sitting outside his house, toying with his cell phone, trying to get the emergency services.

Since then, no arrests have been made, but in the latest report, we are told they are imminent. Today, a report was released to say that police are keeping a close eye on Henri, who is now in Klerksdorp. Neither police nor Henri’s family are saying when he is not having any contact with Marli.  Eikestad Nuus, which is based in Stellenbosch, has been able to track down sources close to the case who have been prepared to give some information, albeit anonymously. Little snippets that have leaked point strongly to Henri being the perpetrator –

Henri hands in passport

 

You don’t’ have to hand in your passport if you are not a suspect.  A report released over the last day or two said enough evidence has been collected to result in an arrest and charges that can be tried in court. It concludes an arrest is imminent.

But I still think there is more to this case than meets the eye. I’m not one to promote rumour, but I have heard stories that lead me to believe that when the case does come into public domain, it may just be more shocking than it already is.

This morning, I walked through  a  war graveyard. I will blog about that tomorrow, but it did remind me that life is but a breath and then it ends. The intensity of pain that we suffer through the loss of loved ones lessens with the passing of time. Some of the tombstone messages throb with grief, yet they are so old, that even those who penned the words have tombstones of their own. Because we trust in Jesus, who is God, we go to Him at the end.

1 Samuel 20:3b

“But truly as the LORD lives and as your soul lives, there is hardly a step between me and death.” 

God bless you!’

In His Grip,

Helga xx

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

Delicious Lemon Banting Treats

A recipe was going around Facebook this week that looked really yummy. It came from Healthy Recipe Buzz and they called them Coconut Lemon Meltaways. I’ve just renamed them Lemon Banting Treats. Riana downloaded the recipe and made them.

Ingredients

Ingredients for coconut lemon meltaways

Step 1.

Dry Ingredients
1 & 1/2 cups Almond Flour (you can make this, or buy it – however most store bought Almond flour is not raw)
1 & 1/2 cups dried Shredded Unsweetened Coconut (I used medium shred, but fine shred would also work well)
1/3 c Coconut Flour
2 big pinches of Salt
Mix all of your dry ingredients together – set aside and move onto the next step.

Step 2.

Wet Ingredients
In a small mixing bowl combine the following:
3 Tbsp Xylitol (we used 1/4 cup raw honey which across the whole batch was very little per one)
4 Tbsp Lemon Juice
2 tsp Vanilla
1 Tbsp Lemon zest (Tip: Zest your Lemon before you juice it)

Mix together all of the above ingredients…

Step 3.

The Thickener
1/4 cup AND 1 Tbsp melted Coconut Oil
While your Mixer is on, stream in your melted Coconut Oil. Your batter will thicken fairly quickly as it mixes with the Oil and the oil cools down.

Riana used a food processor, but says it was probably more work than if she had simply mixed all the ingredients in a bowl.

All mixed into balls

While the recipe looks complex being laid out in three steps, it actually is quite simple. Mix the dry with the wet, add the coconut oil and then either warm them in a cool (lowest heat) oven for one hour or refrigerate them for one hour. The choice is yours. Either way, they turned out really well and are a delicious lemon Banting treat. They made 32 with about 100g of carbs across the batch, so just over 3g carbs per one.

Lemon coconut meltaways

Thanks Health Buzz and thanks Riana for trying the recipe! The zesty lemon just makes them perfect.

Talking of lemons, there’s a well known saying, “when life serves you lemons, make lemonade.”

When we trust God for our lives and follow His Word, He makes wonky paths straight and certainly can make lemonade out of sour lemon circumstances. I am reminded of Joseph in the Bible who was sold into slavery (by his brothers of all people!), then jailed unfairly, but eventually (and it took several years), he became the governor of Egypt and was responsible for saving his whole family (who he hadn’t seen for decades).

In Genesis 50:20 we read what Joseph says to his brothers – years after they had completely betrayed him,

“You plotted evil against me, but God turned it into good, in order to preserve the lives of many people”

That’s what God can do. Have a fabulous day.

Keep the smile going.

God bless you!

In His Grip,

Helga xx :-)

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

“Should I Leave My Husband?”

