Feb 12, 2011

FUD in Africa

I recently read 'Blood River' by Tim Butcher. Very good book which I recommend to everyone.

From a South African point of view his insights hit the nail on the head. The one thing we Saffers fear the most is that our beautiful land will be forced down the same path as [most] of the other countries in Africa. A dismal prospect.

Someone said the other day that we are on page 4 of 'the book Mugabe Wrote'. Heaven forfend. It is a bit worrying though when Rhodesian ex-pats keep harping on the fact that they are seeing exactly the same spiral downwards here that occurred in [now] Zimbabwe. They point to the Health, Education, Farm Evictions [which are happening here, but under the radar] and other things like Unemployment issues. Crime of course is a given as an indicator of the lack of control the government are exercising. Crooks holding positions of power and influence are another item. The list goes on.....

Someone made an interesting comment the other day comparing the current government with the previous government [I hate the word 'regime']. The premise is that all governments suffer from some level of corruption [surely true], but that while the previous bunch would take $1m out of an Aid package of $10m and share it with their friends, the current bunch will eat $9m out of the $10m and then use the rest for cover-up bribes.

But we love it here. My family have been resident on South African soil for over 200 years, and we are African, albeit white. Perhaps it's time for a new class of citizen - the European-African. I mean, America has it's African-Americans, so why not?

All Ye Takers. . .

Ah all you takers, grabbing everything you can, as fast as you can. Indeed one day you will be able to say,"I got it all." But I doubt that you will still 'have it all' by then.

What you forget is this: What goes around, comes around, and you cannot get away from it. It will happen to you as you have caused it to happen to others. Make no mistake, you might still have the fat bank account, the fancy car/s, the mansion/s, the holidays in Europe or wherever, but you lives will be empty, filled with the emptiness that only loneliness can bring. Enjoy. This is your lot.

You see, we are required to go through life uplifting those around us, supporting those in need, helping each other where possible, and if we don't then be sure we will get our just deserts.

Because God wrote it into the rules, and like gravity, you cannot get away from it.


Where is Web 2.0 going?

My contact details are LinkedIn, my friends are on Facebook, I use Twitter to collect / throw things around faster, I TinyURL my links to shrink them, I have 7 blogs and 3 free websites, I use 2 on-line photo repositories and 3 on-line email accounts and my bookmarks are delicious.

I Digg stuff, I Stumble over things, I use 4 different browsers - for various reasons, and have in excess of 30 add-ons active in Firefox, I use two different browser-based blogging tools.

I have a file where I keep track of all my logins and passwords [but it's not on my laptop!], and about 40 active RSS feeds updating daily [some hourly] which I read in one of 3 RSS readers, my work colleagues are in a different country, as are my customers,

The only thing I don't do is Mash all of these things together, but just you wait! All I need is to find a good open-source Mashup.

Any ideas?

How not to do business in Africa

This is an illustration, or a parable, I cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information and I report it only as hearsay.

A certain international financial aid organisation approved a grant to the government of a particular country, said grant to assist in an infrastructure upgrade designed to improve conditions in many areas. In this case the funds [some millions of US $] were earmarked for an IT project within a particular government department.

Company's A, B and C applied for the tender and duly submitted their proposals. At an unspecified time during this process a representative of Company C met with Mr. X, a government official responsible for the project. An agreement was reached, funds changed hands and they parted the best of friends.

When the tender decision was made, Company's A and B were informed that their bids was unsuccessful. Based on the fact that their solution was provably  more efficient, and offered at a lower price, they approached the financial institution in protest. The institution agreed that, based on the numbers, Company A's proposal was more appealing so in all fairness they decided to allow all Company's to present their solutions, after which they would make a final decision regarding who would be awarded the tender.
The rivals presented their proposals and the adjudicators were unanimous in their decision: the pre-approved funds would only be awarded if the government department accepted the proposal of Company A.

Unfortunately Mr. X had in the meantime sumptuously partaken of the 'gift' received and was not in an accomodating frame of mind so the deal died right there and then.

Company C lost credibility [in addition to the unspecified amount that constituted the 'gift'], Company A lost the deal - your classic lose-lose scenario, and Mr. X was smiling all the way to the bank.

What do we learn from this:
1] When greed overcomes morality everyone loses
2] The surface of business in Africa is only the surface
3] There is a crook everywhere you look
4] Looking good does not necessarily being / doing good.
etc. etc. etc.

What pains me is that this kind of behaviour is rife all over the world, but in Africa this method of doing business is termed 'relationship-based' - you have a relationship with the person who greases your palm the fastest, with the most money. There is no real friendship, or trust, or respect. Just greed. Sad.

