21 November 2023

Beware of this possible hazard!

I was involved in a service project in which I was installing a door. 

I cut open the packaging of the door lock as I prepared to install it, but instead of using scissors as I usually do, I used a craft knife, and it happened to be at an angle. 

Yep - you guessed it.

The result was a razor sharp edge on hard plastic. 


I soon noticed one, then two bleeding cuts -
I had at least 5 cuts. 

The last cut was bleeding profusely - a real problem and inconvenience!

I couldn't figure out what was cutting me - I could not see enough splinters or slivers in the wood to do it but presumed that it was the wood that was to blame. 

But later, as I pondered, I realised that it was almost certainly the razor sharp edges that I had inadvertently produced by my unusual action in opening the packaging. I did not have the packaging to test my theory, but I am pretty sure that is the explanation. 

I hope that no-one else handled the packaging and got cuts that were a problem for them!

The wounds have healed. But I hope that I remember this unfortunate and unwise thing that I did with best intent, but that had really serious and inconvenient consequences.

Maybe this little account of my woes will help someone else to diagnose an issue in their life, and hopefully not get cuts like I got and wonder how on earth they occurred. πŸ€”πŸ˜’ Please learn from my mistakes - this one or any of my mistakes that you notice - and do not repeat them!

25 September 2023

Is it important to participate in General Conference?

I was asked to give a talk on Heritage Day, and to address the question 'Why is it important to participate in General Conference?' Well, my thoughts turned to some stories from my heritage that relate to my own experience with participating in General Conference.

I appreciated some comments made by the previous speakers. 

  • Conference is easy to access on audio, video, on the web or in print.
  • Heavenly Father is available at any time - He is not busy at work, with friends, or doing anything that we need to hold back or fear interrupting Him as we approach Him in prayer.
  • The Holy Ghost is far better at bringing us information that we need than is anything on the internet such as Google or AI.
  • Write down things that inspire you in conference to jog your memory. 
  • Conference will inspire, uplift, edify.
  • We can be together as a congregation.

We sang our National Anthem as the intermediate hymn. 

Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika (God Bless Africa)
Maluphakanyisw' uphondo lwayo, (Raise high Her glory)
Yizwa imithandazo yethu, (Hear our Prayers)
Nkosi sikelela, thina lusapho lwayo (God bless us, we her children)

Morena boloka setjhaba sa heso, (God protect our nation)
O fedise dintwa le matshwenyeho, (End all wars and tribulations)
O se boloke, O se boloke setjhaba sa heso, (Protect us, protect our nation)
Setjhaba sa South Afrika - South Afrika. (Our nation South Africa - South Africa)

Uit die blou van onse hemel, (Ringing out from our blue heavens)
Uit die diepte van ons see, (From the depth of our seas)
Oor ons ewige gebergtes, (Over our everlasting mountains)
Waar die kranse antwoord gee, (Where the echoing crags resound)

Sounds the call to come together,
And united we shall stand,
Let us live and strive for freedom,
In South Africa our land.

God protect our nation - may we live together as one nation, the children of Adam and Eve, and not as many nations that contend against each other!

I was born in Africa and, except for about 8 weeks off the continent, about 8 months in neighbouring countries, I have spent my life in South Africa. I love my homeland. I so look forward to the time that everyone in our land loves our country enough that they never litter, destroy, or do anything that is part of any problem. I look forward to the time that South Africans do come together, standing united, living and striving for freedom in South Africa, our dear land.

Yesterday I led a walk where I shared details of the Battle of Blaauwberg, a Napoleonic battle right here, close to where we are today, a very significant part of our heritage in Cape Town, South Africa, Southern Africa, and even a lot of Africa as a whole. It was the precursor to colonisation in lot of a Africa. During the walk, we walked through a few patches that were very wet and muddy, and where restios that are straw-like plants are quite abundant in the Fynbos. I shared a story that I heard years ago. Someone asked if it would hurt to throw dust at a friend, or to throw water, or to throw straw? Clearly such actions might be fun, and would not hurt my friend, although it might annoy, irritate, or be uncomfortable. However, if the dust, water and straw were mixed together and then baked in a kiln to form a brick, and that brick were thrown at my friend, it could seriously hurt or injure my friend! That would not be a friendly thing to do!

With throwing bricks in mind, I reflected on an occasion when I was about 7 or 8 years old. I joined a group of men from the Krugersdorp Branch. We climbed onto a truck and drove towards a site with lots of bricks - yep, dust, water and straw baked in a kiln. I remember the jesting with the driver as he grated the gears of the truck. Well, after we arrived, those men started to throw bricks at each other! But - no-one was hurt. Each man would throw a brick to the next man who would catch the brick and throw it to the next man, and so on, forming a chain, and thus the truck became loaded with bricks. We then climbed on top of the bricks and drove back to the site where we had previously dug trenches and thrown concrete to form foundations, and those bricks were again thrown from man to man to form stacks of bricks, and then they were thrown from man to man to be handed to brick-layers who used mortar, trowels, levels, fish-lines, plumb-lines, window and door frames, and so forth, and they built the walls of the Krugersdorp chapel of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They were working in unity as we have been reading about in our study of the New Testament where we are challenged to work together in unity to build the Church of God - the Temple of the Spirit. In those days we played a significant part in building our chapels that nowadays are built by contractors with little participation by local members. I am grateful for that memory from my heritage. Prior to building the chapel, we had met in the Krugersdorp City Hall where we would have to clean up and remove beer bottles and other litter from the previous night before we could hold our priesthood, Sunday School, or sacrament meetings.

A later experience of throwing bricks in unity.
From left to right: brothers Tim, Ron, Les, three or four others, then brother-in-law Glenn Bray.

After meeting in the Krugersdorp chapel for about 13 years, the Roodepoort ward was formed and we met in my old Primary school hall and classrooms while building the Roodepoort chapel, and then I met in that chapel until I moved to Cape Town at age 27 years in 1981.

Over the years, I have met with others to hold church meetings in homes, schools, Scout halls, malls, etc. It is interesting how homes, or other places can be repurposed to form very suitable places for worship - and how places of worship can be repurposed to be used for other purposes, including for bars or brothels. Saints can unite in humility and make their circumstances very different to the norm. We should make our homes sacred places - so that, next to the Temple, the home can be the most sacred place on Earth, and a little taste of heaven on earth. I love the saying that no other success in life can compensate for failure in the home.

