Saturday, October 31, 2009

Precious Moments

Yesterday afternoon we took the dogs and grandchildren for a walk on the golf course. The dam, which was a mere puddle ten days ago, is filled to overflowing after the good rains this week.
Apart from having a great time watching dozens of tadpoles in the dam , the children did a few somersaults on the greens as well.
The dogs and children revel in the wide open spaces our beautiful country has to offer
Homeward bound...

Friday, October 30, 2009

Blue Skies and Rain Clouds

While here in South Africa, we're enjoying the beautiful summer weather. Blue skies, with clouds forming in the afternoon and thunder showers almost every day.
For more skies across the world, see here.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Sowing the Word

Earlier this week, my husband and I spent the night in a chalet in the Golden Gate National Park. I normally check in the bedside drawer to see if the customary Bible is there; as always, I was not disappointed. The Gideon's Association places Bibles in many establishments across the world: hospitals, dentists, doctors' consulting rooms, schools, and not least of all, guest houses and bed and breakfast accommodation.
Recently I did a little research on how the spreading of God's Word came about in this manner and this is what I found:
In the autumn of the year 1898, John H. Nicholson of Janesville, Wisconsin, came to the Central Hotel at Boscobel, Wisconsin, for the night. The hotel being crowded, it was suggested that he take a bed in a double room with Samuel E. Hill of Beloit, Wisconsin. The two men soon discovered that both were Christians, and that John Nicholson, as a 12-year-old boy, had promised his dying mother that he would read God's Word and pray daily. It had been his custom for many years to read the Bible before retiring for the night. They had their evening devotions together, and on their knees before God the thoughts were given which later developed into an association.

On May 31, 1899, they met at Beaver Dam, Wisconsin, concluded to band Christian commercial travelers together for mutual recognition, personal evangelism, and united service for the Lord. They decided to call a meeting in Janesville, Wisconsin on July 1, 1899, in the Y.M.C.A.
Only three men were present at that meeting: John H. Nicholson, Samuel E. Hill, and Will J. Knights. They organized with Hill as president, Knights as vice president, and Nicholson as secretary and treasurer. Much thought was given to what the name of the association should be, and after special prayer that God might lead them to select the proper name, Mr. Knights arose from his knees and said, "We shall be called Gideons." He read the sixth and seventh chapters of Judges and showed the reason for adopting that name.

Gideon was a man who was willing to do exactly what God wanted him to do, regardless of his own judgment as to the plans or results. Humility, faith, and obedience were his great elements of character. This is the standard that the Gideon association is trying to establish in all its members, each man to be ready to do God's will at any time, at any place, and in any way that the Holy Spirit leads.

In view of the fact that almost all of the Gideons in the early years of the association were traveling men, the question quite naturally arose regarding how they might be more effective witnesses in the hotels where they were forced to spend so much of their time. One suggestion was that a Bible might be placed at the reception desk in each hotel so that the patrons would have the privilege of borrowing it if they wished. It also occurred to these men that this would be a silent witness remaining in these hotels when they were elsewhere.

This question of advanced activities, as they called them, was carefully considered in the Cabinet meeting held in Chicago, October 19, 1907. One trustee went so far as to suggest that The Gideons furnish a Bible for each bedroom of the hotels in the United States. He commented," In my opinion, this would not only stimulate the activities of the rank and file of the membership, but would be a gracious act, wholly in keeping with the divine mission of the Gideon Association." This plan was adopted by the convention at Louisville, Kentucky, in 1908.

It is interesting to note that the practice of the churches contributing to the support of the Gideon Scripture program originated with a pastor. Just two months after the 1908 Louisville Convention, a state convention convened in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. National Secretary Frank Garlick and Mr. A. B. T. Moore attended a meeting of the Ministerial Union, and after their program they asked if Brother Garlick could address the ministers on the work of the Gideon Association. He spoke of the needed Bible distribution, and at the close of his 10-minute address, Mr. Moore's own pastor, Dr. E. R. Burkhalter, First Presbyterian Church, arose and moved, "...that Gideon Bibles be placed in all local hotels and that the Union be responsible for the funds." The motion was unanimously carried and a committee appointed to apportion the cost to the churches, according to their strength.

