Influencing The Next Generation in The Best Way Possible


Mondays and  Thursday are ‘gym’ days. This vital part of my life unfolds at Imhoff Farm on the way to Kommetjie. The farm is a busy working farm, with goats and other farm animals, but they also have CAMELS. Today with it being such beautiful overcast weather, Sue and I took a run, but ground to a halt when we encountered one of the 5 at the fence….

Photo of a camelWe had to stop and visit. Sue tried to give her some grass, but she wasn’t very interested…

Sue feeding the camelSue pointed out this lady’s knees…

Well worn kneesVery well worn knees! She’s been on them a lot!  I found a website that spoke about people who have influenced the direction of their children and grandchildren through prayer more than anything else. One of these people was a man by the name of  George McLusky. It is said that he prayed for  from 11am to 12 noon every day for the future generations to be faithful to God’s calling on their life. McLusky’s son  had only one child, but he also prayed. According to the website, he had torn leather on the toes of his shoes for spending so much time on his knees. I can imagine his knees were as tough as the camel’s. His  child, a son is still alive today… James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family, heard daily by about 250  million people across the world. What a legacy his father and grandfather have left through their prayers for him.

John 14:13-14 – words of Jesus…

“Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it”


I had a wonderful visit from my friend Alison today. Inspirational! Thanks Alison!

Last night’s telethon went off with a few technical glitches on the way. The giving is slow. The totals not as high as I would like (and I’m used to at CCFm!), but times are hard and the audience is different. We’ll see what happens tonight. Wayne is coming through as well! It will be great to be onair with him again! I’ve got to get moving if I’m going to be on time.

Keep the smile going.

God bless you!

In His Grip,

Helga xx :-)

Gratitude Pic…we had a good laugh….mug shots….criminal camel…

Camel mug shot Mugg shot twoLoL!


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

My TV Debut!


I’m not much of a goal setter or trend setter! I once did have a 10 year plan and followed 5 years of it. But then, instead of going overseas to work and travel, I married my Mike (far better plan) and the rest is history!

In my teen years, I never had any aspirations to be on radio, so to have spent 20 years at a radio station has been a surprise. For the last 6 weeks,  I’ve been helping Cape Town’s only community television station with their fundraising telethon. Having been at at least 16 CCFm share-a-thon fundraisers, I know what is needed and have been very comfortable sharing my knowledge. Tina-Louise at Cape Town TV (CTV)  has been brilliant in getting everything done. CCFm listeners are fabulous in their giving. The Christian community at large understands the need to support one another and so they gave freely and generously. CTV is not faith-based, so fundraising for the station is a whole new ballgame. I relaxed in the knowledge that others would do the on-screen work. I would be the background admin co-ordinator, advising, checking, encouraging, applauding.

On Friday last week, Tina-Louise dropped the bombshell….just gently really. She said I would be introduced as the counter because I would be coming on and off set. That sounded do-able didn’t it? The viewers may see an arm appear (and that arm would be mine) as I handed pledges over the to the presenters.

Well it all turned out a bit differently to what I expected. After arriving at CTV yesterday, I was introduced to Ray, who is directing the Telethon. He sits in the control room and speaks into the ear pieces of all those on the set. Next thing I knew, I was going for make up….clever Bronwyn the makeup artist…

Make upAnd so I made my TV debut…

TV DebutThings were slow but it was fun! JP did a fabulous job…


Go to the CTV website to see how you can tune in and pledge. Also know that if you have aspirations to become a TV presenter. CTV is a great place to start. They have an Open Studio programme for beginners. They give them some training and mentor you. If you have an idea for a TV show, this is your opportunity.

We’ll see how tonight goes!

God’s journey with me has been gentle. I started off in radio doing a 15 minute health show and progressed through a  number of programmes until I was very comfortable behind the mic in any area. I never dreamed I’d be on radio, let alone ever make a TV appearance, no matter how small! Ha! You never know what God has in store for you!  God gives us a “promise of life that is in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 1:1). When you embrace the life He has for you, it is an abundant one. Later in 2 Timothy 1:7

For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.

