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Balancing Your Life Effectively


This is an unusual post. But then on this blog what is normal? We have such a wide variety of topics that we cover.

Today I will not be talking about Christian House Sitters.

Instead I want to tell you about a new book that is available from today.
Book Cover

Many years ago when I was training Christian Counsellors I put together some notes on Christian Commitment. After numerous requests I edited them into a book based around Luke 2:52.

The book was a tremendous blessing to many and we received emails and letters from all over the world.

But that was 10 years ago and things change so by popular demand I have revised, updated and generally improved the original. It has been re-published as Balancing Your Life Effectively. (A Practical Guide to Christian Commitment)

I believe it will be helpful to both new Christians and to everyone who wants God to be in control of all areas of their lives. (Physical, Mental, Social and Spiritual).

It can be used for personal study or for small groups.

It is now (from today) available worldwide through Amazon as a printed book and as a Kindle download.

All profits will go to Home of Peace Children’s Home in Kenya (See

Please make it known to your church, friends and family.

“Balancing Your Life Effectively”    The  ISBN number is 978-1503209718

God bless you,


We are part of the registered charity

TLC Children’s Trust

UK Charity number 1156786



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Some Health Benefits Of Taking A Vacation

It is really very important to take a vacation to reduce stress, whether it’s a few weekends sprinkled throughout the year or one longer break.

(Source: Laing S, Garet B, Cawley K, Crabtree S. Year-Round and Extended-Year Schooling. Department of Economics at the University of Georgia. )

Here’s whyCat Resting

Recharge Your Batteries

But how will my co-workers manage in my absence?

There’s a common assumption that we’re indispensable at work. That, in our absence, everything will fall apart at the office. It won’t. While it may make you feel good about your contributions to the company, it’s unhealthy — both for the company’s growth and for office morale. By taking time off, you provide team members with the opportunity to develop their skills to manage projects while you’re away.  Know that when you’re away, portions of your work, tasks, and projects can be allocated to fellow team members. And, likewise, when it’s their turn to get away, you’ll have their backs too.

Gain Long-Term VisionLong Term View

There’s a connection between taking regular breaks during the day and your level of productivity. According to one study, researchers found that “brief diversions from a task can dramatically improve one’s ability to focus on that task for prolonged periods.” So ditch the guilt and stretch your legs. Employees need to detach from their work in order to be more creative and productive.

While mini breaks can provide short-term stamina, it’s still important to take longer breaks from work to sustain your productivity and reduce stress.

Tight schedule? If work commitments are really pressing down on your time, take a 3-4 day trip closer to home.

Vacation time also lets you pursue other interests. For leaders, being away from your work environment for a longer period of time will allow you to gain a fresh perspective on the vision you have for your organization. For employees, summer vacations offer time to reflect on new ways that you can help your team accomplish long-term projects.

 Set an ExampleSleeping Koala


Americans aren’t taking vacations. Not because they can’t afford them, but, according to research, because the average American is afraid to take time off from work for fear of not appearing dedicated to their job. In a survey from workforce consulting firm Right Management, 70 percent of employees said they weren’t using all their earned vacation days in 2011.

Team leaders can demonstrate to employees that they understand the importance and necessity of having time off to relax. If you’re a supervisor, set an example to your staff. Show the importance of taking vacations by taking one yourself. Discuss with employees that they need time off to de-stress, that it is in fact healthy to get away from the office. Time away will increase their productivity once they return, rested and relaxed.

Cultivate Family BondsFamily Bonds

If you’re a parent, taking a vacation with your kids can create much-needed quality time as a family. According to the Disney Time Survey, a blind study conducted by Kelton Research, quality family time not only increases while on vacation but parents and children say they are more likely to learn something new about one another during this time, as opposed to when at home.

Here’s what results revealed: 97 percent of parents felt their kids got to know new things about them while on a family trip, and quality time spent with kids, as reported by parents, boosted to 82 percent. And vacationing together as a family made family members more inclined to be more excited (77 percent), relaxed (75 percent), silly (68 percent), calm (54 percent) and even more affectionate (54 percent).

Be Like A Baby to Boost Creativity Full of energy

Alison Gopnik, professor of psychology and director of the cognitive development lab at the University of California at Berkeley has studied the minds of babies and young children. Her research has led her to understand key differences between babies’ brains and the adult brain. By adulthood, adults have learned how to “dampen down” most areas of our brains, according to Gopnik.

We use one area to specifically focus on one thing or task. Babies and young children, however, haven’t yet developed the ability to pay attention intently to one thing, becoming captivated by multiple stimuli, spreading their attention “all over the place.”