Doing some landscaping in front of the Krugersdorp chapel
Progress with the construction: the chapel, kitchen, Primary room, and hall.

I remember two stories or parables from my Insitute studies. One was to do with an expert on identifying counterfeit bank notes. He said that the only way to truly recognise counterfeit bank notes is to focus on being absolutely familiar with true bank notes. When one is truly familiar with the true notes, then counterfeit notes look odd and so raise concern. I could relate to that as I have been trained to focus on the diversity of plant species in our indigenous vegetation and so I am often able to recognise an invasive species because of how it stands out in the vegetation. 

The other story was about a contest in a neighbourhood where people were invited to present their front gardens for judges to select an outstanding garden. One person spent a great deal of time pulling weeds rather than focusing on planting the plants that would produce beautiful flowers. The garden did not win the prize - it was free of weeds, and had a lot of bare ground, but it did not have much to show in terms of beautiful flowers. I could relate, as one with some gardening experiences, and as a scientist and ecologist, that if one focuses on planting those plants that will produce beautiful flowers, they take the space that limits space for the weeds. Then the garden will have beautiful flowers for the competition rather than a weed-free garden.

In General Conference we often hear stories shared by prophets, seers, revelators, and other general leaders of the Church. These stories liken the known to the unknown. I love to share some meaningful stories that demonstrate my experience that has confirmed to me that it is important to participate, sitting 'at the feet of the prophet'. You may well not remember information that I share with you, but you will almost always remember stories like bricks being thrown at friends, and working in unity!

My first personal experience with General Conference that stands out in my memory is going with my family to join some friends in the mission home in Houghton, Johannesburg. We sat around a short-wave radio and listened on Voice of America and listened to General Conference as it was happening in Salt Lake City. Over the years, we have watched conference with video tapes sent to the units, then DVDs, BYU TV, and now we can watch on our cell-phones or at home using the internet, and even on TV or radio broadcasts for some sessions. I truly do appreciate how we can sit together with family and church members living in all parts of the world and as one large congregation we can watch the prophets and apostles and other leaders speaking as they speak - with only moments of delay as the signal is broadcast over the technological infrastructure. Is this not one of many evidences of the fulfilment of prophecy and of the covenant made with Abraham that 'in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed'? (Gen 12:3) I am confident that many of these technological innovations have been developed by the seed of Abraham for the very purpose that at the second coming of our Saviour all people everywhere on the globe will be able to witness that great event in ways that Abraham and other prophets would have had difficulty describing to the people of their times and with the vocabularies and best descriptions that they could give! But we are experiencing what they tried to describe!

Remember the saying 'Sticks and stones can break my bones, but names can never harm me'? I thought of how many people felt hurt or wounded by the words of others. King Noah and his priests accused Abinadi of being a false prophet because his words were not beautiful to them, and they burned him to death. Samuel the Lamanite had stones and arrows aimed at him as he prophesied and gave the call to repentance before the coming of Jesus Christ. Many temple-worthy, tithe paying members of the Hebrew faith cried 'Crucify him' because they listened to their leaders who accused Jesus of Nazareth of being a blasphemer without listening to Jesus of Nazareth and letting the Spirit confirm to them that He was indeed their Messiah! They were, in effect, throwing bricks at Him because they perceived that His words were not up to their expectations - they felt offended, although He would not have wanted to offend, but to draw them to Him in love and mercy.

I enjoyed listening to the September 2023 Church magazines and hearing ideas to help us to prepare for General Conference, like writing notes as we listen, doodles, use apps, write down our questions before conference and ponder those questions as we listen to the talks and we will hear how the Lord has inspired them to answer our questions.

There is a lot of brick-throwing going on around us these days. I believe that it is occurring everywhere in the world and that it is not endemic to South Africa. I remember commenting to a friend Bill Quirke in about 1977 that it must have been terrible for him because he had grown up in Ireland where there was terrible violent Catholic-Protestant conflict that was in the news. He said something like 'You know, Les, I lived in Dublin and Cork and never saw any of it'. I could relate to that because I was studying at University of the Witwatersrand, right next to Hillbrow where there was a lot of conflict that was publicised on the news oversees, but I never saw any of it. The bad news - the sensational news - sells newspapers, so that is what is published. It is so much more evident in 2023 with social media where almost anyone is able to publicise anything and they share what comes their way, often without checking facts, sharing fake news, or sharing the sensational news, but not always the joyous news. I try to share the joyful news! There is so much to share!

We see and hear of many things these days that certainly match the descriptions of signs of the last days. This past week we have seen extreme wave action, even mini tsunamis, right here in the Cape and our South African coastline. There were floods in Libya where a dam wall collapsed and destroyed large parts of a city and thousands of lives were lost. Through social media and Artificial Intelligence, we have so many things brought to our attention that are clear evidence of the fulfilment of prophecies regarding physical calamities, wars and rumours of wars. Now is a great time to reflect on these things and to listen carefully what the Spirit whispers to us as we listen to General Conference to see what we need to do to be among the 'ten virgins' who would be invited to the marriage feast, and then to be among the five wise virgins who had sufficient oil in their lamps to be ushered in to the feast rather than to be shut out.

It is very important that we live by faith and not by fear. Now is a great time to increase our faith by inspecting our foundations as we reflect on our personal Articles of Faith as we assess our first to thirteenth and consider each one of them. We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost. What do I believe? Do not think about what you do not believe, but what you do believe. Go article by article until number 13 - We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul—We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy (including General Conference), we seek after these things. What do I believe in becoming?

Sometimes we will feel that the words of friends, or the words of leaders in General Conference, are bricks that are being thrown at us and we feel injured, or we dodge them, or we just avoid being there in the first place, whereas we could catch them and use them to build a Temple of the Spirit, or the Body of Christ. 

We will be given a whole set of talents or gifts during this conference. We have the choice of not bothering to watch, listen or read, or to be eager to get as much from the conference as we can. We can prioritise time out of the 48 hours to be present, or to not be present. We can be offended by the words that we hear because they are not sweet and pleasant, or we can take note of things that our conscience urges us to change. We can catch the bricks or feel hurt or be wounded by them. We can build a temple of the spirit with them or just find faults with the bricks. We can choose to watch the world cup sport matches or to rather choose to watch conference. We can multiply the talents or gifts or we can bury them. 