Thus the idea of the Gideon ministry as an "extended arm" of the church came into being, and the church took an initial stand to give financial support to the Bible placement program. The Gideon association praised God for the revelation of His plan whereby the local church would supply the needed funds.

"The sower soweth the word."(Mark 4:14)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Still in South Africa

Above is a wild iris (Dietes bicolor) which flourishes beside my large garden pond

It is now almost six weeks since we flew out of Khartoum to come home on break. We are STILL waiting for my husband's resident's permit. That's Africa for you...

Meanwhile I'm enjoying the explosion of colour, textures and fragrances in my garden.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Bean there, done that...

The coffee shop uses old long playing record sleeves as place mats

As you arrive at "Bean there" you are served with strong, black filter coffee in enamel mugs. A very old South African tradition

A while ago the whole family went to the city on business. While there we had breakfast in a quaint little coffee shop/restaurant in the shopping centre. This cosy and well-run place is called "Bean there" and serves traditional South African beverages, light meals and snacks.

Debbie, John and I opted for a health breakfast while hubby had a toasted ham, cheese and tomato on white bread with chips on the side!

The helpful waitron showed us a lovely play area just beyond our table where the two older children entertained themselves while we had breakfast. He also took them a plate of chips and tomato sauce/ketchup to snack on.

The littlest Hedges couldn't deside whether to chew the rusk or squeaky toy

The glassed- off play area within sight of our table, was a wonderful diversion for the children. Above you can see grandson dipping into the chips while playing "school" with his sister

Now that we've discovered this delightful eatery, we will definitely be using it regularly when in the city.

For other worlds, click here.

Monday, October 26, 2009

The Whole Armour of God

Use every piece of God's armour to resist the enemy...

Stand firm, putting on the study belt of truth and the body armour of God's righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News, so that you will be fully prepared. In every battle you will need faith as your shield to stop the fiery arrows aimed at you by Satan. Put on salvation as your helmet and take the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God. (Ephesians 6: 13a - 17)

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Frogging Season Again

Now that it is fully summertime, Eddy is back in the pond and frogging. She spends hours gazing into the water waiting for an inexperienced frog to make it's appearance.

For more pet posts around the world, click here.

My Garden Scene

Still at home in South Africa, I'm enjoying my family, garden and pets immensely. Below are a few photos of said garden. (My granddaughter can be seen picking flowers in the first photo)

For more scenes around the world, click here.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Young Bikers

As can be seen from this post, motorcycling runs in the our family. Here granddaughter rides her 50cc PeeWee around my garden.
Above, granddaughter approaches the garage. The larg [er] red motorbike on the left, is mine but my sons and dil's have more fun riding it than I do!
Three year-old grandson gets onto the back of his sister's PeeWee. My husband's motorbike is just visible behind them, while John and Debbie's off - road motorcycles are in the next door garage

Above, the young pillion has to get off the PeeWee, his sister turns it, and then he alights before they both ride down the driveway again

My husband and I are off on a short bike ride this weekend. Hopefully when we return our visas will be waiting on the e-mail!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Ethereal Beauty

The Syringa trees, (not indigenous to South Africa) are in full bloom at the moment.

Last week while walking under one of these trees on the sidewalk just beyond my garden, I looked up at the sky. This image begged to be captured on film.
For more skies around the world, click here.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Little People

While we're waiting at home for our visas to come through for the Sudan, the grandchildren have enjoyed having gran and granddad at home. Last week my husband gave each child a block of wood, a few nails and a hammer. This activity kept them busy for hours.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


Last week, while taking photos in my garden, I came across this peaceful scene: our six year-old granddaughter sitting on the bench with Chip, our eleven-year-old cat, both in relaxed mode. I thought it was a precious photo and wanted to share it here. Hope you like it too...

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Walking the Dogs

Our home here in South Africa is situated two doors from the Marquard Golf Club. On non-golfing days (any day except Wednesdays or Saturdays) we take the dogs for a walk on the course. We have them all on leashes until we enter the gate at the 17th hole. (pictured above)

As soon as all three dogs are free, Eddy hurtles down to the rough, where with hopping movements, she begins to hunt. Megan runs as fast as she can on her short little legs to try and keep up, while Angie lopes along like the graceful young lady she is.

