The Upside of Unemployment


On the 1/9/2017 I was delivered the shock news that I was being retrenched. 4 months compensation was what I had in an Economic environment that is worse than stagnating to find a means to make or maintain a living. As a Father of 4 boys, and sole bread winner the pressure was mounting. I was tired, burnt out, and traumatized by the suddenness of it all.

The 1st 2 weeks was a blur of registering with every employment agency I could find, updating linked in info and CV’s. Obtaining references and just trying to  make sense of it all.

The Sunday of 3/9 we sat the kids down and tried our best to explain what had happened.

Why Dad? Were you fired Dad? What you going to do dad? followed by have you found a job yet dad every day after school from that day on.

The Hope before us was a Family Holiday long weekend and September School holidays. We must choose to relax and enjoy this time off, I explained to the family. Trying hard to convince my emotions to Be Still and Rest.

An Early interview sparked some hope but as it would be, I faltered at 1 question:

Why was I retrenched? I was still trying to figure out this answer?

A returned email sparked hope again? Did we discuss Salary? I replied with previous earnings and they responded that I was too expensive! I also was Part qualified and they could hire someone fully qualified for that price!

BOOM! and Nothing since not a Agent has called with an opportunity that led to an interview or meeting.

But the Upside was:

  • I was able to attend every extramural activity my Kids participated in:Dramas Sport, Prize Givings, Parent Evenings, Teacher Interviews
  • I had my first uninterrupted Family Holiday in 13 years. No deadlines requiring my attention, No panicked phone calls from GMs, No customers complaints.
  • I had time to consider the value of my time vs the price I had sold it for!
  • I could attend to my Personal finance and To Do list which seemed to always play second fiddle to Work.
  • I could play music write songs and collaborate on online social networks such as FAWM and 50/90
  • I could invest time in my dream CD a souvenir project of Songs of hope called Prayer letters I have written for my children, nieces, nephews and friends.
  • I could consider business opportunities Ideas and family business opportunities I had always been too busy for.
  • I could go on coffee dates with my wife and kids sharing milkshakes and toasted sandwiches and talk about whatever was on our minds.
  • I could play squash and do physical work.
  • I could lend my time to help those in need. Discover the endless expressions of love in practical help.


Being unemployed is hard work. Yes I have run Gardening services, Repaired roofs, painted, Tiled, transported goods and livestock, attempted carpentry, Even done a bit of Tax consulting. And 3 months have come and Gone……… and everyday I have a new opportunity to wake up, thank the Lord for His Goodness and Mercy and Put my hand to whatever He gives me to do!

Yes Opportunity abounds!

Today I don’t know exactly what will come my way. But I’ve learn’t to Relax into that!

Live Life a moment at a time.

And Life’s ours for the Living

God’s gifts ours for the Giving

Freely received

Freely Given’

His Life is ours

For the Livin’


Life is a party- and parties never last
But while friends are near you be full of cheer
Be sure to have blast- invest your love in people
it’s risk to take, take a chance
And while the music is playing
Let’s take time to dance


Thank you to all for your gifts of Love and you Love expressed to me and my family.

I am not sure what the future holds, but I am confident of this that He who has begun a Good work in and Through me will be faithful to complete it!

The journey holds much HOPE. After all it began with a GOD who is GOOD

Chorus of Kyle’s song (My 4th Son)

Let the Lord do what’s pleasing in his sight

Only he knows what’s beautiful and right

He’s the author of our Dreams

The provider of our means

May your life be something pleasing in His Sight?







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Why must Grooms have Best Men?

After all having won the Brides Heart are they not after all the Best MAN

Is it someone to:

HELP them Have Fun

To 0rganise Bachelors party’s (Probably causing the fist marriage fight)

Sing Silly Songs ( I usually do this but failed at Marcus wedding sorry I wasn’t on form, failed the blooming board paper too)

Make the Groom look Good 

I have been a Best man 4 times and still I am not sure of the Job Description?

One of the Pastors said it was a Best Mans responsibility to check in on the Relationship.

How often in what way. How do we Gauge the health of a relationship?

Some Suggestions please ?

When Last did you speak to the Groom you were Best man For?

The worlds a small place now. The information revolution should have made communication cheaper and easier. Yet I must admit I have been a dismal failure to those special People who chose me on their Special Day!

I have to admit I don’t even remember most of the anniversaries of those days.

Pathetic, I know

I Love Weddings, I Love Relationships, I Love People

Yet I invest so little Time Effort Thought and Prayer into them

May have found this years resolution !

I’ll Start with the 4 Grooms who chose me and my Family and Hopefully my friends too

May God Bless you even when I forget to ask Him to


Love YOUR Novice servant Neil






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Care more about your reputation in heaven than you do about your reputation here on earth. Be humble, be grateful, be loving, be kind. God is your source and your re warder. Stop stressing over what God has already started bringing you out of, trust Him and walk into your freedom

Not So easy to do ! WHY?


We have meditated so long on Lies. Too long! Its time to meditate on Truth

Lie: You not Good enough!