We need to nourish and exercise ourselves spiritually with intent and care, just as we ought to nourish and exercise ourselves physically. I recall a story from years ago of a group gathering together to fast and pray for rain. One young boy arrived with an umbrella - and he was able to use it as the rain came down as they left the meeting. May we go prepared for the results of what we are praying for, hoping for, maybe even fasting for. 

I hope that we will choose to participate in this wonderful opportunity to learn from our general church leaders. I hope that we will choose to not hide it, avoid it, or neglect to participate. Rather, I trust that we will choose to share what we learn and what the Spirit prompts us to share so that we will be fruitful, multiply and replenish the earth with our efforts and determined labour, subdue it and have dominion over it. The treasure will be there - what will we do with it? I hope that we will be familiar with the 'true bank notes' so that we can recognise the counterfeit fake news, false things, wolves in sheep's clothing, or falsehoods that are clearly abundant about us in 2023. May our gardens be beautiful with abundant flowers. May we go to conference with questions and then take an 'umbrella' - or maybe a jug to fill up with the living water - to enjoy our journey home with the answers to our questions.

I share this with my personal testimony of Jesus Christ and the leaders that He has called today, and therefore in His name.

10 September 2023

Our beautiful and delightful covenant path

I was invited to share some thoughts in our stake conference today, but I was sick and did not get to speak. I sent these thoughts that were used in the review meeting that followed the conference, and I thought that I could share them on my blog. I also shared them with some missionaries who may not specifically be discussing patriarchal blessings with people who are learning about the Gospel, but this might help them in their own covenant path, or helping someone who is a new or returning member as that is a bigger part of missionary service in this time that it was when I was on mission in 1973-4.

While preparing these thoughts, I have reflected on the wonderful rain that we've had and the wonderful flowers that that we were able to enjoy in the last weeks. The Lord delights to bless us. 

I reflected on Adam and Eve who were blessed to be in the Garden of Eden, and then they were given an instruction, while in the Garden of Eden to be fruitful, multiply, replenish the earth, subdue it, and to have dominion over it, and then they were sent out into the world to till the earth and to be productive. 

Then Abraham was given a covenant and that covenant included property, posterity, and priesthood. That covenant was repeated to Isaac and Jacob. Jacob blessed his children, each individually. Ephraim and Manasseh were also blessed. These are examples of patriarchal blessings. 

I am sure that before we left our heavenly home, our Father in Heaven, and our Mother in Heaven gave us a farewell greeting and blessing - and I am sure they did, and that they had wonderful wishes for us. Then there was a veil of forgetfulness - but let us not be forgetful. 

We need to seek the Lord's word to us individually and to better see His blessings and His Word to us in the scriptures, His word to all of His children collectively. In order to receive a patriarchal blessing, one needs to be worthy to enter the temple, and the spirit has taught me that it is important 10 or 20 years later to really get the Lord's word to us through our patriarchal blessing, we still need to be worthy to enter the temple. And if we're worthy to enter the temple, we will get more out of studying the scriptures as well. 

We each need to make our covenant. We each need to be first generation covenant makers. Not just the seed of Abraham but personally make and keep covenants. We need to be a strength and a support to others on the covenant path. 

We need to be temple worthy. We need to be temple active. 

About 55 to 60 years ago, my first personal experience with General Conference was sitting in the mission home in Johannesburg, listening on shortwave radio, Voice of America, and hearing General Conference. Video didn't work for the stake conference today, but about 20 minutes into it, during President Herbert's talk, we started to hear the audio, and it was a blessing to be able to hear the conference. The video is lekker but the audio really was what made the difference and we were able to hear. I was impressed that what the speakers said reflects very much the thoughts that I had in my preparation to share this testimony with you. 

I hope and pray that we will all seek to make and keep covenants, and be ready to be actively in the temple when it is here, and to be actively involved in temple and family history work in preparation for when it is here. 

I share this testimony with you in the name of Jesus Christ, amen. 

May the Lord bless you on your covenant path, and helping others in whatever part they are on their covenant paths.

Love and blessings from Les and Sally Powrie

31 August 2023

Collectively And Not Individually

I gave a reply to someone who was questioning why 'a disciple can only receive a fulness of the glory of the Father in the Celestial Kingdom.' I gave this rather long reply. I hope that it gives each person reading this good cause to reflect on her or his efforts.


The Spirit has spoken to me over the years to teach me, when I was on mission wondering what right I had to upset the applecart of really wonderful people who were earnestly striving to serve God, Jesus, Heavenly Father, or whatever they called Him. They were doing great work and by declaring to them that there was more than they had, I could do nothing less than upset their happy walk along their path of discipleship.

After a long time of pondering this and pleading for a reason to remain on my mission, I was impressed to 'Read D&C 1'. I read it, then reread it, then reread it, and I was struck by the declaration that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is 'the only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth, with which I, the Lord, am well pleased'. With further reading and pondering the Spirit spoke to me that this is 'speaking unto the church collectively and not individually—For I the Lord cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance;' and then further insight 'Nevertheless, he that repents and does the commandments of the Lord shall be forgiven; And he that repents not, from him shall be taken even the light which he has received; for my Spirit shall not always strive with man, saith the Lord of Hosts.'

Then, in recent months, the Spirit spoke again and confirmed that the declaration to Joseph Smith in the grove that Joseph 'must join none of them, for they were all wrong; and the Personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight; that those professors were all corrupt; that: “they draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me, they teach for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof.”' It was made clear to me that this applies to them collectively and not individually, for some are truly devoted disciples of the God of Abraham, whatever they call Him - God, Father God, Jesus, Jehovah, Allah, or whatever. If they are devoted to serving the God of Abraham, then they are worshipping and serving the same God that we serve, and they will be blessed for all of the good that they do. Indeed, many of them are far better examples of true disciples of Jesus Christ that I might be, or you might be. How often do we hear reference to Mother Theresa, CS Lewis, and others who may possibly be far more effective serving God outside the restored Church than they might be able to do inside the Church. That puts the onus on us to make it possible for these wonderful disciples to receive the ordinances of the Temple by proxy.

I know that God will not deny any blessings to anyone who qualifies for them. But, He has made it very clear that the fullness can only be achieved in the Celestial Kingdom where God, the Father, reigns in righteousness. You and I may be held accountable if we have neglected to help them to receive their Temple blessings! We have no place holding ourselves above anyone - 'For of him unto whom much is given much is required; and he who sins against the greater light shall receive the greater condemnation.'

