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  • What are we thinking? Reflections on Church and Society from Southern African Methodists.
    What are we thinking? Reflections on Church and Society from Southern African Methodists.
    by Dion A Forster, Wessel Bentley
  • Methodism in Southern Africa: A celebration of Wesleyan Mission
    Methodism in Southern Africa: A celebration of Wesleyan Mission
    by Dion A Forster, Wessel Bentley
  • Christ at the centre - Discovering the Cosmic Christ in the spirituality of Bede Griffiths
    Christ at the centre - Discovering the Cosmic Christ in the spirituality of Bede Griffiths
    by Dion A Forster
  • An uncommon spiritual path - the quest to find Jesus beyond conventional Christianity
    An uncommon spiritual path - the quest to find Jesus beyond conventional Christianity
    by Dion A Forster
Transform your work life: Turn your ordinary day into an extraordinary calling. by Dion Forster and Graham Power.
Download a few chapters of the book here.
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Entries in family (54)

Tuesday
Jun242014

Have Brompton will travel! On my way to Malaysia, Holland and Germany

On the road again. Have Brompton bicycle will travel! Ha ha!

Dubai tonight, Kuala Lumpur for the #AWC2014 conference where I am delivering a plenary talk on business without corruption and a workshop on caring for Christians in the world of work. I can't wait to see my friends in Malaysia again - I am do close to them! It feels like a second home! I also have the joy of preaching at my friend Alvin Tan's Church in KL on Sunday.

Then it is off to Holland for further research on my second PhD at the end of the week. I hope to make a big dent in this project! Need to get it done!

Then on 22 July I head to Germany to speak at the ISTR conference on 'EXPOSED - Shining a light on corruption' as a 4th generation social movement (refer to Castells and David Korten). My colleague, Dr Nadine Bower-du Toit and I have worked on a paper together for that conference.

I head home on 29 July and start teaching a Master of Theology course on the ethics of care the next day.

I am missing my family already! This is the first big trip of 2014. Compared to last year my travel schedule has been light. But, it is never easy to leave home!

I am excited for the next few weeks! Blessed to have my Brompton with me! I am sure to get some good riding in while in Holland and Germany. Here is a picture of me with Doris the old Brompton in the Brompton B Bag (with all my clothes etc. in the bag as well). I use the Brompton T Bag as hand luggage, laptop bag etc. it all adds up to 30kg - the max allowable on Emirates.

I would appreciate your prayers for Megie, Courts and Liam. It is a long time to be away from home! Please also pray for the people I will serve, for my studies and for good health and safety! Thanks, Dion

Monday
Feb242014

The Argus Cycle tour (again) on a Brompton folding bicycle!

In a week and a bit I will be riding my 12th Argus Cycle tour. If you add the 12 rides together it equals almost 1500km of riding just along that one scenic route of Cape Town. I have had a few good rides (under 3h30) and at least one horrendous ride (6h+some! That is a year I would rather forget. Simple advice, don't ever try a new supplement on race day!)

Last year's race was the most fun of all - I rode with my darling wife Megie, and I did the ride on my 3 speed folding bike. A Brompton! It causes quite a stir - so much so that I ended up in this year's official race magazine (p.39 of the 2014 Cycle magazine - see the attached picture).

I will be riding on Darth the Brompton again this year, and will be joined by at least two other Brompton Brothers from the UK! Three of us among the 40 thousand - not a bad ratio! At this rate we will take over the race by.... Well a very long time!

Last year I had a fall on my mountainbike a broke my right hand, and three weeks ago I fell off my Vespa and got a grade two dislocation of my shoulder (AC joint) and a cracked shoulder blade. I did some training with my arm in the sling. It is almost 4 weeks later and I'd say it is 90% healed.

This Sunday I'll ride the Argus Mountainbike race on my 'bigger' bike (a Cannondale Scalpel 3, 29er).

Next Sunday Megie and I will once again hit the road for the Argus road ride. I'll be riding in a jacket and tie with my Brompton. If you see us along the way wave and say hi!

PS., if you click on the 'Argus' tag on this post you will see some previous posts with Argus tips, a picture with Francois Pienaar and Matt Damon and a few other things.

Saturday
Dec142013

Departing from Holland - back home!