When I respond with a spirit of timidity (which I often do), it is not the Spirit of God that is at work in me! We are all on a journey. God knows us very well. He knows what we are capable of and He knows what our weaknesses are. He is the Potter. We are the clay. Let’s just chill and allow Him to let rip His supernatural power in our lives.

Keep the smile going!

God bless you!

In His Grip,

Helga xx :-)

Gratitude, Gratitude, Gratitude Pic….I came home last night exhausted! David had been and saved me his last piece of sushi…my favourite….how disciplined is that? He could quite easily had eaten it all and tossed the evidence…. :-D

Salmon Rose


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

The Steenkamp Family Says 5 Years Is ‘Right’.


Personally, I was surprised. I think “up to”  5 years is not enough, specially as Oscar will most probably only spend 2 years actually behind bars.

But we live in a world suspended between hatred and love….between harshness and grace. If it is true that a terrible accident happened in the early hours of 14th February last year, then 5 years is enough. But if for some reason, not all the truth has been heard and that maybe in a fit of rage towards his girlfriend, Oscar fired bullets at her through a door, then 5 years is far too short.

Only three people know the truth. One is dead. The other is Oscar and the third is God. At times like these, I am more than grateful that I am not the Judge. I am equally grateful that God is. God sees Oscar’s heart. God sees my heart. I am a sinner just like him. I need forgiveness and grace, just like he does.  The Steenkamp family says 5 years is ‘right’.

News 24

I’m glad it’s all over. I’m glad for the Steenkamps and I’m glad for Oscar. Everyone can move on. Time will pass.

I think the best thing that can be offered is forgiveness. Oscar can ask. The Steenkamps can forgive. They don’t necessarily forgive to benefit Oscar, although it will do that. They forgive so they too can be free….free from bitterness, free from resentment, free from anger. Free.

Forgiveness benefits everyone. This morning, I felt the need to ask for forgiveness.  I too, have behaved badly. I am sorry for what I have done. I have not killed anyone, but I have hurt someone and I need forgiveness. So I wrote to this person and asked them to forgive me for any pain I have caused them. In the email I said:

” Someone once wrote:

  • Before you assume, learn the facts
  • Before you judge, understand why
  • Before you hurt someone, feel
  • Before you speak, think.

Please forgive me for assuming before I learned the facts, for judging before I understood why, for hurting you before feeling and for speaking without thinking.”

She was gracious in her response. I was humbled. We all need forgiveness. Before you assume

What Oscar did was very, very bad and I am sure that if he could have that day over, he would take it – a million times yes!

It is what it is, though and he, just like me and you, is offered the grace of God. God is the final judge of all that happens on this earth. Don’t be too quick to judge others, without being aware that you too will come under the same judgement.

The words of Jesus recorded in Luke 6:37

“Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.” 

It would be good to live knowing that we need forgiveness as much as the next person.

God bless you!

In His Grip,

Helga xx :-)

Gratitude Pic…new season….baby grapes…


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

What I Learned About Mike Through Lemon Grass Tea


As I sit down at my computer today and decide what to write, my long-suffering husband comes to mind. When we were in Zanzibar, three months ago, one of the great pleasures was afternoon high tea. There were many different teas available.  The guests at the hotel gathered at the boma over the beach, drank tea and ate snacks….