I know that God will truly bless everyone for every good that she or he does, and not hold back anything, but He also cannot reward anyone for things that she or he neglects to do when they had the light!

God delights to bless us. Let us be fully worthy of His blessings, my brother.

Have I shared with you how the Spirit spoke to me saying that we need to be worthy to hold a Temple Recommend in order to receive a patriarchal blessing? Yep, I knew that. Then I was impressed that, in order to fully benefit from that patriarchal blessing (God speaking to me personally) ten or twenty years later, I need to be worthy of a Temple Recommend! Then the Spirit added that in order to really benefit from the scriptures (God speaking to all of His children) I really need to be worthy of a Temple Recommend! That is a really good reason to always have a current Temple Recommend. I know that those who neglect that simple symbol of their devotion to discipleship will almost certainly be numbered among those foolish virgins who were left outside the marriage feast because they lacked sufficient oil in their lamps.

This is a long reply to your comment, but I think it might be somewhat shorter than your Facebook post πŸ˜‰

Please prioritise being in the Temple as often as you possibly can be, and doing Temple and Family History work, or FamilySearch Indexing, when you cannot personally and regularly be inside the House of the Lord. Keep all of your covenants, attend your sacrament and priesthood meetings, show the Lord that you mean business and He might just relieve you of some of your suffering that you might sometimes feel is a reason for not being as fully committed and present as you can be. 

I share this loving counsel and encouragement in the name of our Messiah, Jesus Christ, amen.

I might add that I have learned that the 'individually and not collectively' (and 'collectively and not individually') applies in any group setting. We often look at a group such as nation, tribe, gender, class of people, city, town, religious affiliation, atheism, career, art, sport, language, or any generalisation and treat everyone in that collective as fitting the mold that we envisage for that collective. But I know many individuals in almost every collective that do not match the criteria of the whole (such as religious extremists that give an impression that should not be applied to the whole) or achievers (such as those who take themselves out of the 'gutter' and become very successful contributors to society). Let us put away our prejudices and not focus on -ites, but rather look for the good in individuals and collectives, and appreciate the good that there is in any individual or group. 

PS. I have had a lot of insight from the Spirit over the past 50 years about the descriptions 'individually' and 'collectively' relative to looking at the only true and living church, and 'join none of them, for they were all wrong'.  I have come to realise that some people who are true disciples of Jesus Christ might well have a mission to serve outside the true and living church, and I'm the one who will be judged if I condemn them, or fail to help them to receive the essential ordinances after they complete their mission in mortality. I have pondered about someone in the middle of China or India 500 years ago who finds a Bible and becomes a truly exemplary disciple of Jesus Christ but never gets to meet anyone who can baptise her or him. I have thought about how someone needed to betray Jesus Christ; someone needed to be Pilate; or the soldier scourging Jesus; or hammering in nails to nail Him to the cross; or Martin Luther; or John Calvin; or Christopher Columbus; or Mother Theresa; or CS Lewis; or anyone who missed the boat travelling to Zion because their mission kept them busy elsewhere in time or space. I know that our truly loving, gracious and merciful Heavenly Father will not say 'Too bad. You missed out and cannot enter into the kingdom of God because you were not born of the water and of the spirit.' He would not want anyone to not return to His Kingdom, or be 'glad to be rid of that one'. It is entirely our choice to accept - or to not accept - or to not reject - or to reject - His invitation. He will honour our choice, even if it grieves Him if we do not double the talents that He gave to us according to our several ability. It is me, individually, and not any collective, that will be judged by He who looks on the heart and not on the outward appearance.

20 August 2023

Questions that have answers if you want an answer...


As I listened to this discussion about the first 4 chaptersof 1 Corinthians, my mind turned to my friend Karen who was really upset by what she read in the CES Letter written by someone who had been a teacher in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints but who had become troubled by some questions. I was challenged to 'read and prove otherwise' or Karen would not believe. But she seems to have blocked my number so that I cannot respond, unless she has changed her phone number and not given me the new number and I am thus unable to answer her questions. But, unfortunately, many people with such questions actually do not seem to want answers, but I wonder if they are possibly just delighted to have finally found an excuse to not continue as a disciple of Jesus Christ. I pointed out to her that it would have taken hours to read the CES Letter, and I wondered if she spent anywhere near as much time reading the scriptures themselves. The things that she is querying and challenging that 'the church does recognise these issues but does not make it available in the teachings of the church' are freely available in the volumes of Saints, in Gospel Library, and on the churchofjesuschrist.org website...

I hope that anyone reading this message will spend the 2:44:55 hours listening to this discussion by Jared Halverson, but, far more importantly, spending far more time than 3 hours reading the scriptures themselves and asking God to speak to her or him! He will speak to you through the scriptures if you ask Him. We speak to God in prayer, and He speaks to us through what He has already revealed to prophets and apostles in the scriptures. He has spoken to insignificant and imperfect Les Powrie, so Les Powrie knows that He will speak to you. Follow the recipe that I follow and the loaf of bread that you get will be as delightful, delicious, and nutritious as the one that I bake. The proof of the pudding is in the eating thereof πŸ˜‹πŸ‘΄πŸ˜‰πŸ˜Š

03 July 2023

Lame, blind, halt, maimed, leprous, withered, deaf, afflicted in 2023

A note in my scripture study of 25 Jan 2021: 
'Have ye any that are lame, or blind, or halt, or maimed, or leprous, or that are withered, or that are deaf, or that are afflicted in any manner?' 3 Nephi 17:7
Disabled people are able to do amazing things due to interventions that are available, making them less of a handicap.

I suspect that we consider a lot of things to mean quite different things now to what they would have meant 2000 years ago. 

There are many people that we might classify as 'lame, or blind, or halt, or maimed, or leprous, or that are withered, or that are deaf, or that are afflicted in any manner'. I would not be surprised if a number things which man has developed - interventions such as spectacles, hearing aids, wheelchairs, walkers, crutches, leg braces, laser treatment, surgery, transplants, prosthetic limbs, medication and any number of corrective practices - enable us to consider those afflicted people to be relatively capable now. 

Those that have developed these interventions have been instruments in the Creator's hands enabling many to be healed, to varying degrees, of their afflictions. Do we give the credit to the Master or to the instrument? Do we praise the chisel or the artist for the sculpture?