As I write this I am standing in front of the Huygensgebouw in Nijmegen waiting for the Number 14 bus that will take me to Nijmegen Station, from where I catch a train to Schipol and then fly to Dubai, and arrive in Cape Town a day and a half later. The weather at home is different - that I can believe! It is cold and wet here in Holland this morning!

This last week has been very fruitful and productive. I spent a great deal if time developing to Practice Oriented Research strategy I will be using with my focus groups. I also did a lot of reading and discussing on affective neuroscience and the disruptive mind. But my joy was spending days buried deep in the Greek text of Matthew 28.1-35 (in fact Matthew, the Synoptics and the ancient sources of the time). I learned a great deal about 'fictive kin', mimesis, ancient near eastern community structure, ancient Roman Law, and of course concepts of forgiveness and reconciliation in the Bible.

I also had to joy of speaking at a Public Lecture on Nelson Mandela (Soetebeeck reeks I think it was called). A real highlight for me.

Then I did two longer rides on Doris my Brompton - one along the Ooij Dijk and another out to Germany (Kleve) - just beautiful! Cold, but lovely. Having a bike here was invaluable for bit commuting and fitness and sight seeing. I'm glad I brought Doris to England and Holland!

Now, I turn my head towards home! My beautiful family! I can't wait to be with them tomorrow!

Sunday
Nov242013

Arrived safely at London Gatwick

I arrived safe and sound at London Gatwick airport. Doris my Brompton bicycle seems to have survived the flights as well as I did!

We almost missed the connection in Dubai due to delays from Air Traffic Control. I am so glad to be here!

I can't wait to see Craig and Kath, Rich and Karen and the kids! I'm on a coach from Gatwick to Heathrow now where I will meet Craig and Kath.

Tomorrow I have a few meetings in Kensington with the Alpha International team - so Doris will join me on the tube into London!

Sunday
Sep292013

Heading home from Malaysia 

Megan and I have had a wonderful week together in Kuala Lumpur and Penang. Tonight we head home to Cape Town via KL, Doha and Johannesburg.

We were brought here by our wonderful friends from Alpha Malaysia. This week we had a wonderful conference encouraging Christians to discover and live out their faith life in the world of work. In part this was based on my book 'Transform your work life: Turn your ordinary day into an extraordinary calling'. We also have a strong partnership between Alpha Malaysia and Unashamedly Ethical http://www.unashamedlyethical.com and 'EXPOSED - Shining a light on corruption' http://www.exposed2013.com

This was a wonderful week. We had many chances to engage with Christians in the world of work and ministers / pastors about developing a public theology and living out their faith for the sake of transformation and renewal of society so that justice and grace may prevail.

We have many wonderful friends here, so it is always a joy to visit! I was so thankful that Megie could join me on this trip. It was such a blessing to have this precious time with her! The punishing travel and work schedule of the last two years does take its toll. It is so wonderful to be together and experience new and wonderful people and places as a couple.

Of course we cannot wait to get back home to our children who have been with their aunt and my mom! We've missed them so much!

There is a busy time ahead with EXPOSED reaching its climax from 14-20 October across the world. We already have 137 countries involved and millions of Christians.

Here is how you can get involved:

1. Please watch this short video (2 minutes) about the EXPOSED Vigils http://t.co/i9EK7QqqjK
2. Simply invite a few friends, set a venue, and download prayers, scripture readings and the video from here http://www.exposed2013.com/act/10-action-tools/33-organise-a-vigil
3. Please register your Global Vigil on the map here, so that others can see it (shine a light!) or join you if it is an open meeting or service! http://www.exposed2013.com/act/10-action-tools/78-register-your-vigil
4. Post some pictures, video, or a short report on your website, facebook and twitter. Please use the hashtag #ShineALight
5. At your Vigil, and during the week, please get as many people as you can to sign the Global Call to end corruption. Simply go here on your computer, cellphone or tablet http://bit.ly/signGC or visit the website and sign up there, or download and print a sign up sheet to gather signatures automatically http://www.exposed2013.com

Thanks so much for your prayers and solidarity in this work! Rich blessing, Dion

 

Thursday
Sep192013

On our way to Malaysia!

What a blessing it was to board our flight to Malaysia (via Johannesburg and Doha) in a very wet Cape Town this evening!

