The Christmas Tree Treasure Hunt

Chapter One – Part One

By Joan Campbell

 

“Sign on the dotted line,” the Fedex man said in a bored voice as he handed me the box.

I scribbled my signature where his finger pointed and then turned my attention to the package. It was one of those flat-rate boxes, and very light, almost empty, but not quite. Definitely not the book I had ordered from Amazon, I thought with a measure of disappointment. Continue reading

Lessons Learnt from a Great Mentor

Each one of us has some experience, wisdom or encouragement to pass on to somebody younger or less experienced than we are. Recently I was the recipient of such mentoring, and I gained so much from the encouter. Here are several valuable lessons I learnt about mentoring that I hope to incorporate into my own relationships. Continue reading

Giving up on our Dreams (Journeys, part 1)

Last week I came close to settling in Haran. Where on earth is Haran, you may be asking, your fingers already poised to type it into Google. Let me explain.

Haran is the place on your life’s journey where you decide enough is enough; you’re not going any further on this futile voyage. It’s the place where you convince yourself you’ve come far enough and let go of your dream to go any further. Continue reading

Hurt? Grieving? Lost? So was This Man…

All around me there are hurting people. One of my friend’s is undergoing cancer treatment. Another lies seriously ill in ICU. Others are dealing with grief that wraps its icy fingers around their hearts long after those around them have forgotten and moved on. Some are facing the betrayal of a spouse; others are struggling to overcome childhood hurts and abuse.

My own struggles are not this big, but—even then—navigating everyday life leaves me feeling lost and depleted sometimes. Continue reading

Asperger’s Syndrome in Girls and Women

Boys are four times more likely than girls to have Asperger’s Syndrome, the current statistics tell us. But are the stats correct? More and more experts in the field are questioning this ratio and arguing that girls may be going undiagnosed because they are better at camouflaging their social difficulties. It follows that, because their condition goes unrecognised, girls are not gaining access to the understanding and support they need. Continue reading

Water or Wine? Man or Messiah?

On the fourth day of Master Simeon’s wedding feast, the wine ran out. We’d seen it coming, of course. The day before, my brother Jehu had hurried back to the kitchen with an empty wine jug in his hand, his forehead creased with worry. He rushed over to count the remaining wine skins and then silently beckoned me over.

“We’re not going to have enough,” he whispered. Continue reading

Diagnosing Asperger’s Syndrome—Confusion and Contradiction

Recently I had a discussion with a mom whose six-year old son is struggling emotionally and socially. An educational psychologist who has done play therapy with her son claims it is not an Autism Spectrum Disorder, but the mom says: “I really see so many of the Asperger’s traits in him. I know it might just be a label, but somehow it makes me feel better to have an “explanation” as to the way he acts, which is so different compared to my eldest and my neighbour’s kids.” Continue reading

Teach us to Number our Days

It’s springtime in Johannesburg. The late-afternoon sun is still warm, and the light lingers longer than before. The sky is a deep blue, the dust washed away by the weekend’s rain. The breeze carries the occasional whiff of jasmine, or something equally sweet, which fills me with a fling-my-arms-to-the-sky-and-twirl-around kind of joy. Young, vibrant-green leaves are unfurling, not to be outdone by the pink and white blossoming bushes.

It’s springtime in Johannesburg, and it’s lovely. Continue reading

Come and See!

God created us to have fellowship with Him; it’s the only thing that can truly satisfy us. We gain a glimpse of how it was intended to look when we watch God walking with Adam in the Garden of Eden. We all know the story though. Sin crept in and broke that intimate friendship.

But Jesus came to reinstate, through his death on the cross, that deep friendship with God. Even while he was on earth, we start to see this fellowship restored. There is a bible story that tells of one perfect day spent with Jesus. Continue reading