What do you say to someone who asks you “should I leave my husband?” If the biggest culprit in the marriage is selfishness and pride and not bullying and abuse, I believe the answer is no.

Dear Friend

I write this letter to say why you should stay with your husband. I know things have not been easy lately. The tension between the two of you has risen; financial issues have been seemingly insurmountably high; you are not on the same page as him; he doesn’t understand you or your needs and together the two of you are not coping.

But the pain of divorce is not worth it. While you may suffer, the children will suffer more. There will be different issues if you get divorced. You will feel their impact. Your children will feel the impact of their parents shattered marriage even more. They probably will (as I did as a child) blame themselves for your broken relationship.

Think carefully before you take this step.

There are sacrifices to be made in marriage and often-times the wife  has to make the most of those. You may have to sacrifice your dreams in favour of his. You may have to sacrifice the desires of your heart, in order to accommodate the needs of your family. It was a quote out of a Focus on the Family programme that said, ‘perhaps marriage was designed not necessarily to make us happy, but rather holy.’ Maybe God instituted marriage to make us into better servants of one another. It’s not all about us. There are now other people we have to serve and a lot of the time it’s hard work and no fun, especially if they are not pulling their weight.

Sacrifice.

sacrifice-quoteIt’s not an easy word to come to terms with. To achieve a happy marriage, it may not be all that you have to do to get one, but what you have to give up to get one. Dying to self is the hardest part of achieving a happy marriage. Putting the other first. Humbling yourself to allow him to do what he feels is best for the family. Giving him support as the head of the home.

It’s not easy. Not for you. Not for me.

Marriage was never going to be easy. While we live as sinners in a broken world,  the fight for marriage takes place on a battleground of pride and selfishness. To succeed in winning the prize of a happy marriage, you have to take up the weapons of sacrifice, humility and love.   Giving up your own rights to support the other. Submitting to  one another out of reverence for Christ.

I believe your husband has to do the same. You are working on win-win. There has to be mutual sacrifice.

Everything in marriage has to be negotiated. Financial provision, division of labour, where to live, how to live, what furniture to buy, what car to drive, sex, communication, endless decisions about all the details of life. No longer are you single and only have your own opinion to consider, now there are two of you and when children come along, the responsibilities rise. I know it’s not easy. The husband doesn’t dominate the wife. The wife doesn’t dominate the husband. There has to be compromise. You do it because you love one another and want the best for each other.

It’s not easy, but it’s worth it.

There is a season for all things and if the two of you stick it out, the time will come where you are able to do more of what you both want to do. Research shows that if you keep going for 5 years, you will be happy you didn’t get divorced. Every marriage has ups and downs. Ride out this storm, for fair weather is ahead.

God is with you. He loves you, exactly as you are, in the situation you are in and He longs for you to be happy as a couple. So cling to Him, seek Him first, trust Him for all things.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Hang in there.

Everything will get better.

Keep calm and stay married

Keep the smile going.

God bless you.

In His Love and in His Grip,

Helga xx

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

4% of South African Jobs are Lost to Foreigners

The Xenophobia that has swept from Durban to Johannesburg and then on screens across the world has been nothing less than barbaric and unnecessary. It is a backlash of anger not necessarily at what foreigners have got, but at what unemployed South Africans have not got. If everyone was employed, these attacks would not have happened. They say the cause is due to foreigners  “stealing South African jobs.” Stacey pointed out a graph recently released on the dadaviz website that challenges that severity of that…

Workers in SA

 

So, of the South African population, 82% are working, as are 4% of international immigrants. The unemployment rate in this country is 26%, so really only 4% of those jobs have been lost to international migrants. These migrants have to try and find work, so many of them have become self-employed and are working in the informal sector. This is not stealing jobs or opportunities from South Africans. This is getting up every day and going to try and find a way of legally making money to put food on their tables. South Africans have the same opportunities.

The knock-on effect of these violent attacks is far reaching. The South African consulate in Lagos, Nigeria has had to be closed because of threats to the consulate staff. South Africans doing business in Mozambique and other neighbouring countries have also been threatened, insulted and stoned.

