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  • Restorative Readings: The Old Testament, Ethics, and Human Dignity
    Restorative Readings: The Old Testament, Ethics, and Human Dignity
    Pickwick Publications

    Foreword by Walter Brueggemann, my chapter is entitled 'In conversation: The Old Testament, Ethics and Human Dignity'. A superb resource edited by Julie Claassens and Bruce Birch

  • 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 Megan (12)

Friday
Dec222017

A year to remember! So grateful for 2017! Grateful for all of you!

This has been a year to remember! Forgive me, but this is a bit of a rambling post! Please feel free to skip it if you get bored. I have used this post as an opportunity to re-collect many of the important people, events, places and happenings in 2017.

At the outset I want to say how mindful I am that the blessing of this year comes from the many wonderful people and communities that I am priviliged to be associated with. I have received much more than I deserve, and in many instances, been recognised for work that belongs to a group of persons, not just to me. In addition to this, I am also mindful that any achievement is only worthwhile if it can lead to service. My hope is that the work of this year bears fruit for my students, for the Church I serve, for the people of the world that God so loves, and in some small way may help us to honour and protect the dignity and sanctity of humans and creation. This is about Christ, and community, and undeserved grace.

As I was reflecting on this year I was struck by this beautiful quote from Dietrich Bonhoeffer's, 'God is in the manger':

'While we endeavor to grow out of our humanity, to leave our human nature behind us, God becomes human, and we must recognize that God wants us also to become human—really human. God raised his love for human beings above every reproach of falsehood and doubt and uncertainty by himself entering into the life of human beings as a human being, by bodily taking upon himself and bearing the nature, essence, guilt, and suffering of human beings. Out of love for human beings, God becomes a human being. This is about the birth of a child, not of the astonishing work of a strong man, not of the bold discovery of a wise man, not of the pious work of a saint. It really is beyond all our understanding: the birth of a child shall bring about the great change, shall bring to all mankind salvation and deliverance.' – Dietrich Bonhoeffer, God Is In the Manger

I am truly grateful for this year! 

It included, my daughter finishing high school and getting accepted to study at Stellenbosch University! Courtney also got her drivers license this year. My wife, Megan, completed a brilliant Masters degree, and my son Liam, is going to Grade 5!

I continued so serve as the Chair of the Department of Systematic Theology and Ecclesiology and the Director of the Beyers Naudé Centre for Public Theology in the Faculty of Theology at Stellenbosch University. I am so grateful for the opportunity to do the work that I do. I truly feel like I am fulfilling my calling and spending my time and energy among magnificent people, doing interesting and worthwhile things - I am in my 'sweet spot'!

Here are a few of the highlights:

  • My book was published: Forster, D.A. 2017. The (im)possibility of forgiveness? An empirical intercultural Bible reading of Matthew 18:15-35. 1st ed. Vol. XI. (Beyers Naudé Centre Series on Public Theology). Stellenbosch, South Africa: SUN Press.
  • I was awarded a 2nd PhD from Radboud University in the Netherlands.
  • The South African National Research Foundation awarded me an NRF Rating as an internationally recognised academic researcher.
  • I was blown away to be awarded a 'Distinguished Teacher' award by the University of Stellenbosch in November.
  • In January I was priviliged to attended the 'African Doctoral Academy' to do some advanced training on ATLAS.ti (a powerful software package for qualitative empirical research analysis).
  • The Wesley Works project nominated me to serve on their Board as a 'Director at Large'.
  • I was also nominated to the executive committee of the newly formed, Methodist Theological Society of South Africa.
  • I continued to serve on the executive of the Global Network for Public Theology, and was appointed to the editorial board of the International Journal for Public Theology.
  • Being appointed as an Associate of the Allan Gray Centre for Values Based Leadership at the University of Cape Town's Graduate School of Business - thanks to my friend Prof Kurt April, he remains an inspiration, a source of encouragement, and blessing.
  • I had the rare and magnificent privilege of participant in the G20 meetings in Berlin this year (thank you Prof Peter Petkof). As with the World Economic Forum that I attended in 2015, this was a remarkable event. It was particularly interesting to see how prominent religion and ethics feature in global policy.
  • I was also appointed as a fellow of the Berlin Institute for Public Theology at the Humboldt University in Berlin. I am so grateful for Prof Torsten Meireis, a senior academic and senior colleauge who is a great help and inspiration in my academic development. I count it a great honour to work with Torsten.
  • In September I was asked to deliver the Stellenbosch University 'Form Lecture' on the topic 'Is forgiveness really possible in South Africa?'
  • The Graduation of my first PHD student at Stellenbosch University, Dr Anna Cho! I am so pleased for Anna - she wrote a magnificent disseration in Biblical ethics. We have also published an academic article together on this theme.
  • Another highlight was meeting Prof Jürgen Moltmann and having lunch with him while on his visit to Stellenbosch! Thank you to my friends Prof Julie Claassens and Prof Robert Vosloo, for making this event happen.
  • And, as a final highlight to the year I was awarded a place at the 2018 Oxford Institute for Methodist Theological Studies a Pembroke college Oxford. A particular honour is that I was asked to deliver the deliver the “Fernley Hartley Trust” lecture (Methodist Church of Britain) at the Oxford Institute for Methodist Theological Studies on Friday the 17th of August 2018 in Oxford. I’ll post more details in due course. I am already nervous! I am sure that Bishop Ivan Abrahams (President of the World Methodist Council) had something to do with this! Thank you Ivan.