Boma at Ngalawa Beach VillageMike tried a different tea each day and the one he liked best was Lemon Grass tea, so I bought some home with us and each morning, I’d make Mike his Lemon Grass tea. It is Lemon Grass Teaactually very good for you. Containing citral oil, it’s believed to be a cancer fighting antioxidant, as well as having protective qualities for your heart. There are other great medical properties such as it fighting bacteria and fungi, so all in all thumbs up for Lemon Grass tea.Harrods Lemon Grass Tea

So morning by morning, I was diligently making Mike his tea and I presumed he was enjoying it. It was getting towards the end and I let him know but he didn’t comment. Then as we were about to use up the final teabags, I mentioned to Riana that we were at the end and she replied she had some that she was never going to drink and that we were welcome to them. And so arrived in our home another 20 teabags. Harrods this time. When I told Mike that Riana had bumped up his diminishing supply, he didn’t respond with great enthusiasm. As we have got through another 20 tea-drinking days, I mentioned to him that we were on the last couple of teabags, the truth came out. He doesn’t want ANY MORE Lemon Grass tea. He was over it a LONG time ago! :-D His words to me this morning “I’ll get tired of anything”. That was his play on words for one of my well used phrases, “I’ll get used to anything!” This is the final teabag…

Final teabagI’ll use that one today and from tomorrow regular tea with milk will be the order of the day. At least he’s had 2.5 months of the really healthy stuff!

Certainly, he has been very long suffering, but it did bring to mind one of the most important things when it comes to relationships. Don’t presume you know what the other’s thinking. Best to ask, specially when they are the quiet type. Lesson learned – again!

There is one Person who we can presume  knows all we are thinking. God knows our thoughts….even before we have thought them…Psalm 139:1-4

“You have searched me, Lord and you know me.  You know when I sit and when I rise;
 you perceive my thoughts from afar.  You discern my going out and my lying down;
 you are familiar with all my ways.  Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely.”

There is great comfort in trusting God for all of our life and not just part of it.

Keep the smile going.

God bless you!

In His Grip,

Helga xx :-)

Gratitude Pic…I cleaned  my desk and sat down at it to do my blog….the back view from my bedroom is refreshing…

Back view from my bedroom

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

When The Weekend Starts Off On A Bad Note…


If there’s one thing I know for sure about my husband, it is that after 11 hours away from home, he does NOT want to arrive back to problems. Who does?! On Friday, after I got home from a busy time at CTV, I immediately put the kettle on, along with my netbook and I got ready to post my blog. No internet! I followed the usual routine of rebooting the wireless with no success. So then I phoned Webafrica and they told me to reboot the router, which I did. No joy. I rebooted the wireless again and then the router again. Still nothing. So I phoned Webafrica again. They needed more information about how our system works….firewalls and things?! I don’t know that stuff, so sullenly, I had to wait for Mike to get home. As he arrived, I broke the bad news to him. It was THE LAST thing he wanted to deal with, but it had to be done.  It put us both in a seriously bad mood. There was lots of stomping and sighing and grunting and moaning. After more lengthy calls to Webafrica, we finally got up and running….2 hours later. An irritated relief followed. So much for our relaxing Friday evening. I passed Mike a plate of food. The plate was too hot. He nearly dropped it! After another groan and holler, I exclaimed, ‘this has really not been a good start to the weekend!’  Mike responded by bursting out laughing. I laughed. He laughed. We laughed and the tension and stress melted away!

The weekend had begun!

I’m really glad to say it improved. Saturday afternoon we headed to Clovelly Golf Course and while he warmed up on the range, I sat and read…what a lovely day for golf…the view from my bench…

Lovely day for golf - Clovelly golf clubClovelly is beautiful. We seldom play here, finding regular golf practice far less expensive at Simonstown, but Mike needs some practice at a longer course and so Clovelly was it. As at Simonstown, at Clovelly, geese and golfers share the fairways…

Geese and golfers….and the greens….so cute a family…Mom leading the way…Dad watching their backs…

Family of geeseFish in the ponds…

Clovelly FishPlenty of picturesque water hazards….this one with Fish Hoek (Elsies Peak) in the background…

One of the many water hazards at ClovellyMike on the final fairway…

Mike's second shot on the 18th at ClovellyGolf was good. We had a quiet Saturday evening and this morning  a leisurely lie-in, only to discover that we were not alone…we have been visited by a swarm of bees. We were catching them everywhere…on the floor…

Bees on the floorOn the door…

Bee on the doorAnd plenty on the windows….this is how we trapped them…

Catching beesWe slipped a card under the cup and tossed them outside. Mike took the lounge windows. I did the kitchen windows. Over several hours, we must have caught dozens. We found the spot they were getting in and blocked it and there were only a few after that. Hopefully we have got to the end of them, but if not, it will be on my to-do list to sort them out permanently this week.