South Africa’s image abroad is also jeopardized. When you open the news media and see shocking photos spread across CNN and other major networks, it is nothing less than embarrassing. Most of them are too hard to look at and the video footage too gruesome to watch…

Xenophobic attackThis violence is being caused by a small number of vehemently militant South Africans who have got too much time on their hands and nothing else to do. Instead of finding solutions to their problems, they incite hatred and anger towards hard-done by foreigners trying to make a life for themselves.

Not enough is being done to try and stem the unemployment rate in South Africa. There is too much corruption with millions of rands being misused by unscrupulous municipal departments resulting in bankruptcy and widespread growing unemployment. Who gets the blame? The foreigners.

The government is now doing something about the Xenophobia. They have been forced to. It has caused a massive spotlight to bring into sharp focus the gruesome truth about the lack of control in our rainbow nation. It’s embarrassing for them. First the army was deployed to the most violent areas. The latest is that MPs have been released from Parliament next week to focus on working in their communities. I hope it works in preventing future attacks.

Discussion about the treatment of foreigners is not new. It goes back thousands of years to when the people of God were in Egypt. They were put under a heavy yoke of slavery…used as labourers and worked very hard. When, after the great exodus out of Egypt, the law was given by God, He spelled out for His people how He expected them to treat foreigners. Leviticus 19:33-34

Leviticus 19 33 34

Those are timeless guidelines that we should adhere to today.

That’s the right way to live.

I’ve said to a number of people recently, “the world’s gone mad.”  With all the unrest, disruption, barbaric murders and complete disregard for God and His Word,  all I can remind myself of is that one day this will all be over. Eternal life awaits and that is going to be the best place ever! The best is yet to come.

Keep on keeping on.

In His Grip,

Helga xx

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

My Cholesterol Result

Today, I got a cholesterol result back and the doctor who gave me the results, thought it looked horrific! It was 8.1! Own the number!

I’d  heard of 8 before and I’d heard Banting specialists say it was okay to be up at 8 and not to worry about, but that was for other women and not for me!  I needed some reassurance, so I smssed a Dr. friend of mine and gave him the results. While I was waiting for him to come back with his answer, I got online and googled. I found a number of comments, including this one on the Real Meal Revolution website…

“Most women do best – in long term studies – with cholesterols of between 7 and 8, and you’re never told that. Secondly, you’re never told that cholesterol values in women do not predict their risk of heart attack – at all.”

Then I found also on the RMR website, an hour long video by Dr Jonny Bowden and his reassurance was helpful. These are a number of his comments:

  • When it comes to heart disease, diabetes and obesity, we have been looking in the wrong place.
  • Fat does not make you fat.
    The conventional wisdom on saturated fat is wrong.
    The conventional wisdom on low-carb diets is wrong.
  • The demon in our diet is not fat, it is sugar.
  • This has everything to do with heart disease.
  • High cholesterol and heart disease are not the same thing.
    Cholesterol does not cause heart disease and it is not even a good predictor of it.
  • We are not measuring cholesterol the right way.
  • Meanwhile, we’re treating ‘high cholesterol’ with medications that have multiple and serious side effects and are being wildly overused.

He also gave the Paleo Pyramid, which is great…

paleolithic-food-pyramidI sent my results to my friend and he came back with this:

SMS

Interesting perspective…one doctor was horrified, the other said the ratio was brilliant!

I have a LOT of cream and that could be impacting my LDL, which was also quite high. I said I’d reduce the amount of cream I have and test again in 6 months. The Dr agreed that would be the right thing to do.

It did get me thinking and certainly praying, “Lord, my life and its length is in your hands!”  The Lord knows I want to live to 90, talking of which…Psalm 90 has great advice..

Psalm 90:12

Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.

I think wisdom when it comes to what we eat is to try and find the balance of real food and not overdoing it. So, we’ll see how I get along.

Keep the smile going!

God bless you!

In His Grip,

Helga xx :-)

Posted in Day to Day Blogs | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Ten Tips To Aging Gracefully

I was on the phone to my Aunt Rosemary last night. Yes! I have an aunt! My Mom’s late brother’s wife is in her 86th year. She lives in England, has poor eye-sight and trouble walking, so she doesn’t get out much these days. I phone her every now and again and last night was one of those times.

