We Live and Learn

Something new every day. The journey of discovery since I launched Christian House Sitters has been fascinating.

A few days ago. On a whim. I signed up for a Google News Alert every time the phrase Christian House Sitters is in the news. I assumed I would hear very little but yesterday I received an email from Google with a link to a news story from, wait for it, Bulgaria. Yes that is right not a misprint.

Naturally I was interested so logged on hoping I would be able to read it but willing to use the Google translation service if necessary (More about that later).

Anyway it was in English.

Not only was it in English it was our own press release announcing the opening of the site.

Now I must wait to see if anyone from there contacts us. I have my doubts but will let you know.

I mentioned the Google translation service. When Marilyn and I did a house sitting assignemnt in France we decided to have a couple of days in a hotel in Paris. It was her birthday. We booked the room but the confirmation only listed me. I therefore prepared a message saying that it was for two people and that my wife would be sharing my room.

I translated it or rather Google did into French but before sending it I decided to check the accuracy by having it translated back to English.

The phrase ‘my wife will be sharing my room’ came out as ‘my woman will be dividing my parts’.

I sent it in English. 


The Bell

This post will not mention Christian House Sitters but is simply me sharing something I received today.

It is called ‘The Bell’

I hope it blesses you,


The Bell…


I am God’s child (John 1:12)
I am Christ’s friend (John 15:15)
I am united with the Lord (1 Cor. 6:17)
I am bought with a price (1 Cor. 6:19-20)
I am a saint (set apart for God). (Eph. 1:1)
I am a personal witness of Christ (Acts 1:8)
I am the salt & light of the earth (Matt. 5:13-14)
I am a member of the body of Christ (1 Cor 12:27)
I am free forever from condemnation (Rom. 8: 1-2)
I am a citizen of Heaven. I am significant (Phil.3:20)
I am free from any charge against me (Rom. 8:31-34)
I am a minister of reconciliation for God (2 Cor. 5:17-21)
I have access to God through the Holy Spirit (Eph. 2:18)
I am seated with Christ in the heavenly realms (Eph. 2:6)
I cannot be separated from the love of God (Rom. 8:35-39)
I am established, anointed, sealed by God (2 Cor. 1:21-22)
I am assured all things work together for good (Rom. 8: 28)
I have been chosen and appointed to bear fruit (John 15:16)
I may approach God with freedom and confidence (Eph. 3: 12)
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Phil. 4:13)
I am the branch of the true vine, a channel of His life (John 15: 1-5)
I am God’s temple (1 Cor. 3: 16). I am complete in Christ (Col. 2: 10)
I am hidden with Christ in God (Col. 3:3). I have been justified (Romans 5:1)
I am God’s co-worker (1 Cor. 3:9; 2 Cor 6:1). I am God’s workmanship (Eph. 2:10)
I am confident that the good works God has begun in me will be perfected (Phil. 1: 5)
I have been redeemed and forgiven (Col. 1:14). I have been adopted as God’s child (Eph. 1:5)
I belong to God!

Do you know who you are!?

Keep this bell ringing…

I feel humble

I feel humble when I am reminded of what an amazing God we serve.

This was brought home to me yesterday when I received an email from one of our house-sitters. I have contacted her and asked for permission to reproduce her story. She gave that permission so here is the message she sent to me.

Hey Ray,

Is it possible for us to reveiw our description we have put out about ourselves. It was literally four or so in the morning when I originally posted it and I cannot even remember what I put on there. It was God that had me up at that weird time of the morning prompting me to not stay at the place we had originally planned on staying at and on which we had had made our booking for the stay in London for.

Weirdly, or not so weirdly I guess in the Christain life, I felt prompted to googel literally christian housesitters! Funny that.

Anyway if we can review or even edit what we have put on there please let me know … just incase what I put on there makes no sense or does not really capture what it is we are looking for and why.

Many thanks once again.

God prompted Marilyn and I to start Christian House Sitters.  We prayed that He would send us the right members.

This lady and her husband were  in bed almost 12,000 miles away from where we are. We did not know each other and in fact had never even heard of each other.

At 4 in the morning God tells her to Google  “Christian Housesitters”

What an amazing God we serve.

Marilyn and I have been praying that God will bring us the right house-sitters and the right house-owners. The message from this lady has been such an encuragement!

At times we have felt frustrated, lately because folk keep promising to list their houses but never seem to get around to actually doing so.

God has reminded us that He is in control.

Problem found and fixed

A few posts ago I promised to update you on how I got on with our new Live Help facility on the Christian House Sitters website.

It has been a mixed blessing. It certainly helps as people can get an immediate answer to their questions but last night at about 11pm I was told that members could not login to the site.

I tried myself and sure enough the members only area was locked . This is an important section because it is the place where potential house-sitters can look at available houses and potential owners can look at the list of available sitters. In other words without this section the site is useless.

I have previously mentioned Andrew. The fantastic chap who has helped us technically. I sent him an SOS email expecting that he may get around to looking at it after work today. However within 15 minutes I got a reply saying he had fixed the fault. The Live Help code was causing problems with the login system. He therefore removed it from that page.