A consequence of our interventions quite probably has resulted in an increased frequency of these conditions in the population. In previous millennia many of those conditions that are genetically inherited might have been less likely to have been passed on to future generations because individuals with these conditions would not have survived to an age of having children. Some conditions would have caused mates to not have been selected. So, have we enabled those conditions to proliferate? We enable inherited our non-inherited conditions to have less impact, and afflicted people can have greater ability to function. In a way this increases our personal responsibility to do and be more than we might have been capable of doing hundreds of years ago. 

23 June 2023

Climate And Self-Reliance

We have had some serious rainfall that has impacted on several of us in Cape Town during the past month. 

It is difficult to attribute photos that are shared on social media, but here are some photos from the two weeks of the extreme weather conditions.

This caused me to reflect on memories from a workshop that I attended at the United Nations offices in Trieste, Italy during 2002. I had been involved in research into climate change for some 12 years, and I found that my impressions were seriously blinkered. I was looking at the impacts on plant species, but was now surrounded by people dealing with health, epidemiology, agriculture, tourism, engineers, planners, physicists, hydrologists, climatologists, and many more!

One major take-home story is that there is an increasing frequency and intensity of extreme events. We have experienced this first-hand in Cape Town during June 2023.

Another major take-home story is that adaptation and coping take place at the local level – ultimately with you, with me, and with our own families. I was reminded of the concept that the nation is made up of its basic units – families. It is mainly individuals that are impacted, and it is mainly individuals that cope or do not cope.

I remember the account of Bangladesh, with 1/5 of the country being less than 1m above sea level, and most of the country under 10m altitude. They face rather dire consequences of sea level rise. Their homes are regularly inundated and so they do not accumulate things that will be great losses when the anticipated floods come. If the authorities build barriers around communities, the inhabitants will have a greater security as most of the extreme events will be held at bay. However, when events strike that are beyond the threshold for which the barriers are designed to cope, the inhabitants may experience heavy losses because they would have relaxed their coping strategies. We compared this to Mozambique where the Limpopo River had overflowed its banks and thousands of people were impacted. In Bangladesh flooding is an inconvenience, in Mozambique it was disastrous. The people of Bangladesh have a high level of coping capacity.

Yes, infrastructure is affected, but coping and adaptive behaviour is inherent in us as humans. For example, we can choose to reduce our vulnerability by not building on a flood plain of a river that has not broken its banks for 10 years, or on the slopes of a volcano, thus reducing our risk. Alternatively, we can undertake a cost benefit analysis, and we can decide that the risk is worth taking in order to have the temporary benefits of fertile soil for producing crops for our family. The question is whether we will have personal responsibility for coping with the impacts of flood (or a lava flow that might be rather more damaging) when they come thus experiencing a setback with which we can cope. Alternatively, if we are not prepared to cope, the flood will result in our experiencing a disaster.

Disaster was defined very subjectively, as is illustrated above. If the community can cope with a serious impact it is not a disaster. Some agencies may define it as a disaster because they decide that it is beyond certain extremes, but the local community may cope just fine. Alternatively, some minor impacts, on top of a generally poor circumstance in a community, can be a disaster because the people had not been able to build up their coping capacity or adapt to the impending disaster. When someone deliberately takes a serious risk, should the authorities bail them out when they experience a disaster? A tough question!

The man in charge of the workshop, while handing out certificates to participants during a dinner hosted by TWAS (the Third World Academy of Science), made fun of some participants who were out taking a smoke break, joking about their skills in risk assessment. This was in jest, but it does stress the importance for each of us to take responsibility for our part in mitigation. We need to take action by adapting our lifestyles according to our vulnerability, using wisdom in our risk assessment. We need to involve our stakeholders (primarily ourselves, and our family members), in preparing ourselves for sustainable livelihoods, considering our abilities to cope with the impacts of climate variability which are projected to become more frequent and more severe so that we will not just be statistics when disaster strikes. Now is the time to start preparing so that each of us will be part of the solution and not part of the problem!

I remember being struck by the realisation that for 90 years we had received prophetic counsel encouraging members to prepare themselves for disasters by having food storage – a focus on Home Production and Storage. We have been counseled for more than a century to improve our Coping Capacity by improving our self-reliance. More importantly than physical self-reliance, the Saviour counseled us to ‘Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal; For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.’ (Matt 6:19-21). May we be serious and intentional in following these basic guidelines of temporal and spiritual self-reliance which will lead to our avoiding loss, or reducing the impact of loss.

29 May 2023

Die beitel in die hand van die Skepper (The chisel in the hand of the Creator)

Think about what you are seeing here. 
What are you seeing here? 
Are you seeing just a simple piece of scrap wood? 

Can you figure all that my son Richard did to convert this plain block of scrap wood into this carved work of art? Think of the imagination, talent, innovation, purpose, effort, time, intentional action, the instruments used to realise the dream, and on and on?

I remember the challenge given by Prime Minister P. W. Botha in about 1982 when he opened a new building at Tygerberg Medical School while I was working there after I relocated from my parents' home in Florida Park to move to Cape Town to marry Sally Swindell. He talked about being die beitel in die hand van die Skepper or a chisel in the hand of the Creator.

Another example of Richard's craftsmanship using innovation, scrap wood, chisels, and other tools. 

That is part of what we do as instruments in the Lord's hands when we help Him to bring souls closer to Him, or contribute in some way in His Work and His Glory which is to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. Blessings on anyone in anything that you do, even in those times that you are as a chisel in the hands of a sculptor, being hammered on one end while being bashed against rock, stone, or wood on the other end. It can be painful, difficult to bear, because all that we are aware of is our discomfort and pain. We don't know what the end product will look like.  He is producing a beautiful sculpture. 

May we serve Him with delight and strive to bring souls to Him.

12 May 2023

Answering a question about our 'Bush People'

I may not be directly answering the question of a fellow tour guide about the ‘bush people’, and I know that there is a lot that I do not know. But, some things that I understand from my involvement in ecology might be of value to tour guides and people in general that read this boring blog of mine. 


What I share here applies to people all around the world and not specifically to San and Khoi. Wherever agro-pastoralists have impacted on hunter-gatherers, or extensive agriculture and industry impact on agro-pastoralist, the outcome has been the same – including impacting on indigenous tribes that are going extinct in Europe and Great Britain! 