In the course of our conversation, we were just chatting about various people in her life and she commented on one of them being 56 and quite depressed because she is getting older and edging towards 60. Aunt Rosemary said, “you just have to get on with it, you can’t change it.”  And so it got me thinking about the best way to age gracefully and I came up with these ten tips.

1. Keep Perspective

The lady Aunt Rosemary was talking about is 56 – Rosemary is in her 86th year…30 years her senior, pretty much shut-in, yet not depressed about getting older. I think one of the biggest things you can do as you age, is to get perspective. If you are 70, you are still a youngster for those who are 90. I remember my late mother-in-law (aka “Granny”) referring to Mike and his sister as “the children”….yet they were in their 50s! Until you are the world’s oldest person, there will always be people older than you with a different perspective on life. Embrace and do your best with those things you cannot change. Age is one of them. If others can do it, so can you.

2. Don’t Be Waiting – Just Be Enjoying 

Enjoy TODAY! It’s so easy to fall into the childhood trap of waiting – waiting to start school, waiting to get to high school, waiting to finish school, waiting to finish university, waiting to start working, waiting to get married, waiting to have children, waiting for the children to start school, waiting for the children to finish school, waiting for the children to leave home, waiting to retire. It’s always easy to presume that when all these things happen, life will be better, yet all the time we are losing out on TODAY! Stop for a second and forget about then and focus on now. Appreciate all that is around you and decide to enjoy something about each and every day.

3. Make Friends

One of the biggest blessings of my life are my friends. There was a time when I was pretty much work and family focused and didn’t spend any time on making friends. Then suddenly one day, I stopped for a few minutes at a table of acquaintances who were sitting at the Mugg and Bean…I chatted for a short time and then left. Every Friday they were there, so the next Friday, I joined them and quickly acquired a whole bunch of friends. What a treat it has been over the past 6 years to get to know these women – we have climbed the peaks of life together and on occasions been swept into an abyss of despair with one another.  We have cried together, but oh oh, we have laughed more together. We have prayed endlessly together, prayed for, prayed with, prayed about. This is something money cannot buy and I appreciate them so much. :-)

Friends at sushi
4. Smile

My friends laugh at me; my family look amused, but admit it works; strangers probably think I’m crazy, but smiling on your own is an incredible ‘pick-me-up.’ PLEASE try it. The next time, you are feeling down in the dumps and the last thing you feel like doing is smiling, just do it. SMILE. And when you do, focus on the amazing little ‘party’ that goes on in your head. Some positive chemical response happens when you smile. I don’t understand it, but I feel it, every single time. Smiling is God’s free, instant ‘pick-me-up’ available to all at the tweak of a muscle. I remember having a bit of a barny with Mike one morning. I was furious and decided to go for a run. As I jogged off down the road, I determined to smile for the remainder of the circuit I was doing. I was astounded at the result. I left like a bear with a sore head. I returned joyful and happy. The power of a smile.

Smiley ball
5. Take Care of Yourself

As we get older, everything starts to ‘wear out’. Bones become brittle, hormones change, our memory isn’t quite as sharp. Amid the wear and tear of life, keep looking after yourself. Eat healthily and not too much, exercise regularly, keep your brain active by learning new things. Stretch yourself. Look after yourself physically, emotionally and spiritually.

Gym cycling
6. Count Your Blessings

You will always find someone worse off than you. Each day, make a mental note of those things you are thankful for.  Some suggest a gratitude journal. Write down every day the things you are grateful for that happened that day. There are a multitude of blessings that we take for granted every day – seeing a sunrise or sunset, smelling fresh air, living pain free, having the ability to enjoy food and exercise, having homes, families, friends and pets. Being able to sleep, have occupation, weekends, holidays, freedom to worship, safety…the list goes on and on. Make gratitude an ongoing part of your day.

