Browse Month: December 2018

Christ Stollen

To the readers of this blog, it may appear that I need a lesson in spelling. Back in October, while MJ was grocery shopping here in South Africa, I came across a German Christmas fruit bread called “Christ Stollen” which actually means: “after Christ”. As MJ finished her grocery list, my mind kept going back to the first Christmas and how Herod tried to steal and kill Jesus, the Son of God, born to Mary and Joseph. 

To this day, 2000 years “after Christ” was born, a “Herod spirit” prevails around the world. Over the centuries, revolutionists and dictators have tried to eliminate Christianity. Even today, governments in different parts of the world are removing crosses from churches and shutting them down all together. The ministry initiatives we are involved in can attest to this.

In spite of the fact that people are still trying to steal the Christ of Christmas, He and His message are still very much alive!!!

Here are a few thoughts that will encourage us to make sure that no one steals Christ from Christmas.

1) Never lose the spirit of Christmas

John 1:14

“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”

2) Never lose the spirit of giving at Christmas and all year long.

2 Corinthians 8:7

“But just as you excel in everything – in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in your love for us – see that you also excel in this grace of giving.”

3) Never stop telling your children and their children about the spirit of Christmas

Deuteronomy 4:9

“Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them.”

Together, let’s make sure that no one steals Christ from our Christmas!

Until next time…


She Said Yes!

MJ brought two wonderful children into the world, Stephanie, thirty-five years ago and Jonathan, thirty-one years ago.

Over the years, our children have brought great joy to our home with little to no hardship along the journey. A blessing we do not take for granted. In all stages of life, we have formed lasting memories that are re-visited from time to time as an opportunity to thank God for His faithfulness.

This past Friday, an event took place that has been added to the top of the “memory pile”.  MJ and I woke up at 3 in the morning to watch live through the amazing technology of Face Time as Jonatas Trindade bent a knee and proposed to our daughter Stephanie. Rather than a quiet engagement, Jonatas chose to propose in front of their closest friends and family at Stephanie’s thirty-fifth birthday party.

Over the years, Stephanie has chosen to wait for the right man that God would bring into her life. In a recent conversation she said to me: “Dad, it has been worth the wait!”

I have watched as Jonatas has treated our daughter with the dignity and respect she so deserves.  To see the happiness that he has brought to Stephanie gives to me as her father a peace and joy that seems to move beyond the ability to put into words.

In the three minute video that captures  the engagement moment, you can hear Stephanie say to Jonatas, “My Dad knows?”, and “he said yes?!” Stephanie, I said yes because of the maturity with which you and Jonatas have handled this brief relationship. Jonatas, I said yes because of the gentleman like qualities you have displayed towards our daughter. The other yes is the fact that Jesus is at the centre of your relationship. Yes, yes, yes!!!

Mom and I are literally an ocean apart from both of you, but our family members who are closest to us have shared with us how happy you are, how genuine your relationship is, and Jonatas, the gentleman that you are. We may be an ocean apart, but the expanse of an ocean can not hinder the closeness we feel to both of you in our hearts.

Jonatas, I am so glad you asked the question, and Stephanie I am so glad that you said yes!

Be assured of our love and support as you begin this journey together. As a family we look forward to adding to the “Mann memory pile”!

Love to both of you!


P. S. This blog was shared with Stephanie and Jonatas first, and they gave me their blessing to share it with you.


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