“All adults have the potential to continue to experience the world in some of the ways that children do,” Gopnik told Charlie Rose in an interview. “I think a nice example is like when we go to a foreign city for the first time, and suddenly we’re all like babies. We’re in a world that’s new and rich and everything around us is unexpected…we go to the new place, we have to learn something new and suddenly we experience everything in a new way.”

New stimuli — faces, places, smells, tastes — can help unlock creative ideas. Even if you don’t work in a creative field like the arts or entertainment, tapping into your creativity releases a sense of playfulness and fun, a return to that child-like wonder and curiosity, and can help you sort through challenges at work or in life.

Toss your guilt about leaving the office behind for a little while. Spend time with your family, pursue personal interests, or simply take pleasure in some private down-time.


There are only 2 answers to that common cry.

You actually can’t afford not to take a break. Your health, family life and usefulness demand that you do this.

You CAN afford more than you realised. Some of the biggest costs associated with a vacation are the price of accommodation and the price of having someone look after your own home and pets while you are away. Through Christian House Sitters these are made available FREE OF CHARGE.

Have a look at the website for further details. CLICK HERE

God bless you,


(Pictures from Google and were all labelled as available for reuse)


We are part of the registered charity

TLC Children’s Trust

UK Charity number 1156786

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The Adventure Continues. South Africa

I have been running an occasional mini-series reproducing media articles about the wonderful work of Christian House Sitters from all over the world.

So far we have reproduced an article from Canada Click here

One from the UK  Click here

Two from the USA  Click here   and Click here

Today I will share one from South Africa.

Note this is now a couple of years old so at the end I will update the details.

Joy Magazine Article

Let me update this article.

We now give 100% of all income from Christian House Sitters to this Children’s Home. Yes that is right 100% of all income not of all profits. We personally cover all overheads.

We are now a registered Charity and God has blessed the work at the Children’s Home.

So when you join Christian House Sitters you get the benefit of rent-free vacations, you can also have someone look after your home and pets free of charge while you are away and your full membership fee helps feed, cloth and educate vulnerable children.

To find out more about Christian House Sitters please Click Here

To find out about the charity and how you can get involved even if you are not part of Christian House Sitters please Click Here

God bless you,


We are part of the registered charity

TLC Children’s Trust

UK Charity number 1156786

WordPress are adding adverts to blogs. They are not always shown but if there are adverts on this page please note they were not placed by me, not approved by me and do not imply my recommendation

Mother Teresa

On this blog you never know what to expect. We have articles to make you laugh, articles to challenge you, information about Christian House Sitters, book reviews and a load of other stuff. I pray before I write each post and I trust God to use them as He sees fit.

Today I want us to have a very brief look at a famous lady.

Quote from Mother TeresaI have often seen quotes attributed to Mother Teresa and have found many of them really challenging but I realised that I know very little about her. Oh I know she was a Roman Catholic who worked with the poor in India but to be honest not much else.  So I decided to do a little background reading and I discovered that  she was born on the 26th of  August 1910  and died on the 5th of September 1997 at the age of 87 and that she was originally of Kosovo Albanian origin although she lived for most of her life in India.

Mother Teresa founded the Missionaries of Charity, a Roman Catholic religious congregation, which in 2012 was active in 133 countries. They run hospices and homes for people with HIV/AIDS, leprosy and tuberculosis; soup kitchens; dispensaries and mobile clinics; children’s and family counselling programmes; orphanages; and schools. Members of the institute must adhere to the vows of chastity, poverty and obedience, and the fourth vow, to give “wholehearted free service to the poorest of the poor”. She was the recipient of numerous honours including the 1979 Nobel Peace Prize.

She was a controversial figure both during her life and after her death.

I am not going to make any comment about her theology, her views on contraception or even the reports that some of her homes were of a low standard. She was a person and as such, like all of us, she must have made mistakes. Nobody can achieve what she did without making some mistakes along the way.

What I am convinced is that God would prefer the way she lived her belief over the way most of us just talk about it.

No doubt because Christian House Sitters provides the funding for a Children’s Home in Kenya I have found a number of her quotes very pertinent.
May I suggest that you do the following:
Read them. Quote from Mother Teresa
Pray about them.
Then ask God if He wants you to do anything about it.
Finally act on what you feel God is saying.

One way you could make a real difference is by helping us support this children’s home. We are a registered charity but we are very small and we do need support. Nothing is taken to cover our overheads. Marilyn & I cover them ourselves. So everything you give will go to the home.

Will your money be wasted? No we are in almost daily contact with the home and we monitor everything very carefully.

Have a look at our website for more information. CLICK HERE

Here is an extract from a blog post I put up about 4 years ago.