7. Do Something Useful

Being of some worth while here on earth is really important. All of us can do something. For 95 year old Connie Vitolo, it was crocheting blankets for boys in an Indian orphanage. In a CBN story, Connie says she prays before she begins each blanket. “I pray to Jesus, and I thank Him every day,” she explained. “When I finish one I say, ‘Thank you Jesus, don’t let me die before I finish my blanket.'” Crocheting blankets for orphans helped prevent Connie from becoming depressed. Feeling of no use and doing nothing with your life is the quick road to misery. Whatever happens, find some work. Cape Town Magazine published a list of non-profit organisations in Cape Town.  These are just a fraction of the ones that are available. There are multitudes of Christian ones as well, Living Hope and Radio CCFm coming to mind. When you volunteer you skill yourself with something different and you connect yourself with others. Volunteering is often a stepping stone to a paid job. It gives you confidence and experience. And it makes you feel good about yourself.

At Living Hope where Granny is at the moment

8. Be A Good Example

As we get older, we have more people younger than us who are actually looking up to us. There are a number of women older than me who I have looked at and thought ‘that’s how it’s done!’ They have decided to embrace growing older and not crawl into a ball and mope over it. Whatever age you are, set a good example for those younger than you to follow.
9. Stay Positive

Optimism is a gift. If you have it, rejoice. If you generally veer on the side of negativity, don’t worry, you are an optimist in the making. Someone once said, ‘ your attitude determines your altitude.’  Have a positive attitude and hope for the best in life and you will find yourself much happier.  Don’t dwell on negativity. In the Bible, in Philippians 4:8, we are instructed: “….whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”  It may not come easy, but with practice you can learn to think more positively.

10. Have Faith in God

Studies have been done that conclude those who have faith in God are happier than those who don’t. The Huffington Post released an article and video discussion about this. A good deal of my happiness and contentment comes out of the sure foundation that I have through my relationship with God. I believe in Jesus Christ and that He died for me. This is foundational to my contentment because I know that this life is temporary and one day when I die, I go to heaven to be in a far better place where there is perfect peace. Whatever storms have to be ridden out on this earth are temporary. We need not be anxious about anything. When we hand everything over to God, we get peace.

Philippians 4:6-7

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Regardless of your age, the best is yet to come.

Keep the smile going!

God bless you!

In His Grip,

Helga xx :-)

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

News About Marli van Breda

It’s a week shy of three months since the dreadful slaying of three of the van Breda family  in Stellenbosch. People across the city and the world are still waiting to hear of an arrest. To date there has been none, but according to the latest news reports to come out in the media, police have it in hand and good progress is being made behind the scenes, away from the media and the public.

Marli van Breda

A number of reports have been issued over the last threes days. In the first report, garnered by EWN, after interviewing the principal of Marli’s school,  previously unreported information has been released.

  • Marli has been discharged from the rehabilitation centre after a few weeks of what we presume to be physical and psychological therapy. She is being cared for by family friends.
  • She has made a remarkable recovery. Previous reports stated she had a brain injury from a brutal axe attack to her head, resulting in a near fatal trauma to her jugular artery. This new article also says her skull was fractured in the attack. She has made excellent progress.
  • Also new from this report is the fact that Marli has retrograde amnesia, which means she cannot recall anything about the attack.

Her headmistress,  Meg Fargher from Somerset College was quoted as saying, ““Some parents have been enormously supportive and I’m impressed and grateful for their support.”

Over the months, I’ve read all the reports and I’ve read many of the message boards after the reports. Within those comments comes some insight from people closer to the situation than I. I don’t know who these people are or what their relationship is to Marli, but there have been rumours of there being more to this story than meets the eye. While I may ponder on speculation, I don’t want to spread it, so  on this blog, I only write what has already been reported.

News 24 reports that the investigation is going well. Captain FC van Wyk explained that the police were not able to reveal the findings so far to the media.

News 24 story on Marli as main witness

For me, it is significant that Marli is their main witness. What about Henri?