Praise God fault found and fixed. Normal site service resumed.

We are now looking at changing to another Live Help system.

I will let you know what happens.


Pets are great. All my life we have had animals. I expect growing up on a farm in South Africa helped. As a child I had dogs, cats, a donkey and a horse and they were all special.

When Marilyn and I got married we found pets a mixed blessing. The problem was that when we wanted to go on holiday we needed to get someone in to look after our pets.

This raised two potential problems.

First finding someone suitable.

Secondly paying them for their services. Understandably they cost a lot of money.

Our Christian House Sitting service should help others overcome bioth these difficulties.

By joining the site they can make their needs known and hopefully attract potential house and pet sitters from around the world.

People who are Christians and who come with a reference from their church.

They also come free of charge. Their reward being the use of your home for their holidat.

A win-win situation.

Two sides of the same coin?

As a psychologist I am naturally fascinated by how people react to things. Including how they react to our web site.

Since we launched Christian House Sitters I have noticed two very distinct personality types. The detail and the non-detail person.

Starting with the non-detail people. On the site we very clearly explain how to join us as a house-sitter or as a house-owner. House-owners are folk who want someone to look after their property. House-sitters are looking for a house to look after and that will provide them with a greatly reduced price holiday.  We even have a facility to register people into both groups so they can have someone looking after their home and pets while they have a holiday in some other owners home.

The joining procedure is biefly explained on the home page. It is explained again in detail on the FAQ page and then explained for a third time on the registration page.

Yet most days I find someone registering and it is obvious that they have not read anything. This means that they have to re register or more often I end up making the numerous corrections or additions for them. I don’t mind I just tend to wonder why they never read the information. As I said they are non-detail folk.

Then there is the other group. I get emails pointing out every mistake I make. Some are not really mistakes. For example there is UK English spelling and American English spelling. Whichever I use the other side will send me an email pointing out my ‘mistake’

We have decided to stick to UK English.

In the same way what some house owners and house sitters want is very different to what others want.

God made us all so very different. Detail and non-detail folk are all His creation.

Without the differences life would be so bland.

It is exciting to watch and see how God will be bring the right owners and sitters together through the website www.christian-housesitters.com

I am turning green

I am turning green with envy. Well not really but as I sit here at my computer monitoring the www.christian-housesitters.com website I see some fantastic places coming in for listing.

I have just added a beautiful house in Soth Africa. When the owner was asked to list any features that would make this property attractive to a potential house sitter she wrote:

Swimming pool
Huge garden
Modern home, double story.
Full heated lighting in bathrooms
Spa bath
2 showers
Patios for all bedrooms overlooking a bush baby sanctuary.
Electric garages
electric gates
Quite reserved area, for nature lovers.
2 minutes from shopping centre, petrol stations…etc

This house is being made available in December. Can you imagine escaping the cold English winter for a holiday in South Africa. Living in that lovely home, near Johannesburg, Pretoria and the Krugerdorp Game Reserve? All rent free. I can!

Chicken & Egg

I am  having a battle.

Every day I get email messages from folk saying that they want to join Christian House Sitters as a house-sitter but that they have decided to wait until we have more houses on the site.

I also receive loads on messages from home-owners saying that they want to list their property on the site but have decided to wait till we have more house-sitters.

I do understand where both sides are coming from but obviously it leads to a stalemate situation.

Any suggestions how I can get the message over?

House-owners register free of charge so there is no risk at all to them.

House-sitters remain registered for a full year. And as things have been slow the first month we have extended all existing sitters free of charge for an additional month.

Do I sound frustrated?


I know deep inside that God will bring the right owners and sitters at the right time. Just needed to vent my frustration for a moment.


Live Help

My friends (yes I do have some) tell me that I am crazy. They may well be right but I have just installed a Live Help button on www.christian-housesitters.com so now anytime I am online and someone visits the site the help button will show me as being available. People can just click the button and have a instant live contact with me.

As I said my friends say I am crazy and that this facility will be abused.

I don’t think it will. We are catering to Christians and hopefully they will appreciate the facility and use but not abuse it.

So why did I install it? Well the concept of a Christian House Sitting service is new to a lot of people. They have lots of questions.

They need to ask how to upload their details,

They want to know about having someone look after their pets.

They want information about security.

The list goes on and on. Watch this space and I will tell you if the new service is a blessing or if my friends were right and I have had to remove it.


Health Benefits of House Sitting

Last year I was not well. I had a heart problem and spent ages going to doctors, hospitals and specialists. By the latter part of the year I was feeling a lot better but because I had spent months just sitting around my weight was the highest it has ever been. Hardly good for my heart.

In November Marilyn and I went House Sitting in France. The place was out in the country in a lovely farming area. We looked after the house, 2 dogs and 4 cats. It was a good experience.

The dogs needed exercise and the owners suggested I may like to use their bicycle and ride through the fields with the dogs running alongside. I had not cycled for over 30 years but I am game to try most things.

It was great. By the time we came back home in February I had lost over a stone in weight, dropped my waist size by 3 inches and I have never felt better.

I now own a bike and ride almost every day.

I put my improved health down to house sitting.

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