Among my highlights in teaching and learning were:

  • Teaching a group of international Doctoral Students at Wesley House, Cambridge University (as part of a joint doctoral program between Wesley House and Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, DC).
  • Teaching two courses (Masters in New Testament and another in Leadership and Ethics) at Radboud University, Holland.
  • The University of Cape Town, Graduate School of Business MBA program (Ethical Leadership).
  • A seminar (with my friend Sean Temlett) to the University of North Carolina MBA cohort who visited South Africa - this is an amazing group of people! This year was the 2nd time that I was priviliged to join Sean and this group.
  • And then of course, my own wonderful students! This year I taught courses in Human Dignity; Public Theology; Modern Theology and Contemporary Theological Trends; Faith and Public Life; Youth and Moral Formation; Apologetics (which includes issues such a faith and science, theodicy, secularism etc.).

 

Travel and conferences. I travelled a fair amount in 2017 (16 trips, of which 8 were overseas):

  • Holland in January for the ordination and commissioning of our wonderful colleague Rev Rineke van Ginkel with whom I work in the Beyers Naudé Centre for Public Theology - I recorded two videos while on that trip here and here. And here is a great interview that Rineke recorded to highlight her work in the Beyers Naudé Centre for Public Theology.
  • I was back in Holland in May to teach at Radboud University. While there I also spoke at a conference in Leuven (Belgium) at the invitation of my friend Prof Kobus Kok. Those were two magnificent trips! It was also wonderful to have the time in the evenings (after classes) to just work on the completion of my PHD dissertation. I sent the final full draft for examination on the 14th of May when I departed!
  • I visited Germany from 5-23 June to do four things (see these videos here and here). I participated in the Summer School of Stellenbosch University, the Humboldt University and the Universities of the Western Cape and KwaZulu Natal. I also participated in the G20 meetings in Berlin. Then I delivered a Public Lecture at the University of Bamberg (such an amazing medieval city)! Finally, I returned to Berlin for the launch of the Berlin Institute for Public Theology (of which I am a fellow).
  • In July I was in Cambridge to teach on the International Doctoral Program at Wesley House, Cambridge University.
  • My second last international trip for the year was back to Holland do some doctoral seminars and defend my PHD! That was an absolute blessing and joy, and all the more so since Megan travelled with me! This little fun video shows some of the preperation for the defence and a bit of riding around Radboud University's campus. And here is a video about the PHD defence and the award of the degree.
  • My final trip for 2017 was a wonderful visit to New York, and Princeton University, and then on to the American Academy of Religion in Boston where I delivered a paper and had various meetings with publishers, editorial boards and research projects.
  • Within South Africa I participated in the Methodist Theology of Southern Africa founding conference at Seth Mokitimi Methodist Seminary in Pietermaritzburg, I spoke at a conference in Potchefstroom in honour of my Doctoral Supervisor, Prof Jan van der Watt, I spoke at numerous Churches and institutions around South Africa. And of course participated in many conferences at Stellenbosch University (many of which will lead to publications, such as the Forgiveness, Reconciliation and Violence conference, the Religious Freedom conference, the Historical Trauma and Healing of Memory conference etc.)