Sometimes things don’t always go our way. When the weekend starts off on a bad note, best thing is to push on and just do what needs to be done. It will improve. Look for the good. Forget the bad. Nico Bougas posted this great reminder on Facebook…I John 4.4

You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. 

God is bigger than all our problemsThanks Nico!

Keep the smile going!

God bless you!

In His Grip,

Helga xx :-)

Gratitude Pic…amidst the bees, lunch was cooked…

Chicken lunch

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

Step by Step Lazy Eggs for Whole Family


This is a fabulous option for breakfast, brunch or simple Sunday supper.

Lazy Eggs

Here’s what you do: Using a 12 well muffin pan:
1) Spray a muffin pan with nonstick spray.
2) Place a slice of ham in the bottom of each muffin well.
3) Place about a teaspoon or so of diced tomatoes on top of the ham.
4) Sprinkle some shredded cheddar cheese over the tomatoes.
5) Break one egg into each spot.
6) Sprinkle a little bit of salt and pepper on each.
7) Bake at 180C degrees for 18-20 minutes or until the yolks are as firm as you desire and the whites are cooked through.

Lazy Eggs


Did you know eggs are mentioned in the Bible? Isaiah 10:14

” As one reaches into a nest, so my hand reached for the wealth of the nations; as people gather abandoned eggs, so I gathered all the countries; not one flapped a wing, or opened its mouth to chirp.'”

God reaches for us.

Have a fabulous Saturday!

Keep the smile going!

God bless you!

In His Grip,

Helga xx :-)

Gratitude Pic… Truffles new favourite thing….old brush – she loves being groomed…

Truffles being groomed

Posted in Recipes | Tagged , | Leave a comment

A Surreal Experience – In a Time Warp

6-17pm (Late post due to internet failure!)

I had a bit of a surreal experience last night. It was bedtime and Mike & I had just turned off the lights. As I snuggled down into my bed and felt the warmth of my husband lying next to me, in the darkness I said, ‘Yay, I have my husband in my bed.’ He has been there for 28 years, but I was simply appreciating his presence and his health and his warmth! Straight after I said it, my mind returned to Beach Road, Mouille Point. It was probably about 5 weeks before our wedding. I recalled a memorable conversation Mike & I had while sitting in front of the sea at the Mouille Point parking area…

Beach Rd Mouille Point

It’s a fabulous spot to watch the waves of the cold Atlantic Ocean breaking against the rocks…

Street view Mouille Point

At the time we had very little privacy. I was living at Somerset Hospital Nurses’ Home and Mike was living at (and running) the YMCA on Queen Victoria St. Regularly, before he took me home at night, we would sit in the dark and talk about our lives and our future together. This particular night, we were counting down the days to our wedding. We laughed together and said in 2 months time we must come down here and do this again. One of us said, “You know what will happen? We’ll get here and spend 30 seconds here and then say, ‘Nah! Let’s go home to bed!'” It’s probably about 28 and half years since that conversation. It came back to me as if it were yesterday and that’s where it became surreal. I had these two mental snapshots in my mind – side by side – then and now – only it wasn’t yesterday and today – it was nearly 3 decades ago and today!  How is it possible that so much time has slipped under the radar since that day? How fast the years have passed. I pinch myself that I have a daughter who is nearly 27!

