Unemployment, You and God’s Rescue Ladder

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Lay-offs, retrenchments, liquidations and other dreadful words to this effect are today’s buzzwords. This book endeavours to motivate those unfortunate people in a down-to-earth, practical way to overcome the trauma of sudden unemployment and take the entrepreneurial way forward. Based on Christian principles, it illustrates how to “build a rope ladder” – with “materials” at hand – to free you from the dark, black hole of unemployment.

INTRODUCTION: THE ROPE LADDER
After losing my job, I found myself at the bottom of a dark, black well. God reached out to me, a sorrowful bundle of despair and I saw His two arms as two ropes. My eyes were opened to all the God-given resources around me – assets I could use as rungs for a rope ladder to escape this hole of misery. Each following chapter deals with a rung.

RUNG 1: YOU
As God’s creation you are unique – purpose-built, equipped with distinctive talents, abilities and gifts. Do you know what they are? This chapter will help you identify your strengths and weaknesses, how to optimise the former and deal with the latter.

RUNG 2: YOUR FAITH
With “real life” illustrations of God’s helping hand, this chapter aims to reinforce (and re-establish) faith in the almighty God. It also leads the reader to (re-)discover a day-to-day relationship with God.

RUNG 3: YOUR ATTITUDE
My attitude to my circumstances very often dictates my actions as well as the end result. The reader is led to see how attitudes can change circumstances and, conversely, how attitudes can sometimes prevent you from reaching your potential or obtaining your goals.

RUNG 4: YOUR SPOUSE
The impact of unemployment on the reader’s spouse and the potential harm it can bring to a marriage are highlighted in this chapter with suggestions to keep the marriage on the right track. A letter to the reader’s spouse (which can be given to the spouse to read) is included in this chapter. The letter explains the emotions, fears and everyday-conflicts the unemployed person faces and what support the spouse can give.

RUNG 5: YOUR HOUSEHOLD
Demands of modern day life with peer pressures, particularly, on teenagers, can devastate a family if not heeded. Practical hints and ideas are presented on how to break the news to the family, getting the family involved in tackling the setback and how to steer the family to safe ground.

RUNG 6: YOUR FRIENDS
A short passage to demonstrate the role that friends play in your life – “friends” who will abandon you, but also those gems that will support you during your troubled times.

RUNG 7: YOUR COMMUNITY
Your community is an untapped treasure. This chapter briefly illustrates what an important role the community can play during troubled times. A few suggestions on how to engage with your community are outlined.

RUNG 8: YOUR PLANNING
Without using too much theoretical (academic) jargon, the reader is introduced to simple planning techniques. These guidelines are applicable not only to a business environment, but particularly to bring order into an upside-down life again.

RUNG 9: YOUR TIME
Time is an inevitable requisite for planning and for this reason the reader is alerted to pitfalls and other threats that should be taken note of in order to prevent unnecessary wasting of time.

RUNG 10: YOUR MONEY
Practical hints are given about financial matters, both for personal and business purposes.

CONCLUSION: YOUR’E OUT… NOW WHAT?
Although the reader has managed to get out of the depths of that gloomy, dark hole, he has to realise that he is now standing on the first step of a new episode in his life. Brand new challenges lie ahead. The reader is given an inkling of what to expect from suppliers, friends, life, mood swings and many more.

EPILOGUE: ELVES AND DIESEL ENGINES
Unemployment, You and God’s Rescue Ladder concludes with a final inspirational account of the hardships, disappointments and ultimate victory of an army platoon during training.

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NUMBER 2: ZEPPELINS AND TORKELS

Hagnau

I was a complete novice to the whole “overseas” experience. It felt like a different planet to me and I was more or less prepared to see wings or extra limbs on the inhabitants of this foreign world. To give you an idea of my ignorance: We had a bank account in Germany when the currency was still Deutsche Mark. One Saturday on the ferry to Switzerland, we realised that we didn’t have any Swiss Francs. At the Swiss cash machine I wasn’t sure how this machine was going to respond to our German card. And what currency, if any, we will get.  I was absolutely dumbfounded when, not only were we given a selection of languages to be served in, but also received Swiss Francs from our German account!

Germany is renowned for their beer and wine festivals.

Hagnau am Bodensee

In the sleepy village of Hagnau the Torkelfest is an annual event to celebrate their wine making tradition. A Torkel is an ancient winepress and the one in Hagnau dates from 1747 – the last of twenty six that once pressed the grapes from the surrounding vineyards to produce wine.

Torkel

Each of Germany’s thirteen wine-producing regions is divided into smaller districts known as Bereiche . The wines of Bereiche Bodensee  are influenced by the lake and warm wind that can enhance ripening called föhn – peculiar to the surrounding Alpine area.

A few kilometres east a completely different experience awaits visitors.

Friedrichshafen

Friedrichshafen is where, in June 1898, Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin built the first of the famous Zeppelins in a floating wooden hanger on the Bodensee.

The fourth Zeppelin

Zeppelin in Friedrichshafen

The memories of that once huge industry are brought to live at the Zeppelin Museum in Friedrichshafen. I had never realised just how massive those airships were until I stood beneath a tiny section of a Zeppelin that’s been reconstructed inside the museum.

Inside the Zeppelin Museum

NEXT TIME: VON TRAPS AND CONNYLAND

BOEREWORS EN SJOE SIE!

Vreugde in Zimbabwe

Nou ja, wat sal ‘n mens van die afgelope rugby-wintertoere sê? Miskien so min as moontlik.  Ek sien ons het darem ons derde plek op die ranglys behou ná Australië (2de) en die skrikwekkende manne-in-swart heel gemaklik bo-aan.

En as mens liewer niks oor die rugby wil sê nie, dan wil ‘n mens nie eers gedagtes hê oor krieket nie. Zimbabwe? Hoe is dit moontlik dat een van die versukkelste lande ter wêreld twee wedstryde teen Suid-Afrika wen? Volgens die een of ander opname wat kyk hoe gelukkig die verskillende lande se mense is, blyk Mugabe se mense oor die algemeen gelukkiger te wees as hul suidelike bure. Hoe verklaar dit dan dat hulle hul lewens in gevaar stel om riviere vol krokodille oor te steek, deur leeugebied te trek, oor elektriese heinings te klouter  en dan nog die moontlikheid van xenofobiese aanvalle te trotseer wanneer hulle in groot getalle die grens na Suid-Afrika oorsteek?

Op ‘n heel ander noot.

Ons manne se gereedskap haal die nuus die laaste tyd om heel onwaarskynlike redes. Kyk nou maar vir onse Prez Zuma en DAARDIE skildery.

En dan is daar daai ou in Japan wat sy kroonjuwele chirurgies laat verwyder en gevries het. Enkele maande later kry hy toe ‘n blink plan. Gedagtig aan die Oosterse smaak vir eksotiese cuisine  sien hy toe ‘n gaping om geld te maak. Tydens ‘n openbare geleentheid omskep hy  toe sy (bestand)dele in ‘n liplekker gereg. Vyf kliënte het elk sowat $250 ‘n worsie, ek bedoel porsie betaal. Wonder wat het hy die gereg genoem – dalk Sjoe Sie!

Hoe groot is ‘n porsie?

Nee wat, noem my oudmodies, maar gee my eerder ‘n lekker stuk boerewors met gebakte hoendereiers. Saam met pap en sous is dit net so lekker. Of sommer met enige iets.

Regte egte boerewors

Nou wat laat my nou skielik dink aan daai ingelegde worsies wat ons destyds op die grens gekry het?

Wat het ons dit nou weer genoem…?

Maar dit het beslis nie $250 gekos nie.