 

As I write this I am on leave. There is a great deal to look forward to in 2018! I am due for research leave in 2018 and have been invited to undertake some part of that research leave in Sweden at the University of Gothenburg's department of Religious Studies and Theology. I will also be spending some time in Oxford for the Oxford Institute for Methodist Theological Studies. And if my Humboldt Stiftung (Fellowship) is successful (please say a prayer!) I shall be spending some months in Berlin! It is my hope that Megie, Courtney and Liam will be able to join me for parts of those trips.

So, as the year ends, I want to give glory to God, express my love for my family, and give thanks to my colleagues and friends. I am truly grateful to share in this journey with each of you. May we continue to offer our selves, our resources, our passion, our training, our intellect, our creativity, and indeed our very lives, for the development of the common good, for justice, for peace, and for fullness of life.

I share my last little video for the year (recorded on the Campus of Princeton University) on the politics of forgiveness with you. May you be blessed at Christmas, revived, renewed, and replenished for what lies ahead.

 

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.

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.

Saturday
Jan012011

The Sugar tastes nice because of the spice!

Last night we celebrated the arrival of 2011 with a few friends. Of course it does mean, at very least, that I shall be signing the wrong date on letters and forms for the next few months (it always takes me a little while to catch up to dates). But, it was good to have a chance to reflect on 2010 and look forward to 2011.

2010 is one of those years that will live on in my memory as 'the best of times' and 'the worst of times' (to misquote Charles Dickens)!  The sugar tasted nice because of the spice.

The very best of 2010 is the fact that Courtney is alive and well after being diagnosed and treated for a brain tumor. It is difficult to describe the panic and despair we experienced for those few weeks.  Somehow it seems like a distant memory, perhaps even a bad nightmare.  We thank God for bringing us all through and we anticipate such blessing in the year ahead!  How wonderful it is to know that she is well!

Another great highlight of 2010 was the Third Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization that I had the privilege to be be a participant at, and also to be one of the staff. It was fantastic to see the delegates from all over the world arriving at the Cape Town International Convention Centre after almost three years of work.  The congress itself was an incredible experience in so many ways, not least of which are the many new friends that were made.

The publication of 'Transform your work life: Turn your ordinary day into an extraordinary calling' was another very significant event in 2010.  It has changed my life in many ways.  I never expected that this little book (that I was writing this time last year) would do quite as well as it has. As a result of the book's success in South Africa, Asia and America I have had invitations to speak at conferences and events, I will be doing some traveling to Malaysia and America for that reason this year.  The royalties from the sale (which I signed over to the Unashamedly Ethical campaign) have made it possible for values and ethics to spread a little wider in South Africa and elsewhere in the world.  I have received hundreds of encouraging emails, stories of 'transformed lives' and testimonies of how God is using people to make a difference where they are.  I am truly thankful, and humbled, at what that book has achieved.  Of course the book would not have been possible without the incredible example and courageous faith of my friend Graham Power.  His life story is the thread of testimony that runs through the pages of the book allowing me to draw on texts from scripture, insights from Christian history, and practical ideas for ministry in the 'world of work'.

And, what would a reflection on 2010 be without some mention of cycling!?  It was the year of the Wines2Whales that I rode with my friends Greg Long and Philip Collier. In total I have done almost 4000 km's of riding (mostly offroad) on my trust Mongoose Canaan Team mountainbike.  I have had a few falls, but so much fun!  I feel fit and strong at the start of 2011 as a result!

In a few days time I shall be returning to work.  This year has many exciting events planned, quite a lot of travel (in South Africa and abroad).  So do look in here from time to time - perhaps there will be some 'uncommon inspiration' among the posts on this blog...

My life is filled with grace because of God's goodness.  It is filled with hope because of the possibility of doing some small things to make a difference in the world.  It is filled with joy because of my wonderful wife Megan and our children Courtney and Liam.  And, it is filled with excitement because there is so much left to see and do!

May 2011 be a truly blessed year for you and your family!

Tuesday
Oct262010

Overcome with gratitude and grace - Courtney returns to school!

This morning Megan, Courtney, Liam and I gathered for a little prayer of thanksgiving and praise.  

Today Courtney went back to school - and she is well!  She has recovered from her surgery, the cancer is gone, and she is a happy, healthy little 11 year old girl!  We are so thankful!  