A hunter-gatherer like the San lives wonderfully in harmony with nature. They exist, as do all organisms, depending on the balance in their ecosystem, and they flourish when all is good and they suffer when the balance is disturbed by natural disasters such as earthquakes, floods, fires, other humans, or any disruption. But they thrive as well as does the natural environment. They are wonderful examples of not exploiting the environment and natural resources. I love an insight shared by someone in a tour that I was leading, pointing out that the San would not harvest more than about half of what was available in order to ensure supplies for the future. He compared this to some other tribes such as the Xhosa who just eat everything that is available and then suffer because of a shortage of food. 

It is important to note that hunter-gatherers need hundreds, thousands, or tens of thousands of square metres per person. Life expectancy is limited due to sickness, wars, conflicts, deaths in childbirth, although their knowledge of natural remedies and living in harmony with each other and their environment do help them to survive very well despite these natural impacts. They cope well in their natural environment.

 
In the mountains of Lesotho the villages have some agro-pastoralism, the cultivation at a low intensity scale.

The agro-pastoralists cultivate the land to produce crops, and they breed herds of animals, and so more people can survive on a square kilometre, but they also have limited life-expectancy due to wars or conflicts, natural disasters and sicknesses. Here they are tilling the ground and eating their bread by the sweat of their faces, being more fruitful, multiplying, replenishing, and subduing the earth. They tend to be in reasonable harmony with the natural balance.

Extensive agriculture totally transforms the landscape. Canals bring water to irrigate and enable far greater cultivation as water is less limiting. Equipment, machines, technology, insecticides and fertilisers increase productivity far beyond what could be done just one hundred years ago.

Then there are higher levels of development such as has happened throughout the world and throughout history with colonisation and domination where some stronger groups expand their territory, invade, and dominate over other groups who have less strength to defend themselves. Here there is often exploitation of people and nature.

High density populations are possible, as shown in this picture that I took of New York in 1981, due to high productivity in agriculture, industry, transporting resources, health care, education, and so much more. 

Then one gets ‘civilisation’ with its extensive agriculture, mining, schools and universities, urbanisation, factories, national borders, technology, travel, dams, transportation systems, and so much that we see in our day where natural ecosystems are severely transformed, many irreversibly transformed, even with loss of many species and ecosystems. In some parts of China and Hong Kong, for example, there are thousands or tens of thousands of people in a square kilometre because of the productivity in these developed peoples and access to resources through trade and transport from distant parts of their country, or from other countries. Life expectancy increases, births often decrease and that causes more dependency of older generations on reducing numbers in younger generations, and this and the exploitation of natural resources is all too often unsustainable.

I was impressed by someone who shared with me that the San would not consume more than about 50% of what was available in order to ensure that there would always be sufficient for the future, whereas the Xhosa and some others would eat everything that is available but not produce enough to replace it. I have often observed than many drought-stricken communities look absolutely helpless and in need of food, but there is plenty of open ground that had evidently not been cultivated and I suspect that they could almost certainly have provided something for their future if they had used foresight and practised sustainable utilisation together with keeping enough in storage for future use for future planting as well as for emergencies.

I would suggest that each of these types of communities is to be praised in many ways, but also to be discouraged in many ways. What I look forward to is an altruistic humanity that is more like the beehive that I shared recently in myblog. Here, there is wonderful harmony and each bee works selflessly for the betterment of the colony. I love our motto in South Africa - 'Diverse people unite' and our former motto 'Unity is strength'. Unfortunately, there are many people who seek to divide our people, and that division can be really destructive. But when these diverse people unite, the strength is infinitely greater because of their diversity. 

I look forward to when South Africa and the rest of the world appreciate and love their heritage and environment enough to care for it and be fruitful, multiply, replenish, subdue and have dominion over this world such that it has a wonderfully sustainable future in line with its wonderful potential. The bees do it – I fully believe that humans can do it…

08 May 2023

Everything from a bee hive is a wonderful gift

Everything from the hive is a gift of medicine.


Honey is something nutritious and life sustaining that the bees give us freely.

Raw Honey is an anti-microbial, anti-fungal, anti-bacterial super food.

It is also now being used in treating open wounds because of these very properties.

I think the Lord made the honeybee for a very special purpose – more than just pollinating flowers – which helps us grow crops so we can have something to eat.

He created them to give us special insight into His nature and what He wants from us.

Some Bee’s to ponder on:

Bee a Hard Worker

Have you ever heard the expression “busy as a bee”?

There is a very good reason for that, as bees are some of nature’s hardest workers.

To make just one tablespoon of honey for your toast in the morning, a bee has to visit 4,200 flowers!

A worker bee will make up to 10 trips a day, visiting 400 flowers.

And to make just one pound of honey (450 g), worker bees need to visit more than 3 million flowers and travel the equivalent of three times around the world!

The bees don’t mind doing it, because they care about their hive.

The harder they work, the happier and more productive their colony can be.

In a bee colony, every bee has a job.

There are worker bees, queen bees, and drones.

The queen lays the eggs, and the workers find nectar and make honey.

Did you know, the male bee called a drone doesn’t have a stinger?

That means they can’t defend the hive, and not only that, they don’t gather nectar, make honey, or lay eggs.

At first, drones might appear to be a little worthless!

But in a hive, no one is worthless.

The drones help feed the larvae, then the babies, among other responsibilities.

They might not collect pollen or have the highest position in a beehive, but they do have a very vital part to play.

They give their all to do it.

Bee Respectful

Honeybees are very loyal to their queen.

They will go wherever the queen goes and do whatever is needed to make sure their leader is healthy and happy, and they’ll work hard to help the queen do her part for the hive.

The queen’s main job is to lays eggs so the colony will grow; everyone else really works to feed the larvae and protect the queen.

Bee Humble

Here’s an Amazing Fact:

A cousin of the honey bee is the bumblebee.

But that was not their original name.

Instead, they used to be called “humble bees”!

Evidently, way back in history, some English children couldn’t say “humblebee” very well, and instead they would say “bumblebee.”

This cute nickname stuck, and even adults started calling them “bumblebees.”

Bee Holy

A long time ago, a scientist claimed bumblebees shouldn’t be able to fly based on aerodynamics, which is the study of flight. But – no-one told the bumble bee that, so it just carried on flying anyway.

Well, today they know how such a large insect with such small wings can fly, but at one point, some people thought it should have been impossible.

Of course, it isn’t impossible at all because the bumblebee keeps flying.

We should take a lesson from the humble bumblebee, which still flew when scientists said it should be impossible.