Officially I am retired but I am working hard every day, without any financial reward, running Christian House Sitters.

We have members all over the world  so we receive emails throughout the day and night because of the different time zones. I have a policy of never letting anyone wait more that 12 hours for a reply. Most get a reply far sooner. As a result I monitor the site for about 18 hours a day. Not constantly but checking on things.

I also spend a lot of time and energy promoting our ministry. As I said we do not make money from this ministry, rather than making me money costs us money.

Am I crazy? No I do not think I am I believe there are very good reasons to do what we are doing.

So why do we do it?

There are 2 reasons.

Christian House Sitters has blessed many Christians around the world who could not otherwise have afforded a vacation. We believe that in itself is a great ministry to the people of God.

But there is also a vital second reason.

There is a Children’s Home in Kenya run by a Christian team. These wonderful people have dedicated their lives to looking after the children. They do not get a salary just food and somewhere to sleep and we give them each a gift of about £10 per month.

Marilyn, my wife, is in regular contact with the home and guides them in every decision. She also keeps an eagle eye on how they use the money that is donated.

I have just been looking through their financial report for last month. All the staff donated back at least half of their personal (very small gift) to help buy food for the children.

In the local community people are very poor. But I found my heart deeply touched by the following entries:
Gift of a small fishQuopte from Mother Teresa
Gift of beans (Value about 50p)
Gift of a vegetable (Value about 35p)
Etc, etc.

This is sacrificial giving.

When I look at that my own small gift of time and money it seems insignificant. These people have so little yet gladly share what they have.

Please will you prayerfully consider helping us to support these hungry children.

The income from Christian House Sitters only provides about 25% of their minimum requirements. We have a few regular sponsors and also receive occasional gifts.

Somehow God stretches the money and the basic needs are covered. But every month is an adventure in faith.

You can help by sponsoring a child, by making an occassional gift, by telling your church, friends and contacts and naturally by praying for us.

We would like to do so much more. When our income is sufficient to cover the basics we will need to buy them more beds. At present the children sleep 2 to a bed. They need a kitchen as at present cooking is done on an open fire under a tree, they need additional dormitories, etc.

These are God’s children. Please help us to help them!

God bless you,


Christian House Sitters is part of the registered charity

TLC Children’s Trust

UK Charity number 1156786

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Time to Laugh

It has been a long week with so much happening at the Children’s Home we run in Kenya that I needed a few laughs. A kind friend sent me the following.

SIGNS FROM AROUND THE WORLDFishing for Children. Limit 3

IN A LAUNDROMAT: Automatic washing machines. Please remove all your clothes when the light goes out.

ON A REPAIR SHOP DOOR: We can repair anything (Please knock hard on the door – the bell doesn’t work)

IN A LONDON DEPARTMENT STORE: Bargain Basement Upstairs

IN AN OFFICE: Would the person who took the step ladder yesterday please bring it back or further steps will be taken.

IN ANOTHER OFFICE: After the tea break staff should empty the teapot and stand upside down on the draining board.

OUTSIDE A FARM: Horse manure – 50 pence per pre-packed bag; 20 pence do-it-yourself.

ON A CHURCH DOOR: This is the gate of Heaven. Enter ye all by this door. (This door is kept locked because of the draft. Please use side entrance)

ENGLISH SIGN IN A GERMAN CAFE: Mothers, Please Wash Your Hans Before Eating.

OUTSIDE A SECOND HAND SHOP: We exchange anything – bicycles, washing machines etc. Why not bring your wife along and get a wonderful bargain.

OUTSIDE A NEW TOWN HALL WHICH WAS TO BE OPENED BY THE PRINCE OF WALES: The Town Hall is closed until opening. It will remain closed after being opened. Open tomorrow.

Confusing road signOUTSIDE A DISCO: Smarts is the most exclusive disco in town. Everyone welcome.

QUICKSAND WARNING: Quicksand. Any person passing this point will be drowned. By order of the District Council.

NOTICE SENT TO RESIDENTS OF A WILTSHIRE PARISH: Due to increasing problems with litter louts and vandals we must ask anyone with relatives buried in the graveyard to do their best to keep them in order.

NOTICE IN A DRY CLEANER’S WINDOW: Anyone leaving their garments here for more than 30 days will be disposed of.

ON A MOTORWAY GARAGE: Please do not smoke near our petrol pumps. Your life may not be worth much but our petrol is.

SPOTTED IN A SAFARI PARK: Elephants Please Stay In Your Car

SEEN DURING A CONFERENCE: For anyone who has children and doesn’t know it, there is a day care on the first floor.