Our whole lives have been changed by this series of events.  We have a renewed appreciation of God's gracious love and care, and such confidence in the love and grace of our friends, many family, and our local Church.  Truly, we are overcome with gratitude and grace today!

It was two months ago today that our journey began (you can read the whole story as it unfolded in a series of posts here.  It starts with the most recent post, so you will need go back to the first post to pick up at the start of the story) - Megan went into hospital for a surgical procedure, and on the same day Liam fell ill. It was a very stressful time for us as a family.  Little did we know what would happen in the weeks to follow.  

That weekend I was speaking at a conference in Johannesburg when Megan phoned me to say that Courtney's eye had swollen closed as a result of a bad cold and sinus infection.  Courtney was hospitalized for the first time on Sunday the 5th of September.  The next morning when they did a CAT scan to see where the swelling was, and in there was any damage to the eye, they discovered every person's worst nightmare - cancer.

The doctor called us aside and told us that they had found a 3cm growth (unrelated to the eye infection), located in the 4th cerebral ventricle.  We were devastated!  But the love of family and friends, the support of our Church, and the care of our doctors gave us great hope and encouragement.  Our little girl spent a few days in hospital recovering from the infection and we waited for her brain surgery which eventually took place on the 23rd of September.  She spent more than 3 hours in surgery.  The doctor was very pleased with the procedure, but the following day he told us that what he had seen was not good news.  He felt confident that Courtney's cancer was malignant and that she would need some further treatment from a pediatric oncologist.  We braced ourselves for that.  However, the next day he called me (while I was still in the ICU with Courtney) overjoyed to tell me that the histology had shown that Courtney had an extremely rare form of brain cancer which is completely benign!  The surgery was a cure - she was free of cancer!

I cannot tell you the sense of relief and gratitude that we experienced on that day, and many times after that in the days that followed!

Well, after a few days in ICU, a couple more in the general ward, Courtney came home to recover.  She had a massive surgical procedure that cut into her brain - we knew that her recovery would be slow.  At first she simply slept (sometimes up to 22 hours a day), and when she was awake she was constantly vomiting.  Her mood was very low.  However, we prayed for her every day, encouraged her and did our best to be patient, supportive and loving.  With each day that passed the pain grew less, the nausea settled and her lovely little personality returned!

This morning as we prayed together she was just like the little girl who turned 11 in August - full of fun, excited about the opportunities of the day, a wonderful daughter who loves the Lord and has a zest for life.  She had a hair cut last week (just to be sure that the bit where her head was shaved was well covered for her return to school).  Megan had prepared to take her to school and help her to get her bag to class and get her settled.  But, when she arrived at the gate a number of Courtney's friends were waiting there to help her and welcome her in!

That makes my heart so glad!

So, first, let me say how grateful we are to all of you that prayed for us and have helped us through these trying times.  We are thankful that God's love has brought us through stronger and with more faith! Second, please continue to pray for our family - we certainly need it!  Please also remember Courtney in your prayers from time to time.  She has some catching up to do for school work that she has missed.  But more than that our heart's desire is that she will know just how precious she is to God and to us, and that her life is an immeasurable gift!

Friday
Oct012010

The journey is drawing to a close! An update on Courtney 1 October 2010

We cannot thank and praise God sufficiently for His unending mercy and grace to Courtney and our whole family!  

We love our girl so very, very much!  Her life is an immeasurable gift to us, and we know that God has such a special plan for our princess.  He has carried her through this last tough month, offering her courage and wisdom well beyond her tender age. We are so proud of Courtney - she has faced her fears, endured pain and uncertainty with courage, and through it all been a shining example of a young Christian woman whose faith is in our God!

Today, on the 1st of October, Courtney's journey with cancer has come to an end!!

This morning we took her back to Dr Wessels at the Somerset West Mediclinic for a final checkup and to have the 24 staples removed from her neck and head.  While she will bear the physical scar from this month on her body for some years, we are praying that God will completely remove any emotional scars there may be!  We know that she will soon return to her vibrant love of life!  The signs are already there!

Courtney is such a brave little girl. Her courage has blessed and inspired me. 

Sure, she cried a little today as they removed the staples, but in the end she managed a great smile!  We're hoping that she will return to school next week (for part of the day to start with, and then ease her way back in).