Above is the rough where Eddy loves to hunt

Heading for home. The first row of houses at the edge of the golf course is just visible

The dogs make good use of the last few minutes of freedom

Bluegum trees, although not indigenous to South Africa, are always part of the scenery

Angie having a wonderful time on fairway

Willow trees, also not natural in South Africa, are also prolific in the Free State

Marquard golf course, a peaceful place to be

For other worlds, click here

Monday, October 19, 2009


Take delight in the Lord and He will give you your heart's desires. Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust Him and He will help you. Psalm 37:4-5

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Another Pet in the House

Ten days ago John found this little bird (above) huddled in the middle of the street. He picked it up and brought it home for our 6 yo granddaughter, who loves all creatures. At first we all thought it was a baby dove but as time goes by, we are convinced it is a starling, a pied starling to be exact. The task of feeding this little mite four times a day has fallen to Debbie and me. We use a syringe filled with instant porridge cereal called Pro Nutro. The little bird, which gd has named Rosie, is thriving on it. In between mealtimes, she sleeps on an old cloth in a cat carrier in a sunny spot in the house. Speaking of which, not one of my cats want to know this strange little creature who flaps her wings and squeaks excitedly when her dinner is about to be served. I only pray that if she becomes part of the Hedges menagerie, she learns to stay out of reach of nasty claws and teeth!

For more on pets around the world, click here.

Top of the Ladder

This photo of the "little" 'Berg (as the foothills of the Drakensberg are known) is taken from the top of Jacob's Ladder. My son, John took this photo a few months ago while hiking in the 'Berg.

For more scenes around the world, click here.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

The Littlest Angel

I've not been able to post or visit Blogger for more than a week. This is due to a number of factors: a busy daily schedule, my husband and I travelling around the country, having my own laptop in for repairs and locally, the Internet being down for the first half of this week! How's that for a long list of excuses? (lol!)
We are still in South Africa awaiting my husband's visa into the Sudan. This should be finalised by next Thursday. As soon as we have this document in hand, I will re-book our flights and hopefully we'll be on our way back to North Africa by the end of the month.
Meanwhile, we have enjoyed amazingly quality family time with our children and grandchildren. Last week I snuck into the nursery and took a few photos of the youngest family member, as she was falling asleep. We gave her the cuddly lamb when we first came home and as small as she is, she latched onto it as a sort of "security blanket". Both the older grandchildren cuddled a toy elephant, named "Ellie". This little one also has an "Ellie" in bed with her, but she had her arm around the lamb here, obviously her favourite.
I hope to clock in and visit other blogs over the next two days. Till then, have a wonderful weekend, everybody.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Nude Valley?

This grain silo, like a multitude of others across the maize belt of South Africa, is situated in an area called Kaallaagte. This Afrikaans name means, (roughly translated) Nude Valley, hence the strange heading to my post today.

For more sky posts across the world, click here.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Beautiful skies,a special young man

Above is a photo of our older son, John cutting grass on their land in the Drakensberg. I thought I'd share the different colours of the grass, mountains in the distance and beautiful skies above.

For more skies around the world, click here.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Man proposes but God disposes...

Today is the day we were due to fly back to the Sudan. Well, we're still at home in South Africa. Our visas are still not ready; they should be ready in the next day or two. So we probably will fly out after the weekend.

While I'm pleased to have a little more time at home, especially with our precious family, I'm a type of person who likes things to go according to plan. Now I have to exercise patience and make good use of the remaining time here at home.

At the same time, my trusty laptop suddenly started doing strange things last week. It would turn off while I was in the middle of blogging. It would turn on again and most times my e-mails would "hang" Our younger son, Angus, who is the IT specialist in the area, has taken my machine home. He will let me know tomorrow what the outcome of his diagnosis is. I have been a bit stressed out about this, and once again, I have had to trust God.

I am using John's desktop computer whenever it is free.

Meanwhile, my husband and I are travelling up to Johannesburg on Friday. He has business to attend to there.

To bring a little serenity and normalcy into my life, I have posted a beautiful photo which John took in the Drakensberg mountains a few months ago.