NOTICE IN A FIELD: The farmer allows walkers to cross the field for free, but the bull charges.

MESSAGE ON A LEAFLET: If you cannot read, this leaflet will tell you how to get lessons.

SPOTTED IN A TOILET IN A LONDON OFFICE BLOCK: Toilet out of order. Please use floor below.

Get to see more of the world (including the funny signs) by joining Christian House Sitters and benefiting from rent-free accommodation and/or having someone look after your home and pets free of charge while you are away travelling. Details

If you would like to know why this has been such a busy week at our Children’s Home please have a look here

God bless you,


We are part of the registered charity

TLC Children’s Trust

UK Charity number 1156786

WordPress are adding adverts to blogs. They are not always shown but if there are adverts on this page please note they were not placed by me, not approved by me and do not imply my recommendation

Oops. How embarrasing

We are taking a short break in our mini series of media articles about Christian House Sitters. I felt it was time for something a little different but I will return to the series in a few weeks.

A friend sent me the following story. I can’t credit the original author as I have no idea who wrote it but it was too good not to share.

The light turned yellow, just in front of him. He did the right thing, stopping at the crosswalk, even though he could have beaten the red light by accelerating through the intersection. The tailgating woman was furious and honked her horn, screaming in frustration, as she missed her chance to get through the intersection, dropping her cell phone and makeup.Impatient Driver

As she was still in mid-rant, she heard a tap on her window and looked up into the face of a very serious police officer. The officer ordered her to exit her car with her hands up. He took her to the police station where she was  searched, fingerprinted, photographed, and placed in a holding cell. After a couple of hours, a policeman approached the cell and opened the door.

She was escorted back to the booking desk where the arresting officer was waiting with her personal effects.

He said, ”I’m very sorry for this mistake. You see, I pulled up behind your car while you were blowing your horn, making lewd gestures to the guy in front of you and, cussing a blue streak at him. I noticed the ‘What Would Jesus Do’ bumper sticker, the ‘Choose Life’ license plate holder, the ‘Follow Me to Sunday-School’ bumper sticker, and the chrome-plated Christian fish emblem on the trunk, so naturally . . . I assumed you had stolen the car.”

Ask yourself . . .
Am I just a Sunday morning Christian?
Do I set a good Christian example everyday?
Think about it . . ..
Being a Christian is a whole lot like being on Candid Camera. When you least expect it, expect it!

PS  James 1:27 (NIV) says: Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.  You can do something now. Have a look at

James 1:27

God bless you,


We are part of the registered charity

TLC Children’s Trust

UK Charity number 1156786

WordPress are adding adverts to blogs. They are not always shown but if there are adverts on this page please note they were not placed by me, not approved by me and do not imply my recommendation

Faith Filled Family

We are continuing our mini-series reproducing articles about Christian House Sitters that have appeared in the press around the world. This week we feature another article from America.

The following article appeared in the American Magazine Faith Filled Family on the 26th of January 2012Magazine Cover


Christian House Sitters by Jan O'kane



Ray White was born in South Africa. His wife, Marilyn, moved to South Africa from England at eleven months of age.

They now live in England but they have seen the needs of the people in this region, and their heart is to help Christian work in Africa. .

Their organization, Christian House Sitters enables them to support a children’s home in Kenya with proceeds going towards this charity.

Faith Filled Family: How did you come up with the idea for Christian House Sitters?

Ray: When we retired, we had very little money as it had all gone into the work of the Christian Counselling Ministry so in order to be able to have a good vacation we needed to find an alternative to paying full price. We heard about a Secular House Sitting organization and registered and ended up in a house in France for 3 months. It was a wonderful experience but we found it a bit lonely as we knew nobody and could not find a church. Also the home owners who were not Christians left some statues and things around the house that made us feel uncomfortable. Marilyn said that the next time we should use a Christian organization so we searched and could not find one anywhere. Marilyn therefore suggested we start one which we did and the result is Christian House Sitters.

Faith Filled Family: It is my understanding that you two started this ministry on your own. Would you please explain what the CHS does?

Ray: We seek to help home owners and house sitters find each other. People can register as a Sitter, an Owner or as both. If you register as a home owner we help you to find a house sitter to move into your home while you are away on vacation. They will look after your home and pets for you free of charge and in return they receive a rent free vacation in your home. So as an owner you save money by not having to pay anyone to look after your home and pets. You also have the security of knowing that your home and pets are being looked after by a responsible Christian.

If you register as a house sitter you get to travel and stay rent-free in lovely homes all over the world rather than in expensive and often characterless hotel rooms.

How does this work in practice? When you register as an owner we list your house details (without the specific address) on the restricted section of our website that can only be viewed by registered sitters.