She received some medication to deal with the last of the blood and tissue that is in her brain and spinal fluid (this is a bit like a mild meningitis).  But this will clear and soon there will be no more headaches, vomiting or nausea.

All glory to God who not only creates in magnificence, but also re-creates, sustains and perfects His creation!

You can read about Courtney's journey through this illness to the miracle of healing by clicking here (or on the tag 'miraclegirl').

You may recall that our journey began about a month ago when Courtney fell ill with a cold.  This quickly spread into a sinus infection and later she was hospitalised with a swollen face and eye. Because there was some concern about the damage to her optical nerve (and to see where the infection was) she went for an MRI.  At that point it was discovered that she had a 3cm tumor in the 4th cerebral ventricle.  She was treated for the infection to her eye and her surgery was scheduled for two weeks later.  The operation was a great success and the neurosurgeon was overjoyed that he had completely removed the tumour. There was no damage to her brain at all.  

Whilst the worst was feared about the histology of the tumor, the best results returned a few days later!  Courtney's tumor was benign - she had a very rare form of brain cancer called a Choroid Plexus Papilloma (accounting for between 0.4-0.6% of tumors in that area of the brain). Even the doctor assured us that this was an answer to prayer since the Medulloblastoma (which is a much more agressive cancer) is the more likely growth in that region.  God in His grace had healed her!

All in all we have experienced anew the wonder of God's loving grace and power, it has been emphasized through the wonderful care and love of the body of Christ.  As family, friends and colleagues - and even people we don't know - have prayed for Courtney, sent notes, cooked meals, sent messages and loved us on behalf of Christ!

I want to encourage you about the certainty of God's love in every situation (as Romans 8.28 says).  Moreover, God's mercy and compassion is a source of great power and strength in such trying times (please read Lamentations 3.21-26 and Psalm 33.18-22).  

If you come upon this post in the years after October 2010; and you find yourself struggling with the diagnosis of a loved one, perhaps a child or a spouse, then please be encouraged by what God has done in Courtney's life.  Feel free to drop us a line.  It would be our joy to pray with you and offer you encouragement and care.

This unfortunate event has renewed our faith in God's power.  It has also caused us to have to reconsider our priorities in life!  Our children truly are our most precious gifts from the Lord - nothing is more valuable.  Work, ambition, material advancement, personal fulfilment, all of these things must rightly take their place behind the priority of creating a loving home to safely nurture our children towards their great destiny.

As you know both Liam and Courtney have had their fair share of health challenges in life - we thank God for all He has done in them and for what God wants to do with Courtney and with Liam.

Courtney's whole life lies ahead of her - please pray for our princess and ask God to bless and protect her in the many years that lie ahead!  Please pray the same thing for little Liam! May he too come to grow into all that God has destined him to be!

With inexpressible gratitude for God's loving grace,

Dion, Megan, Courtney and Liam.

Wednesday
Aug252010

In you alone do I have all!

Our family has been through a few challenges this last week. My wife went for surgery and at the same time our son Liam was extremely ill.

I am grateful for the comfort that comes through the support of friends, the knowledge of God's love and care, and for the recovery that we see in both Megan and Liam.

This quote meant a great deal to me this week. It may offer you some encouragement and inspiration as well.

God, of your goodness give me yourself for you are sufficient for me. I cannot properly ask anything less, to be worthy of you. If I were to ask less, I should always be in want. In you alone do I have all. - Julian of Norwich
Indeed, "in you alone do I have all". Have a blessed week!
Monday
Nov102008

What matters most, all on one couch!

 

These are the people who matter most to me! My wife Megan, daughter Courtney and son Liam. I got a special gift today - my last meeting in Johannesburg ended two hours early so I managed to fly home early and see my kids awake. It's a special gift to be able to spend this evening with them!
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Thursday
Oct252007

Wohoo! My wife's article on pre-assessment get's published!

The bright one in my marriage (she also happens to be prettier, more Christian, and the only one of the two of us who has given birth...), that's Megan for those who don't know, has just had an article published on the PFIQ website. It considers the struggle, and value, of pre-assessing learners for learnership qualifications.

Read it here.

Monday
Apr092007

Easter MIRACLES!!! This one's for you Janet!

Happy Easter everyone! I pray that it was a time of renewal and rediscovery for you.