Feb 9, 2011

Charles Spurgeon: Morning devotion for Feb 9

Morning, February

Found this very instructional - every Christian should follow these guidelines [extracted from Charles Spurgeon's Morning and Evening devotionals].

“And David enquired of the Lord.” - 2 Samuel 5:23

When David made this enquiry he had just fought the Philistines, and gained a signal victory. The Philistines came up in great hosts, but, by the help of God, David had easily put them to flight. Note, however, that when they came a second time, David did not go up to fight them without enquiring of the Lord. Once he had been victorious, and he might have said, as many have in other cases, “I shall be victorious again; I may rest quite sure that if I have conquered once I shall triumph yet again. Wherefore should I tarry to seek at the Lord’s hands?” Not so, David. He had gained one battle by the strength of the Lord; he would not venture upon another until he had ensured the same. He enquired, “Shall I go up against them?” He waited until God’s sign was given.

Learn from David to take no step without God. Christian, if thou wouldst know the path of duty, take God for thy compass; if thou wouldst steer thy ship through the dark billows, put the tiller into the hand of the Almighty. Many a rock might be escaped, if we would let our Father take the helm; many a shoal or quicksand we might well avoid, if we would leave to his sovereign will to choose and to command.

The Puritan said, “As sure as ever a Christian carves for himself, he'll cut his own fingers;” this is a great truth. Said another old divine, “He that goes before the cloud of God’s providence goes on a fool’s errand;” and so he does. We must mark God’s providence leading us; and if providence tarries, tarry till providence comes. He who goes before providence, will be very glad to run back again. “I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go,” is God’s promise to his people.

Let us, then, take all our perplexities to him, and say, “Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?” Leave not thy chamber this morning without enquiring of the Lord.

Feb 8, 2011

Satan's meeting

Read this even if you're busy, make time and read it!!!!!!!!!!

Satan called a worldwide convention of demons. In his opening address he said,''

We can't keep Christians from going to church. We can't keep them from reading their Bibles and knowing the truth. We can't even keep them from forming an intimate relationship with their saviour. Once they gain that connection with Jesus, our power over them is broken. So let them go to their churches; let them have their covered dish dinners, BUT steal their time, so they don't have any to develop a relationship with Jesus Christ.

This is what I want you to do;

Distract them from gaining hold of their Saviour and maintaining that vital connection throughout their day!''

''How shall we do this?'' his demons shouted.

  • ''Keep them busy in the non-essentials of life and invent innumerable schemes to occupy their minds.
  • Tempt them to spend, spend, spend, and borrow, borrow, borrow.
  • Persuade the wives to go to work for long hours and the husbands to work 6-7 days each week, 10-12 hours a day, so they can afford their empty lifestyles.
  • Keep them from spending time with their children.
  • As their families fragment, soon, their homes will offer no escape from the pressures of work!
  • Over-stimulate their minds so that they cannot hear that still, small voice.
  • Entice them to play the radio or cassette player whenever they drive, and to keep the TV, VCR, CDs and their PCs going constantly in their home, and see to it that every store and restaurant in the world plays non-biblical music constantly.

This will jam their minds and break that union with Christ.

  • Fill the coffee tables with magazines and newspapers.
  • Pound their minds with the news 24 hours a day.
  • Invade their driving moments with billboards.
  • Flood their mailboxes with junk mail, mail order catalogs, sweepstakes, and every kind of newsletter and promotional offering free products, services and false hope.
  • Keep skinny, beautiful models on the magazines and TV so their husbands will believe that outward beauty is what's important, and they'll become dissatisfied with their wives.
  • Keep the wives too tired to love their husbands at night. Give them headaches too!
  • If they don't give their husbands the love they need, they will begin to look elsewhere.
That will fragment their families quickly!
  • Give them Santa Claus to distract them from teaching their children the real meaning of Christmas.
  • Give them an Easter bunny so they won't talk about his resurrection andpower over sin and death.
  • Even in their recreation, let them be excessive , have them return from their recreation exhausted.
  • Keep them too busy to go out in nature and reflect on God's creation.
  • Send them to amusement parks, sporting events, plays, concerts, and movies instead.
  • Keep them busy, busy, busy!
  • And when they meet for spiritual fellowship, involve them in gossip and small talk so that they leave with troubled consciences.
  • Crowd their lives with so many good causes they have no time to seek power from Jesus.
Soon they will be working in their own strength, sacrificing their health and families for the good of the cause.

It will work!
It will work!

It was quite a plan! The demons went eagerly to their assignments causing Christians everywhere to get busier and more rushed, going here and there and having little time for their God or their families or to tell others about the power of Jesus to change lives.