The 20 years I spent at CCfm went by in a blur. So much attention was focussed on it, that I woke up this morning wondering if I did a good enough job as a Mom. My children seem okay! They are Christ-followers, but you don’t know what goes on in their hearts and minds. When I speak to them about this, they reassure me, but I still wonder if  I really did spend enough time with them? You can’t get those years back. You can’t take back the next 60 seconds.  Go do something useful! Love someone. Make a call to a friend. Send a text message to someone you are praying for. Fill your days with loving God and loving people. Amidst it, make a living, provide for your family, protect your marriage, love your family with all you’ve got. Try slow life down so you can enjoy the moments.

Be prepared for eternity. Trust Jesus to take you there. It’s better to know the Healer than to have the healing.

Psalm 90:12

“Teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.”

Keep the smile going!

God bless you!

In His Grip,

Helga xx :-)

Gratitude Pic….and like there’s no stopping time, there’s no stopping the vine…remember this…it was 8th September…

Vine Bud on 8th September


This is what it’s grown to…

Vine growth 16th October

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

Time Magazine – Three Ways To Train Yourself To Finding Happiness


I was so interested when I saw someone post a link to a Time Magazine article on three things to do to finding happiness.

Time logoI went into it immediately to find out if what I believe is what “happiness guru” Eric Barker believes.  In the Bible, Paul says he has ‘learnt to be content.’  I believe you can learn to be happy. You can train yourself. And that’s exactly what the article says. But what interested me was the research done on people whose jobs it is to find fault. An auditor, for example, is always looking for errors; looking for mistakes and finding fault with financial records. This, according to the article, overflows into their personal life. Because they are training their brain to be critical for most of the day, their learning continues after hours where they pick up all the little errors with their family.  Not great. Here are the three things and what I think about them.

1. Find three things every day to be grateful for.

Happiness blessings“Remember the good and forget the bad.”  I live by that. You get to finding happiness by remembering the good.

2. Compare yourself with others – but only those worse off than you.

I’ve always said, ‘comparison is toxic’ but the Eric Barker flips that over a bit…

ComparisonI don’t really like this one and I think it is a bit of a contradiction to point one. When I’m comparing myself to those worse off than me, I’m looking at something negative and I’m supposed to be remembering the good and forgetting the bad. If I compare myself to someone who seems much better off than me, emotions of unhappiness and envy tend to come to the surface. Actually truth be known, those that ‘appear’ much better off than me have their own struggles and probably look at me with envy that my life is so simple! Comparison is toxic! What comparing yourself with those worse off than you does do, is it lessens cause for complaint. Ideally, each of us should be working towards self-acceptance or improvement based on what we do with what we have and not what we see that others have. We also want to strive to be friends with everyone regardless of their wealth or well-being.

3. When faced with challenges, tell yourself a positive story about how they will turn out.

Rewrite the story

This needs some mental work. When things ‘start going wrong’, reassure yourself that everything will turn out okay and that good will come out of the situation. For me, Helga, as a Christ follower, my peace within a difficult situation rests in the fact that God is in control.  But as I look at the world, where behaviour that contradicts the Bible, abounds, it’s tricky to re-write a story without adapting behaviour for the better. Eg. In marriage, if one partner has an affair, it’s going to result in a great deal of unhappiness. There has to be some change of behaviour for the marriage to survive and go onto thrive. You can’t control people. Sin causes chaos. Another example is alcohol – you cannot expect an alcoholic to embrace a healthy, fulfilling, happy life unless he stops drinking.

These articles are always going to be from the world’s perspective. I don’t deny they have some benefit and I probably do all three without thinking. My biggest way of finding happiness is through my spiritual life.

When Jesus was on earth, He said something very interesting. Matthew 24:35

Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.

When we read the Bible, we get a moral compass for life. Start with the Gospel of John. I am refreshed every time.

Keep the smile going.

A good life

God bless you!

In His Grip,

Helga xx :-)

Gratitude Pic….I felt like an omelet last night…Mike is the omelet king ….