Truth:No I am Righteous in Christ

Lie: God is punishing ME

Truth: God Loves you and is looking for ways to bless you!

Lie: I cant make it through this !@#$ Hardship

Truth: God is working everything for the good of those who LOVE Him and are CALLED to His Purposes.

Lie: I will never be/have enough to more than survive

Truth: The Lord will Provide for your every need according to His Riches in Glory

Lie: God is happy with only my basic needs being met

Truth: God is able to do exceedingly more than you can ever think Hope or imagine


This is HIS Dream for us. It is Hard Work! He is doing most of it!

Starting with our Hearts….Changing their desires…. We dont necessarily want whats good for us.

Renewing our Bodies…Healing us …. Giving us in the end a new body that wont faint or grow weary.

Renewing our minds…..Flooding us with His truth where the fruit of knowledge of good and evil has made a mixed up mess

Restoring our emotions allowing us to Love like He does forgive like He does ! Teaching and coaching us to Run the Race pressing for the prize ( Becoming Like Him)

Establishing His Kingdom in Us. As we become Like Him he shares His Thoughts His Visions His Dreams and Makes us Instruments of HIS LOVE HIS PEACE HIS JOY HIS TRUTH

Its a MYSTERY I dont even pretend to understand …… well not YET


Teach me! Increase the MEASURE OF CHRIST IN ME




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A Gift Returned

Have you ever had an experience of sending someone a present and having it returned?

Maybe the SA Post office let you down!

Maybe a wrong or old address!

But what if you personally delivered your gift, Carefully thought of, Cost borne,Perfectly wrapped.

The receiver took it and then after considering the giver, not Knowing the Gift decided they would not open it but arrange it to be returned unopened weeks later to the Giver.

It happened to me

I cannot express my disappointment.

The attached note said we have no relationship with you and therefore have decided not to receive your gifts.

Freshly baked things had spoiled

Fun Games were redirected to others to play

Hearts of Love were broken and Thoughtful compassionate people were hurt.

All because of an Unwillingness to receive unconditional Gifts.

Imagine How God must Feel

Everyday he wraps up His grace in a Beautiful sunrise, Rain on a thirsty land, Hope in a place of Despair, Love in a selfish world, Food, Health, Clothes, Rest, compassion, and the list goes on.

He Longs for relationship and so wraps up a way for Holiness & Fallen Humanness to be reconciled once and for all. He Thought about it Long and Hard. He poured His Love and compassion into this Gift and paid for it as only He could. The cost of this Gift was more than the Richest, Most Holy or Wisest or Humblest man in the world could ever afford.

It is on Offer a Gift of Eternal Goodness From a Good Father

Don’t let it spoil

Don’t refuse it on the basis of your lack of relationship. It is the Key to all relationship

Don’t miss the Abundance he planned for you

Don’t break His Heart!

Don’t Hurt Him (Not Again)

Have a willing Heart. Receive His Good Gift this Christmas.



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Facebook( the best thing since sunscreen)

Ladies and Gentleman,
Subscribe to Facebook
If I could offer you only one tip for the future, facebook would be it.
The short term benefits of facebook have been proved by millions of young people, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience…
I will dispense this advice now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth; oops too late; you will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they have faded.
But trust me, in 20 years you’ll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can’t grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked…
You’re not as fat as you Imagine.

Don’t worry about tomorrow; or worry, but know you are choosing to waste your energy. Do what you can do now & plan now what you can do later. Give yourself permission to relax refresh so tomorrow you in the best shape to face the day
There will be troubles in this world, but be of good cheer, God will make you overcome them.
And when you succeed youll help others overcome their troubles too

Do one thing everyday that scares you.


Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts, don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours.


Don’t waste your time comparing yourself to others
You’re awesome and so are they
Let your awesomeness bring out the best in others
Believe the best. Let negativity fly over your head with minimum impact on your emotions

Remember the compliments you receive, forget the insults;
If you Succeed in doing this, tell me how.

Keep your old love letters, throw away your old bank statements.


Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your Life.
Put your hands to whatever opportunities come your way and do it the best you can. The worker is worth his wage. God sees even when man doesn’t. Hes always looking for another reason to bless you

Make plenty of mistakes

But try make ones your parents never made before, that way they can learn from you and you can show you learnt from them.

Whether you married, single, divorced, have children or not. Learn to be content where you are right now but always look forward and plan to someday be all God made you to be. Ask questions? Its a path to understanding.
Your choices are your choices! Make them and enjoy living by them. Add lots of Faith Hope and Love
Enjoy your body, Use it every way you can… Don’t be afraid of it, or what other people Think of it,
It’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever own…

Dance… even if you have nowhere to do it but in your own living room.

Read the directions, even if you don’t follow them.

Do NOT read beauty magazines, they will only make you feel ugly.

Brother and sister together we’ll make it through
Each day The Spirit will take you and guide you there
I know you’ve been hurting, but I’ve been waiting to be there
For you.
And I’ll be there, just ask me now, whenever I can.
Everybody’s free.

Get to know your parents, you never know when they’ll be gone for good.

Be nice to your siblings;
They are the best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.