In this second report part of the family statement was released. In it they say Marli can walk, is able to communicate effectively and has retained her sense of humour. They go onto say that rehabilitation will be long  and that she will have to compensate for neuro-cognitive damage that occurs as a result of a brain injury.  I am led to believe that neuro-cognitive damage includes issues such as memory recall, problem solving and maintaining attention. Sometimes speech is slow. This is the end of the article:

News 24 report

Then a report issued a few hours ago tells of Marli returning over the weekend to the scene of the crime. Network 24’s Maygene de Wee says that Marli visited her home in the exclusive De Zalze golf estate to collect her personal belongings. She was accompanied by  the police and her legal representative. This article also mentioned that Advocate Louise Buikman has been appointed as Marli’s legal curator and she will be reporting to the Western Cape High court as to the best way forward. One of the highlights of this report is a beautiful picture supplied by the family…

Marli supplied by family

Beautiful!

I get a number of people writing to me and some are very angry that no arrest has yet been made. The truth will eventually come out.

John 8:32

“Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

(Just to qualify: One day everything will be revealed. No one can get away with anything. I hope, in this case, justice will be done here on earth as well. The truth will set you free. When the Oscar Pistorius case was on, I said it many times, if he tells the truth, he will be free, even if he is in prison. If he doesn’t tell the truth, he will be in chains, even if he is free. Same applies to whoever is responsible for this crime. There is freedom in telling the truth.”)

Pray.

God bless you.

In His Grip,

Helga xx :-)

Posted in Day to Day Blogs | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

A Great South African You May Not Know About

It is mainly when David comes home to visit that little known sports channels appear. This was what happened yesterday afternoon and I was introduced to Lucas Sithole. There he was on the tennis court, in his wheel chair taking on the number 1 American wheel chair player David Wagner. But David Wagner, while being wheelchair bound has an added advantage over Lucas. David has both arms. Lucas only has the use of one.

At the age of 12, Lucas fell under a train and in that horrific accident, he lost both legs and one arm just below the elbow. A long and painful recovery followed. According to interviews, Lucas doesn’t want to dwell on his pre-accident past. Preferring to focus on a very rosy future, he focusses on a blossoming tennis career, a new bride (he married in December 2014) and a young son.

He is now a professional tennis player, representing South Africa in all corners of the globe. What is remarkable is that he only started playing tennis 10 years ago. In 2006, he found himself in his first international wheelchair match in the Netherlands. He lost 6-0, 6-0 in the first round. But with a determination second to none, competitive tenacity and endless practice, Lucas has risen to become a dominant force in the wheelchair tennis circuit. What sets him apart as nothing less than remarkable is that he has to both toss the ball and hit it with his left hand. Have you tried that lately? Hold a tennis racquet in your left hand, with the ball. Throw the ball up, with racquet in hand and then hit it and get it in!

Photo by Reg Caldecott/Gallo Images)

Photo by Reg Caldecott/Gallo Images

Yesterday he found himself up against his biggest rival David Wagner at the SA ACSA Wheelchair finals. The last two ACSA finals have gone to Wagner and Lucas was determined to win and keep the trophy on SA soil. Going down the first set was not in the plan, but Lucas came back to win the next two sets and triumphantly celebrated a great victory not only for himself but for South Africa as well.

Final scoreWatch  his post match interview…

He has every right to be happy….he lost to David Wagner in the 2012 Paralympics in London. He’s sure to be back next year in Rio.

You can watch a documentary of his story by ENCA, made in 2012.

Sources:

Lucas brings a story of hope and inspiration. Regardless of what our lives are like, we can actually do anything with them. The choice is ours. I’m sure Lucas would have liked to crawl into a ball and not face the hurdles ahead. But he didn’t. He chose to try and in doing so, he has been successful. I’m sure when he lost 6-0,6-0 in the Netherlands 9 years ago, he was ready to give up. But he didn’t. He is now seeing the fruit of his labour. Very few things happen without hard work and determination. Whatever you want to do, seek God’s will for your life and with the right motives, go for it.

Colossians 3:23

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.”

Keep the smile going. In a world with so many bad things happen, stay positive.

God bless you!

In His Grip,

Helga xx :-)

Posted in Day to Day Blogs | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Easiest Banting Seed Bread Ever

Sometimes, something is worth putting up a second time and this is it. One of the most popular hits from my recipes, this hard-to-fail seed bread ticks all the Banting boxes as it provides a fabulous substitute for traditional wheat-laden high carb bread.