Finding happiness through Mike's amazing omelet

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

Free Online Education


Today, I decided I needed some serious WordPress education. For years I’ve been writing this blog every single day, using WordPress, yet there are so many little tips and hints that will enhance the blog that I don’t know about. I googled WordPress courses in Cape Town and got this…

Wordpress courseNot only am I not available on 30th October, the cost is a bit more than I am prepared to pay for one day.

So I googled a bit more and soon found that all the information I needed was on You Tube. Tyler Moore has done a fabulous job in making You Tube videos for people like me….

You tube still by Tyler MooreI watched an hour of it and learned so much stuff in that hour. I just had to tell you about it. One of the things I learned was how to paste the video right into my blog post, so here it is…

In fact, there are a number of things I have done over the last few minutes that I have learned from this morning’s online webinar. What an amazing FREE tool. If you have anything you need to learn, google it with You Tube and it will come up as a video. Obviously, there is going to be some with bad quality and pretty useless information, but among all the options, there will be quality people like Tyler who will enhance your knowledge at not cost!

I’m so impressed!

It’s been a good day! I’m going to get this published super fast, as in 9 minutes time, I’m off to a stretch class and then 9 holes of golf with Mike.

I’ll end with what I read this morning. Wherever this lands, it is my prayer that this is your experience. 2 Thessalonians 3:16

“Now may the Lord of peace Himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you.”

Keep the smile going.

God bless you!

In His Grip,

Helga xx :-)

Gratitude Pic…a lovely bit of rain this morning, with a full rainbow to welcome in the day…


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

Beating Around Obz


Today was a CTV day. Cape Town TV is situated at Observatory Industrial Park, so I’ve been working there on about a weekly basis. Their Telethon is next week, so I’ll be there every evening from Tuesday to Friday and all of Saturday afternoon.

Obs is part of  my ‘old stomping ground’. Going there today afforded me the opportunity to mooch around. I parked on Lower Main Rd and walked along to a cafe on the corner of Lower Main and Station Road….

Old building

Thirty-one years ago, in January 1983, I arrived in the city from Zim, and moved into Woodstock Nurses Home (as Somerset Hospital Nurses’ Home was still being built). A month later, I moved to Carinus Nursing College behind Groote Schuur Hospital in Observatory.  Not having a car, I was dependant on public transport and I remember walking down this road (Station Rd) to Observatory Train Station….

Station Rd Observatory

I had to walk across the busiest intersection in the lower Obs area…Station Rd and Lower Main Rd.

Lower main rd and station rd observatoryObs is certainly looking a lot better now than it was in 1983. I remember walking to the station with a packet of chocolate treats for a friend. Someone ran passed me, grabbing the packet as he passed. (Stupidly), I clung onto them and growled angrily at him. He let go, laughed and ran on. Today, I would let them go.

Eat on Main in spacious and airy. It had fabulous, fast, free wi-fi…

Eat on Main nice and airyThis was brunch…


I felt far safer walking round Obs today than 30 years ago. Lower Main Rd between Station Rd and Trill Rd is certainly buzzing…and from the looks of things, buzzing with more than just coffee shops.

It reminds me of the plethora of things to believe in this world. We are bombarded from all sides with ideologies. People sprout forth with partially believable ideas that we are tempted to follow. Mass media promotes watered down versions of the Gospel. How do we know what to believe? Today I read a verse in Jeremiah that has never struck me quite as forcibly before. Jeremiah 23:2

“Let the prophet who has a dream tell his dreams, but let the one who has My Word speak it faithfully.”

We have the Word of God to depend on, to believe and to live by. It may not always be what you want to hear, but the Word of God contains the truth. There is no other Gospel except that of Jesus Christ. Don’t accept anything less. He is the Way, the Truth and the Life. My job is to speak it faithfully!

Keep the smile going.

God bless you!

In His Grip,

Helga xx :-)

Gratitude Pic…how’s this for a truth…

God's perspective is not ours



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