What makes it such a blessing is that Megan is traveling with me to beautiful Malaysia. I am so thankful! I will be speaking at the Alpha Workplace conference in Penang and have some meetings for Unashamedly Ethical and EXPOSED in Kuala Lumpur.

I love this beautiful nation a great deal! It is a very special place and such wonderful people. I look forward to introducing Megan to Durien fruit and the warm hospitality and weather!

I will also have the joy of preaching at my friend Alvin Tan's Church this Sunday.

So keep an eye on this blog and my tumblr feed (on the left of this page or at http://digitaldion.tumblr.com for the site). I will post updates in both places.

We would appreciate your prayers for our service here! Please pray that Christ's love encounters us and our friends, that we are humble and receptive to God's leading and that our work here brings wholeness and transformation for the sake of God's Kingdom.

Sunday
Jun162013

A wonderful Father's Day!

I have travelled a little less this year than last year. It is just awesome to be home for Father's Day!

I got breakfast in bed. At Church they had a special focus on dads - Liam said he loves me because I take him to school on my Vespa sometimes! Ha ha!

After Church we came to the Strand beach for some lunch and enjoyed a rare day of perfect winter weather!

A perfect day! I am so thankful for my wonderful children. They are an immeasurable gift. I am equally thankful for my wonderful wife, Megan.

Friday
May032013

Leaving for London to speak at the Alpha Leadership Conference

On Sunday I will be flying from Cape Town the London (via Dubai) to speak at the Alpha Leadership Week and have a number of meetings.  In particular I shall be focussing on spending time with the Alpha Africa team, our EXPOSED team in London and signatories and friends of Unashamedly Ethical while I am there.

Of course I will also get to spend some time with friends and family and quite a number of friends from Cape Town and Somerset West and Cape Town who will also be at the Leadership Week at the Royal Albert Hall.

I am so excited! It is a magnificent opportunity and I am praying for some deep and significant friendships and partnerships to form for the transformation of our precious continent!

The talk I was asked to give was on leadership.  When I considered the topic I realised that a lot of Leadership talks focus on leadership as if it is something that one does from the 'top' or the 'front' of an organisation.  The reality is, however, that most us don't have the responsibility of privilege of leading from that position.  Most of us are called to lead from the 'middle' of groups or organisations.  That can be quite a challenging task that requires a special measure of courage and grace.

So, I will be talking around the topic of 'From a lone nut to a leader' (based in part on an idea from Derek Sivers' great talk at TED a few years ago).  Here is the little video they recorded as a promo at the Alpha offices in Kensington when I was there in December last year.

If you're in the area, or plan to be at the Leadership week please do hook up with me.  The easiest is probably to send me a tweet on @digitaldion

Please can I ask for your prayers for Megan, Courtney and Liam while I am away?  Liam is a little sick just at the moment.  However, we trust the Lord that he will be restored to full health very quickly! I arrive back in South Africa on the 18th of May (the day before my darling wife Megan's birthday, and of course the Saturday before Pentecost and the Global Day of Prayer).

Thursday
Mar212013

A beautiful day in Cape Town!

Today is Human Rights day in South Africa - a bank holiday! After the pressure, long days, early mornings, late nights, back to back flights, and many meetings, we took the day to do some sight seeing around our city. It is awesome to live here! I feel so blessed!

The day started by taking a friend to the airport, then a lovely Mountainbike ride (I did a radio interview for EXPOSED from up in the mountains), and then around to Cape Point, Camps Bay, Hout Bay and finally home.

Monday
Mar112013

The 2013 Cape Argus Cycle Tour (with Megan and my Brompton M6L)!

Yesterday my darling Megan and I rode the Cape Argus Cycle tour.  The weather was just perfect (perhaps a little hot, but beautiful!) the secenery was awesome, and it was just fantastic to spend the time with her!

My seeded start time was 6.48 (K group), however, I started with her and a friend from Church in PA group at 9.28.  We got lots of comments on the Brompton as we rode - it was an absolute star.  Not a single hickup, small wheels around the coast! 110km of pure bicycling fun.  

Here's a picture of us at the start of the race.

The hills were not too bad - although I do realise that I am a little fitter than many other riders. The lowest gear was not quite low enough for an easy spin up Edinburgh Drive or Smitswinkel, and since I was giving my darling wife a 'little push' it took a little more energy.  By the time I reached Suikerbossie I was having to dig a little deeper!  Ha ha! But, we passed lots of riders with BIG wheels and LOTS of gears!