We also email all registered sitters drawing their attention to the listing.

Sitters then decide which houses they are interested in and click an enquiry button. That automatically sends the owners their details and their profile info. Then it is over to the owner to make contact and decide which application they like best, check references and arrange the sit.

Faith Filled Family: How can someone sign up for either being as an owner or sitter?

Ray: It is really very easy. All they need to do is visit our website and click on the link to register. They will be asked for their name, the name of their church and minister and for some information about themselves. As long as they are members of a recognized Christian Church we will accept them as members. We also write to the named minister informing him or her that these members of the church have joined CHS.

Faith Filled Family: Can I be an owner and a sitter? What about paying, if I am both would I still pay the sitter fee?

Ray: You can register as a sitter, as an owner or as both. Registration as an owner is FREE. Registration as a Sitter is £25 per year.

Faith Filled Family: How does a sitter gain access to the houses available and the timetables?

Ray: When a sitter registers they select a password. This enables them to login to the members section of the website and see details of all available houses. From here they can also notify home owners of their interest in a house. Also whenever any new house is listed with us we send an email to all registered sitters giving them the details and reminding them that if they are interested they should login and contact the owner.

Faith Filled Family: What advice do you provide for both parties?

Ray: On the website we have a number of sections to help people. These include:

Tell Your Sitter, Advice to Sitters, Suggested Agreement and also more general info under “House Sitting Explained” and under FAQ

Faith Filled Family: How many countries has your ministry been extended into?

Ray: At the moment we have active members in Canada, USA, Argentina, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, Portugal, Spain, France, Holland, Germany, Italy, England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales

We are also looking into expanding into other areas as well.

Faith Filled Family: I would think this is a fluid ministry in that owners and sitters are changing. Is this true?

Ray: Yes and no. Many owners remain with us and use our service every time they have a vacation.

There is no limit on how often they can ask for a sitter. We also have many sitters who renew their membership every year. But naturally there are some owners and sitters who do not remain with us and there are also always new people joining.

Faith Filled Family: I understand that the benefits from the sitters’ fee go towards a particular charity. Where does it go?

Ray: 100% of this money goes to support homeless children at a Christian Children’s Home in Kenya.

The cost of running the site is covered by us so all income goes to these needy children. You can read more about the children’s home at

Faith Filled Family: Please explain how and why you chose your beneficiary?

Ray: When we first started we decided that we wanted to support Christian work in Africa because of our personal experience there. Initially this money went to a Christian Organization in South Africa.

Meanwhile our church had been helping a Children’s Home in Kenya. For various reasons the church could no longer afford to continue this financial support and after much prayer we decided to take it on as our project. The work had not been run very efficiently in Kenya so Marilyn, who is experienced in business management, set up a strong accountability structure with herself as the leader. She appointed local Christians to run the home on a day-to-day basis under a local leadership team.

But all major decisions need to be approved by her and she also makes certain that the money is properly accounted for and used wisely. She has had contact with local officials and the home has been inspected by both the area Chief and the District Commissioner who expressed their delight in how well it is being run.

Faith Filled Family: The Home of Peace Children’s Home in Kenya; how many children are cared for at the home?

Ray: This varies slightly but we normally have between 80 and 85 children who would otherwise be living on the streets, begging or stealing to stay alive. We provide them with accommodation, food, clothing, medical care and pay for their schooling. This is all done in a strong Christian atmosphere. As a result we are seeing lives transformed.

Faith Filled Family: You have explained that Home of Peace Children’s Home in Kenya Is supported by the CHS. Does the ministry cover all expenses?

Ray: At this stage we are their only financial support. Over the past 12 months we have built them 2 toilet blocks (before this they had to use a field which we felt was not satisfactory), we have built a nursery room for the younger children, and we have got additional beds for the children. They now all have bedding and mosquito nets and we have been able to keep them in food, medicine and clothing. It is often really difficult and each time we send out money it is an adventure in faith asking God to supply but He has never failed. If we had additional funds we would love to improve the facilities, build some more dormitories, turn our temporary kitchen into a real kitchen, etc.

Faith Filled Family: If someone desires to donate to the Children’s Home, how would they go about doing so?

Ray: They can do that from our site by clicking the donate button or by sponsoring a child. Full details are at

NOTE FROM RAY. Some information in the article about the children’s home is now naturally out of date but the current information can be found at

God bless you,


We are part of the registered charity

TLC Children’s Trust

UK Charity number 1156786


WordPress are adding adverts to blogs. They are not always shown but if there are adverts on this page please note they were not placed by me, not approved by me and do not imply my recommendation



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