Bee Sure to Share and Serve

Honeybees will fly as far as 12 km (8 miles) in search of nectar – but usually within 3 km. But, consider that 3 km to a bee the size of 10 mm is like about 48 000 km for an average adult human!

Whenever they find what they are looking for, no matter where they find it, they will turn right around and make a “beeline” back to their hive so that all the bees can join in the good news and go off to get some nectar.

Did you know that most honeybees spend almost all of their time feeding other bees, rather than themselves?

And not only will you find a bee always ready to feed another bee, they’ll even feed bees from another colony!

This is why scientists call bees a social insect.

They like to interact and “bee” with one another; mutual feeding seems to be a part of that special relationship.

Did you know that bees produce a lot more honey than they need to feed themselves?

They always have an overflow that others — like you, me, and honey badgers, with a sweet tooth — can also have!

Bee Born Again

Did you know that in order for a bee to fly, it must be born twice?

After a queen lays an egg in a chamber, the drones get busy feeding the larva after it hatches.

When a larva gets big enough, the worker bees seal it in a tomb-like chamber where it begins to change, a process called metamorphosis.

When it is done with this transformation, it is “born again” as a new creature – an adult bee.

But it isn’t always easy.

When it’s finally done changing, it has to break out of the chamber, struggling and wiggling.

In the process, the bee actually breaks a membrane on its back that holds its wings down!

Eventually, their wings dry out and the new bees are able to fly.

Isn’t that incredible?

In other words, they are born twice and they’re able to fly only because they are re-born through a struggle.

Well, that’s exactly what it is like for you and for me.

Bees Are Amazing, and So Are You!

As a tour guide, I think that this information about honey and bees is of value for tour guides to share, and also the relationship to gum trees. I often mention, when going past gumtrees that, although it is an aggressive invasive, the presence of the gumtree in South Africa is permissible because of the fact that it enables bees to thrive and bees facilitate the production of about 76% of our agricultural crops. So, the gain outweighs the pain, or the pros exceed the cons... It is worth reading a document released by SANBI. Included in the debate is: 

  • "Outside their natural ranges, eucalypts are both lauded for their beneficial economic impact and criticised for being ‘water-guzzling’ invasive aliens, leading to controversy over their total impact."; 
  • "The listed species have been declared invasive because of their negative impact on water resources, biodiversity, erosion and increased fire risk."; 
  • "The six gum species listed in South Africa as invaders need only be removed if they are not in the correct place in the landscape. Because gum trees have a value in society for their timber, as a bee foraging resource, and their ability to provide shade and wind protection, the new regulations only require the removal of gum trees where they are invasive or have a negative environmental impact."; and 
  • "Gums in the correct place in the landscape are critical to honey bees"

Here’s one last Amazing Fact:

The brain of a bee is no bigger than the size of a small pinhead.

Yet despite their small-sized brains, bees have a very complex society, they communicate with one another, and they design and build one of the strongest homes on the planet, inside the dark beehive, called the honeycomb.

Sources:

Charles J. Adams, quoting from his long-time friend Pastor Chris Smit from Wilderness Pentecostal church, with some editing by Les Powrie.

https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/farming-natural-resources-and-industry/agriculture-and-seafood/animal-and-crops/animal-production/bee-assets/api_fs111.pdf

https://www.honeybeeheroes.com/#:~:text=More%20than%2050%20crops%20in,plums%E2%80%A6%20the%20list%20goes%20on!

https://www.sanbi.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/infosheet-crop-plants-honey-bee-forage-19-11-2014.pdf

https://theconversation.com/what-honeybees-in-south-africa-need-from-people-better-managed-forage-166369

https://www.sanbi.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/gumsbees-web-version-hyperlinks.pdf  

08 April 2023

My WhatsApp Status

Sally and I were recently invited by some missionaries to use our WhatsApp Status as a tool to share the Gospel.

 

I have made some Lekach to celebrate, Rosh Hashanah, the head of the year (not calendar year, but the start of a new period after Easter), and Pesach (Passover), to symbolise a sweet new year. Sweet because of what Easter signifies - spiritual rebirth through the forgiveness of sins and physical rebirth because we will all be resurrected. All this is because of the atonement wrought by Jesus Christ in Gethsemane, on Golgotha, and emerging from the tomb in the Garden.

Well, I must admit that I had not often looked at Status - it is so often just time-consuming but not necessarily the best use of that time... 

I considered the challenge and I started to experiment. I cannot recall all that I have shared since receiving the challenge. It is evident that my Status is only visible for about 24 hours, then disappears. It evidently cannot be forwarded by me or anyone else, and once posted it cannot be reused or altered - I can only delete it because of a typo or error, and then I need to recreate it.

Another thing that I try to do is to rarely simply post what someone else has posted - to me that is simply being a consumer rather than rising to the challenge of being a producer. Heavenly Father challenged us to be fruitful, multiply, and replenish the Earth, subdue it and have dominion over it. I think that He would rather that I be a primary producer rather than simply using or comsuming what someone else produced - especially if not giving credit to whoever created it! That could be called plagiarism...

So, I have tried, and tried, and am coming to learn some tricks of the trade. A post must not be longer than 700 characters, or something like that. That includes a link to the original source. Simply sharing something from YouTube, Pinterest, Twitter, or other such sources might give no hint as to what is being shared, so I try to share it in a way that will help someone to see if it is worth clicking on the link.

The most important thing is that I am sharing things that demonstrates how the Spirit has touched me - what the Spirit has taught me. 

I find that sometimes it is good to highlight something and then click Share, and copy the link. At times I share what is highlighted, and that includes a link. I prefer it when there is a link so that someone can read the scripture or source. At least I try to include a reference to a scripture or a citation, even if not a clickable or tappable link.

I see that it is also easy to send my WhatsApp Status as my Story in Facebook, and it sends an image of my WhatsApp Status and shares in to Facebook.

This one is shared in a way that a preview shows what the link is, and I hope it encourages someone to actually click on the link. 

I find that sometimes it is best to share something with myself - Les Powrie (You) - as the WhatsApp recipient. I then can estimate the length of the post to see if it will fit in a single post. I can also preview what I am sharing. I then forward what I formulate to my Status, and sometimes to family and others. 