I guess the question is, has the devil been successful in his schemes? You be the judge!!!!!

Does 'BUSY' mean: Being Under Satan's Yoke?

Aug 5, 2008

If this is where we're going I want in......

Archinect : Features : ShowCase: LILYPAD

Have a look at this offering from Belgium - probably the most innovative, all-encompassing solution anyone has come up with in a long while. By this I mean it would benefit a great many people for many years to come should it be seriously considered.

One wonders how the powers-that-be will see this.

May 26, 2008

Protestant / Catholic

If you ever want to get a real picture of Catholic charity read the book 'Angela's Ashes' by Frank McCourt. Scary. I think I'd rather have anything but this type of Catholic Charity.

Having been brought up in a Baptist / Salvation Army home I have never come to grips with the Catholic view of things, but this book opened up my eyes to a number of serious issues, the first of which is guilt. It's obvious from reading the book that the Catholic Church relies on this big stick to fund their operations. Why else would the poorest of the poor pay their last pennies in at the church - in order to ensure they get prayed into heaven should they happen to die, perhaps while not in a 'state of grace', whatever that means? Jesus is not about guilt - He's about freedom from sin.

As a born-again believer [per the biblical definition] this kind of thinking is both confusing and alarming. Confusing because it is clearly contrary to Bible teaching [why then does part of the 'Church' believe and teach it??], and alarming because I can see how it would drive Catholics to distraction in their quest to remain right with God. My salvation is sure, Jesus died once for all - see Heb 10:10  ''By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.'' (KJV) which so clearly states that it happened once, and is forever efficacious. This goes against the Catholic grain totally. I accept that Jesus dies, but also that He rose again and His death and suffering are over. And His work completed / finished. He conquered hell, satan and all his demons at the cross, taking my sin on himself so even my present and future sins are crucified with Him and atoned for by Him. One time! I don't have to keep going back - His atonement works constantly and therefore I am constantly in a state of grace. I could die while committing some sin or other and will go to heaven immediately - it's not the ideal / recommended way to go, but it is Biblical truth - God knows my heart. I don't have to keep reminding Him, and showing Him how good a Christian I am / hope to be / whatever it is they try to continually do.

Another thing: By who's authority does a man who sits in a cassock / robe thingy behind a screen in a little wooden box have the right to absolve me of my sins?? Who does he think he is?? God alone forgives, based on the penitent's heart and only once he /she has accepted Jesus into their heart, made Him Lord of their Life, repenting of their sin! If you have not done this you can confess all you want - it will do you no good. Ever. This is the Bible teaching. I can speak to Jesus / God / The Holy Spirit anytime, anywhere. He is always listening. Like a good friend. And, like the best of friends, will let me know when I am taking a wrong turn. It's my prerogative to listen or not. He will always be there for me, regardless.

Confirmation is just another public show which serves no good purpose I can discover. It may be genuine for some, but I grew up with guys who went through this process and they were definitely not born-again. Sad. Their parents, priest, peers may have been impressed, but these people are not the ones that decide whether you burn in hell or spend eternity in God's presence. Their approval means nothing at all in the final analysis. Nothing.

Jesus is the only way to God [Joh 14:6  Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.] The Church will not get you into heaven, no-one in your Church will get you into heaven. God weighs your heart - if this is found wanting you will burn in hell. End of story.

There are many other areas of concern, places where the unsuspecting will catch a foot, stumble, and fall - who will help these unfortunates in their time of dire need? Place your trust ONLY in Jesus.

Think on this....

2Pe 2:1  But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.
2Pe 2:2  And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.
2Pe 2:3  And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.
2Pe 2:4  For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;
[KJV] - italics mine.

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Apr 23, 2008

The Hyperwords Project

The Hyperwords Project

If you've been looking for some help with web research this is it. PLEASE get to this site and download the app - it opens up whole new worlds of possibility.
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Apr 1, 2008

Loadshedding Blues

The time is now 2:25 in the afternoon and I can download my emails for the first time today.

I came into the office at 8:30 as usual and made a cup of coffee while my email replicated - or so I thought. The mail server in the UK was down, so I resolved to wait until the office there opened so I could replicate. When they came on line at around 9:30 here I sent a message requesting they take a look at the server. This they duly did, but before they finished  fixing the problem loadshedding kicked in. This might not be such a big deal for some, but we are required by head office to remain at our desks, otherwise they seem to think we are not working [this is beside the fact that I could actually connect from home with no problems, loadshedding or not]. So from 10:00 this morning until now I could not download emails. Half a day's work I must now catch up.

So much for forward thinking and trusting your employees.

When will management actually realise that you don't have to be sitting at your desk to be productive.
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