I had the great honour of preaching an Easter Mission entitled 'The week that changed the world could change your life'. I preached the following messages from Palm Sunday to Wednesday (and I've thrown in my Easter Sunday message from Bryanston Methodist Church for good measure):

1. Sunday morning services Growing like Christ: God's unexpected tools for maturing people.
2. Sunday evening Christ the King: Is God ever satisfied?
3. Monday evening Easter's empty promises.
4. Tuesday evening Judas Christ's most honest and successful disciple! Coping with failure and living without regret.
5. Wednesday Evening Prayer under pressure: There's a lesson in the tone of Christ's voice.
6. Easter Sunday The hope of Victory: More certain than death and taxes!

We had an incredible response to the mission! It was such a joy to be with Les Green and his wonderful people. I am always overwhelmed by the generosity and grace of God's people. I was so lovingly received and richly affirmed by them.

OK, now onto our little Miracle! Janet gently reminded me just recently in a comment on this blog that I haven't given an update on little Liam in a while. Well, he is doing so well!!!!! He now weights just under 5kg's and is 5 months old. He has had 3 of his synergis injections (so one leg is worth R20 000 and the other is worth R10 000!) So, 3 more to go! He has responded well to the injections and has been infection free. Thank you so much to all those who have prayed for us, offered us support, and donated towards the cost of these life saving injections. We appreciate it all so much. You may never know how much! Hey Wes!!! What can I say? You're a gift and a miracle of God's grace to us!

Sometimes we forget just how far we have come over the last 5 months. Take a look at this photo that was taken just after his birth.


Look how little and frail he was!

The picture on the right was taken just after his birth. He was so tiny! Now, however, he looks like a REAL baby!!! He is quite heavy to hold and such a strong and robust little guy.

What is even more wonderful is that he has started to SMILE!! All parents will remember those first smiles from their kids. Liam has been a little late in getting to his smiles, but when he finally got there it was the most incredible and wonderful sight in the world! It melts my heart (and my brain! Dr Dad goes 'goo goo, gaa gaa, choo' all day long, just in the hope of getting him to smile).

How COOL is this!? Look at that smile. Isn't Liam looking great? Not only does he smile like this, he has also started to 'churtle' a bit. It sounds fantastic and it just blesses us so much to get this type of response out of him.

Megie, Courtney, and Liam spent the Easter Weekend with Megie's folks, Brian and Brenda, who have moved to Hilcrest in Kwazulu Natal (I on the other hand had a bit of work to do, but was also ill, so it was just as well that I couldn't go with them). This photo was taken at their new place (Megie went down with her mom to help her to unpack and visit with them in their new home). So, this was Liam's first trip to the coast. He LOVED the sea. Megie put his feet in the water and he couldn't get enough! A water baby!

Courtney also loved it at the sea! She is constantly nagging Megie and I to 'move back' to our home in Cape Town! Wouldn't that be great!? Here's a picture Courts sitting on the beach (she is growing up FAR too quickly!!! Just look at this pose! Even though I am a 'Gun Free' campaigner I need to start saving for a shotgun!)


I am so blessed with these wonderful people that God allows me the joy of sharing my life with. Megie is a wonder. I am more in love with her day after day! Please pray for her as she prepares to go back to work full time at the end of this month (she has been back in the office a few times a week already for the past few weeks, but I know it is going to be heart wrenching when the time comes for her to go back full time. So please do pray for her!) Courts goes back to school on Tuesday after her Easter break. So it will be morning rides on the Vespa! Yipee. Although it is starting to get a bit colder now, so we will have to wrap up to stay warm.

Some personal news from me is that I am starting my second Doctorate in the coming weeks. I have been toying with the idea for a few months now, spoken to a few friends, colleagues and advisors, and have decided to get going rather than waste anymore time thinking about it. Yup, you read correctly, I am starting a second Doctorate. I will share some of the reasons and motivation behind this as it unfolds. For now I simply need to say, I cannot cope without studying! I need to read, I need to be challenged to think beyond what is commonplace, and I need a bit of extra pressure to write! Plus I still don't sleep all that well and I need something more worthwhile and stimulating to do with late nights and early mornings! I also love reading the Bible and have been wanting to take my New Testament studies further at a more critical level. So, this one's going to be in New Testament (at this stage anyway).

Well, there you go. That's the news Forsterdom!