I find that if I want to send it to a Broadcast List, I need to copy the post (tap and hold, then click Copy) and then paste it in the Broadcast. I cannot use Broadcast Lists on the laptop, only on the phone, and it is evident that WhatsApp makes it difficult to simply broadcast things and thus become a nuisance. I hope that I am not a nuisance. Some people have blocked my number, so I guess that I have been a nuisance at times...πŸ˜”

Here is a scripture reference, and a comment that I copied from my Notes in the Gospel Library app. This note was just too long for the link to appear below it, but at least the scripture reference is given.

Here is a similar thing that I copied from my Notes in the Gospel Library app. This note is short enough for the link to appear below it, and a reader can click on the link and it will open in Gospel Library if installed, or in a web browser.

Here is a preview, scripture reference, my comment, and clickable or tappable link.

Here is an italicised scripture, scripture reference, my comment, and clickable or tappable link. 
See below for italicising text or making it bold.

To italicise, or make bold in WhatsApp, use Underscore _ or Asterisk * before and after the text to italicise, without spaces at start or finish and without line breaks. _italicise_, not _italicise _ or *bold* not * bold*, or 
*Mary, Mary, quite contrary*
*How does your garden grow?*
Play around to get the hang of it πŸ˜€

Here is a scripture, reference, and clickable or tappable link.

Here is a scripture and reference. The quote is too long for a link to appear.

I am sowing seeds, or casting a net. I hope that some seeds will fall on good ground and yield thirty-, sixty-, or one hundred-fold, or that some fish will be gathered in the net. I may never know the outcome of my efforts, but Heavenly Father will know. I love to think of myself simply as one of the branches on the true vine, producing fruit, and that fruit adding glory to the Father as we read in the fifteenth chapter of John. Branches that bear fruit will also be purged or pruned, so that they will bear fruit more abundantly - sometimes an uncomfortable thing... 

I am just like a tap - it is the water that flows from the tap that counts, not the tap. I hope that my efforts help in some way to gather Israel on either side of the veil.

Play around - find what works for you. Try to be a light to tohers, as leaven in the loaf, or as salt of the Earth, helping to gather souls to the feet of the Saviour, the true source of all that is right and true.


20 March 2023

Unity is Strength. Unity in Diversity will give greater Strength.

I shared some thoughts with various people on 19 March 2023, the day before a national shutdown planned by a small group of people who love to dress in red and wear red berets: 
Brothers and sisters, the gospel of Jesus Christ has never been needed more than it is today. Contention violates everything the Savior stood for and taught. I love the Lord Jesus Christ and testify that His gospel is the only enduring solution for peace. His gospel is a gospel of peace. Preaching the Gospel of Peace, Russell M Nelson, 2022
This is so relevant to the threats made by the EFF (Economic Freedom Fighters) in South Africa who are staging a national shutdown on 20 March 2023. What we need is the opposite of this kind of behaviour, not what seems to be immature bullying that can not be based on love, but seems to be based on selfishness. Let us strive to live up to our national motto.

The RSA motto post 1994 is: !ke e: /xarra //ke, written in the Khoisan language of the /Xam people, literally meaning diverse people unite. It addresses each individual effort to harness the unity between thought and action. On a collective scale it calls for the nation to unite in a common sense of belonging and national pride - unity in diversity.

Between 1961 and 1994 the RSA motto was Unity is Strength.
Let us strive for unity in our diversity.

Someone responded to my message: 
Before 1994 it was apartheid and segregation. 

I replied: 
Yes, it was. 
I love the way that I understood it to be - allowing the 'Bantu' to be themselves without having to compete with the very different ways of the 'European' people, so that they could progress in the way that was least competitive to themselves. As I understand it, that policy, created by believers in Calvinism, was based on love and compassion rather than on hatred. I do not deny that the implementation of the policy was not without fault or imperfection.
During the time of separate development, referred to by many as Apartheid, the 'Bantu' people had what Thabo Mdange KaTshiwo apparently claims to have been among the highest quality health care, hospitals, schools, literacy, standard of living, and so many things as compared to many countries in Africa and of 'Third World Countries'. These advantages were paid for by the taxpayers who were a small percentage of the population of South Africa (as is almost certainly the case in just about every nation in the world) and most of those taxpayers would have been the despised and hated 'Europeans' that were running that system that was referred to as apartheid and segregation. πŸ€” 
There were injustices then. Is it fair to say that there are no injustices in South Africa now? Are there not injustices in just about every country, in 2023? 


As I recall, the present governing ANC (African National Congress) party had the slogan on their election posters 'A better country for all'. Is it a better country for all in 2023? If so, then that would be progress. Have we really progressed? Yes, we are better in some ways. But can we honestly say that even the least of us now has a better state of well-being in 2023 than the 'disadvantaged black people' had just before 1994?

I pray earnestly that our diverse people will unite, that the government will stress that every citizen has equal rights as stated in the Bill of Rights in our constitution, but more importantly, the Founding Provisions state that every citizen is 'equally subject to the duties and responsibilities of citizenship' for ensuring those equal rights. That means that the lowest and the highest should be working together for the rights of every citizen rather than just demanding that 'the government' provide them with the rights that they deserve or demand. Each citizen should work to the extent that she or he is able to earn enough to be contributing meaningfully to the taxes that will fund those equal rights. Each citizen should be wise in exercising their democratic right - and responsibility - to vote for a party that will actually deliver on meaningful promises.
I look forward to us really having a better country for all. In my understanding, there are injustices in our present government. I was told to not look equally at job applications when preparing to interview applicants for jobs at SANBI (South African National Biodiversity Institute). I was instructed to not treat all races and genders as equal, but to deliberately exclude certain applicants, even if they were most appropriately qualified for the position being advertised. Is that really better than pre 1994, 30 years after declaring that every citizen has equal rights? πŸ€”

I love South Africa. I don't think that all is perfect now. I know that all was not perfect then. I am trying earnestly to love every other child of God, striving for the best strength possible that is all the better for our diversity if we will be one.
Unity is Strength. Unity in Diversity will give greater Strength.
May we have that greater strength, I pray in the name of our gracious Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, amen.

Note: It is difficult to fact check Thabo Mdange KaTshiwo on the 'EVIL APARTHEID OF THE BOERS', but you can look at this Facebook post and this Wordpress article and decide for yourself what is fact and what is fiction. 

I hope that my thoughts are the fruits of a disciple of Jesus Christ and not of a follower of Satan. I honestly try to be part of the solution and not part of the problem. I hope that each reader of this blog post will strive to be part of the solution and not part of the problem!