My friend  Jo said she found it on, ‘one of the Banting sites.’  There are so many of them now, that you collect a stack of information and recipes from a variety of places and in the end where exactly becomes a bit blurry. So if this is your original recipe, please let me know and I’ll give you the final credit!

One of the things that makes this loaf so attractive is that it is so easy to make. Literally mix the dry , mix the wet, pour into a prepared loaf tin and bake in a pre-heated oven. It’s great for beginners. It’s delicious and it’s freezable.

Seed bread sliced

This is the BEST Banting Bread I have yet to see or taste, so give it a try, at least once:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup almond flour (Jo uses 1 packet of 100g ground almonds which is close enough to a cup)
  • 1 cup mixed seeds – (you can crush for a finer consistency – Jo doesn’t!)
  • 60ml Psyllium husks (get at health stores or at any regular store eg. Clicks/PnP)
  • 10ml baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of salt (maybe a little less as the seeds and psyllium are both quite salty)
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 cup of Greek Yoghurt

Seeds for sprinkling on top. This is what you are aiming at:

Banting seed bread loaf

It makes  a beautiful loaf.

Method:

  • Mix all the dry ingredients.
  • Add 6 eggs and mix well.
  • Add the yoghurt and mix together.
  • Line a regular loaf tin with waxed baking paper.
  • Pour in the mixture.
  • At this point, Jo sprinkles seeds on top & lightly presses them down.
  • Bake in pre-heated oven at 180C for 55 minutes.

Enjoy!

Matthew 4:4

But He answered, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”

Banting seed bread close up

Thanks Jo!

Keep the smile going.

God bless you!

In His Grip,

Helga xx :-)

Posted in Day to Day Blogs, Recipes | Tagged , | 16 Comments

Working in a Hostile Environment – How to Cope

 Once upon a time, someone put up on the office wall Ten Commandments to Working in a Hostile environment.  My eye fell on them from time to time. I used them on air a number of times and they were very helpful. I thought they may help others to have them outlined. If you Google TD Jakes with “Ten Commandments for Working in a Hostile Environment, you’ll find the whole message on You Tube.  He preached it in 2002 and has gone on to expand on it in a book with the same name. These principles will give you new energy to face any toxic environment.

TD-Jakes

  1. Understand that God anoints you for trouble. Be sure you are a Christian.  Put on the full armour of God before going to work. You’re going to war, so dress for it.
  2.  Don’t expect to be appreciated. Your only expectation should be to get a pay cheque. Don’t come to work to have personal relationships. Don’t allow what you do to affect who you are. Get your appreciation from your family and friends. You are at work to serve.
  3.  Seek opportunities to change the atmosphere without commenting on the problems. You have a God to talk to. You’re on an assignment. Quietness and trust shall be your strength. (Isaiah 30:15)
  4. Do your job well but remember your mission. You are there to be a light. When you do your job well, you are a valuable member of the company.  Money is not your mission. It funds your mission.  Use your gifts and talents. Don’t expect your job to fund your vision. Diversify your income. Don’t be overly worried about the money. We must not be led by money.
  5.  Don’t let your environment get inside of you. You should influence it, not let it influence you. Stop going to work to be fed- you didn’t come to receive, you came to give.
  6.  Increase your capacity to work with different personalities. God will often bless you through people you don’t even like!
  7.  Remember where you are does not define where you are going. This will deliver you from frustration. God has a plan for your life. Keep your eye on the prize. When Peter did this, he was able to walk in what other people sank in!
  8. Get the optimum results with minimal confusion.  Be effective without making the environment worse.
  9.  Don’t be associated with one group or clique. Labels limit your usefulness. God wants you to work with everybody but be labelled by nobody. Use all your gifts.
  10. Always keep your song near you. Keep a consecrated place in your soul. Hold on to your praise. Guard your heart.

Never forget Jeremiah 29:11

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Keep the smile going.

God bless you!

In His Grip,

Helga xx :-)

Posted in Day to Day Blogs | Tagged , , | 3 Comments