Here's a picture of me with the folded Brompton standing on the side wall about 3/4 way up Chapmans Peak. I had been poking fun at the other riders for 'cheating' with too many gears and wheels that were too large!

I am so proud of my darling wife! She rode very well.  This is her second Argus (she last rode almost a decade ago).  It was my 11th ride. Megan was strong and didn't complain at all. It was so special to share this time with her, both the training and the actual race itself.

We both commented that we just don't spend enough time enjoying the beauty around Cape Town! We live here! But, we tend to get busy with everything else.

You can check out the race route and a few other details on my Endomondo data below.

Tuesday
Feb122013

There are changes afoot in my life

The last few weeks have been a time intense discernment. I have a desire only to do that which is most honoring God and most profitable for God's Kingdom. However, my perspective of what I and my family need, my own struggle with the desire to be of some significance, and the buzz of attention around me makes hearing the voice of God rather difficult. But, I try.

This quote inspires me:

There was no answer, except life’s usual answer to the most complex and insoluble questions. The answer is this: live from day to day; in other words, forget.

Leo Tolstoy; Anna Karenina

What a wonderful blessing it is to be loved by my darling wife and precious children, to be cared for and encouraged by family and friends, to belong to the body of Christ, and to know that all of my life is shielded in God's grace.

Saturday
Feb092013

A great 70km ride with my wife! 

So my wife Megan and I went for our 70km ride this morning.  It was pouring with rain, but since we get so few opportunities to ride together we decided that we would ride regardless.  It was wonderful! I am so proud of Megan - she rode very strong for the whole 70km!  I think she is going to have a very comfortable 110km Argus ride in a few weeks time.

Today I decided to ride with her on Darth (Vader!) my Black M6L Brompton.  It was great to have 6 gears instead of just the 3 gears on Doris.  The bike was so comfortable.  I realise that I am a little fitter than some riders and accustomed to doing longer rides in tougher terrain (sometimes more than a hundred km on dirt on my mountainbike), but this bike is just so easy to ride! It rolled up (and down) the hills around Cape Town.  Shifting the gears does take a little getting used to.  On my old Brompton I have to pedal backwards to change gears on the 3 speed Sturmey Archer hub.  On this bike it seems that I don't need to pedal backwards, I just need to freewheel in order to change the 3 gears in the internal hub.  Then, (for those who don't know) there are two sprokets externally mounted on the hub (as opossed to 1 on the M3L).  The larger (upper) cog is naturally for higher cadence (easier gearing) while the smaller (lower) cog is for lower cadence and harder gears.

I changed gears in this way - imagine that you are riding up a steep hill (from the Lord Charles Hotel on the R44 up towards Steynsrust on the Stellenbosch road).  You start in your hardest gear (i.e., lower cadence and highest speed) = 3rd gear in the hub, smaller cog at the back.  I would call this 6th gear.  As the hill gets steeper you change from the small external cog to the large external cog (left hand shifter).  You are still in 3rd gear in the hub.  This is 5th gear.  Then to shift down you drop the internal gear from 3rd to 2nd in the hub using the right hand shifter (freewheeling), and shift from the large cog to the small cog using the left shifter (this is 4th gear)... 

The challenge is that since you have to freewheel to shift the internal hub gears, but need to pedal forward to change the external cog gears, there is always a little space between your current gear and the gear you want to be in (e.g., 6th and 5th) where you are in the wrong gear. 

Still, I got used to it quite quickly and was shifting up and down without any hassles.  The gears are wonderfully spaced! My lowest gear (1st) is fine for the hills and climbs around Cape Town, and the highest gear (6th) is OK for most descents.  If I was riding on my own I think I would have run out of top gears on my descents.

A few other things I noticed with the M6L is that the Brompton Green tires are very nice.  They roll very smoothly, and as any seasoned cyclist will know - riding in the rain most frequently results in punctures (since you cannot see glass, nails, stones and other things that can cause punctures).  These tires were bullet proof!  Super!

So, all in all a great ride with my wife! A great ride on my Brompton.

If you're interested in seeing the Garmin data from this morning's ride take a look below.