Understand that friends come and go, but for the precious few you should hold on.
Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle because the older you get, the more you need the people you knew when you were young.

Live in London once, but leave before it makes you hard;
Live in Hilton once, but leave before it makes you soft.


Accept certain inalienable truths, prices will rise, politicians will Philander, you too will get old, and when you do you’ll fantasize that when you were young prices were reasonable, politicians were noble and children respected their elders.

Respect your elders.

Don’t expect anyone else to support you.
Maybe you have a trust fund, Maybe you have a wealthy spouse; but you never know when either one might run out.

Don’t mess too much with your hair, or by the time you’re 40, it will look 85.

Be careful whose advice you buy, but, be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia, dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it’s worth.

But trust me on the Facebook…

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Just not cricket


Before the Cricket each Saturday there is a siblings match on the sidelines run by Dad. Its a fun game where First ball grace exists and batsmen are given chances according to their perceived skills and ability. Everyone has fun and sometimes the umpire is biased, but no one questions his calls because though Hes the the Umpire he is also a player in the game. Some say its fun when Dad plays.

On the Under 9 cricket ground it is a far more serious affair. The umpires are bound by the laws of cricket and can score but never play.
On to such a field my Captain son strolled with the game poised. He still did not have a batting average having never gone out in Under 9 cricket. He was determined to run every run on offer. Speed was his strength, yet today it would seem perhaps as in life his greatest strength would become a weakness. He stuck the ball called for a run and His fellow batsman hesitated. He was too far gone to turn back and the other batsmen was run out. The over up He had to face again. His friend who never before had been afforded the chance to bat, due to the strength of the team was at the other side. The bowler ran , my Son struck the ball well and called for the run. His friend tripped righted himself but found himself run out by the time he reached the other side. Oh the utter devastation having waited so long for a chance to bat, and not even getting to face a single ball. My son knowing full well the situation apologized to his friend and set off to square leg umpire with one focus in mind. He told the umpire that He would go out and his friend would stay in as this was His friends first turn ever batting in the match. Of course the umpire acknowledged his sportsmanship but told him it could not be so. His friend must depart and he was forced to stay on the field.He hugged his friend perplexed that the umpire could be so unreasonable. He proceeded to run another friend out. And then in frustration holed out in the deep trying to hit a six as running wasn’t working.

As he walked towards his Dad on the side. He dismissed any consolation or advice saying he hit the ball in the air on purpose cause he had another good friend who was 11th batsmen and needed a chance to bat.

And so it was 8 runs needed 6 balls to go and one wicket standing. But those tail enders put it together. A four off the last ball of the match sealed victory. Another win for the coach and captain. But smiles all round couldn’t hide the searching questions

1) Why couldnt the umpire just let me go out and give my friend a turn?

2) Will my friends ever forgive me for running them out?

Personally I think they are good questions.

I am thankful for a God who invented grace and is not bound by the rules. He is a player in the game. And sometimes knowing our dream our ability and the pressure we under. Instead of saying you out for a duck. He says first ball grace. Or I see your heart what you did was wrong, but lets give the boy another turn.

As for forgiveness. There is abundance and who worries about small mistakes when we celebrating team VICTORY

Its about more than we can see. Yip I guess its just not cricket!

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Waves Fear and Fun

This Holiday July 2015 was the first time I remember Stephen my 3rd son going into the big waves with me.

We always put our feet in on the shore and sang ‘we not afraid, we not afraid you just a big wave and we not afraid’ easy to say when you feet are anchored on the shore.

But this time , he grabbed my hand and said dad take me in. In we walked hand in hand to shore breaks breaking over his head and depths where his feet could not touch the sand below.

The first time he was nervous, but realized it was fun. “Can you take me again dad” . We ran this time into the waves. “Jump!” I shouted and lifted him over the top of the crashing shore break. On the other side he asked “Dad how do I dive under?”. “Just like you dive in a pool!” I said.  And so he tried and oh what fun!

In an instant he had moved from Fear to Fun. His only security was holding his dads hand.

I Thought to myself. What a lesson!

Life in this world is not for sissies. You will have troubles of many kinds. But we have an ever present Father there to hold our hands and wade out into the depths with us. He will carry us over the waves, teach us to dive into our fears and find freedom and fun in the very world that scares us.

And just when you think you let go of His hand, you find he’ll never let go of you. He may even carry you in His arms of Love or on His Shoulders.


leisure bay 113

A Song came to mind:

Oh what I would do to have
The kind of faith it takes to climb out of this boat I’m in
Onto the crashing waves

To step out of my comfort zone
To the realm of the unknown where Jesus is
And He’s holding out his hand

But the waves are calling out my name and they laugh at me
Reminding me of all the times I’ve tried before and failed
The waves they keep on telling me
Time and time again, “Boy, you’ll never win!”
“You’ll never win”

But the voice of truth tells me a different story
And the voice of truth says, “Do not be afraid!”
And the voice of truth says, “This is for My glory”
Out of all the voices calling out to me
I will choose to listen and believe the voice of truth

– Casting Crowns Voice of truth

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