world cup spirit, world cup joy

The world will not have its great religions denied, and there is none more powerful than the god of soccer-football, currently embodied in the ‘spirit’ of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Like the gods of ancient times, access to the altar comes at the expense of the devotee. Worshippers will enrich FIFA by Billions. However, without […]

of mountains and men | 3

“Part of the beauty in mountaineering that has been laid out in so many epic tales is that we set ourselves challenges we don’t know whether we will be able to meet. Then, despite ourselves and against all odds, we go out into these wild places and try anyway. Success and failure are clear. It’s […]

family: love is no wage

I am grateful to my children for teaching me that there is no earning in love. These treasures in little vases remind me. Love gifts for me that come back in small hands after a run down to the beach with dad. Gifts freely given and received. What remains to be earned, is trust. Is […]

of mountains and men | 2

“There was something subduing in the influence of that silent and awful presence; one seemed to meet the immutable and indestructible, the eternal, face to face, and feel the trivial and fleeting nature of his own existence more sharply by the contrast. While I was feeling these things I was groping, without knowing it, toward […]

sketches …

Pen and pencil drawings of the children from youngest to oldest, littlest excluded    

of mountains and men | 1

“Eastward the dawn rose, ridge behind ridge into the morning, and vanished out of eyesight into guess; it was no more than a glimmer blending with the hem of the sky, but it spoke to them, out of the memory and old tales, of the high and distant mountains.” JRR Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings

the nature of the stakes

The Frenchman Blaise Pascal (1623-1662) was once asked by his friend Chevalier de Méré to help him solve a gambling conundrum. Chevalier wanted to know, should a game or gamble suddenly be interrupted, how should the stakes be divided amongst the players and who would be the winner? Being a rather brilliant young man, Pascal […]

family: adventure day

This last Saturday we went for a hike with the kids in our local mountains to go see the waterfall. We walked through cool damp fynbos, enjoying the morning stillness and sunshine until we could hear the rushing of the waterfall full with winter rain. The steep path had us clambering down to its base all […]

a truthless world is unbearable

What possible explanation could there be that we would yearn for a God who speaks real words to us and gives us real truth? The only explanation that I think is plausible is that there must be one. Why would we want one? Where would the idea even have come from? (It is actually a […]

the hidden desire behind our pursuits

The question at a gathering of Christian post-graduate students at UCT recently, was that of the integration of reason and belief, intellect and faith—the old conundrum of keeping head and heart together. At one point in our conversation it seemed a good idea to turn the question on itself. Normally the question being how to […]

pure illusion?

You can’t, except in the lowest animal sense, be in love with a girl if you know (and keep on remembering) that all the beauties of both of her person and of her character are a momentary and accidental pattern produced by the collision of atoms, and that your own response to them is only […]