Friday, November 20, 2009

Buckle Up

I saw her lean down and with significant effort pull the straps up on the back of her shoes that she had let slip down during the service because of her aching feet. She quietly moved the stool that she has to bring to rest her legs on and repositioned the cushion she needs behind her back. The preacher that morning had been speaking on mission and how we should be open to His tasks for us at any stage in life. He was a very dynamic speaker so we could tell there would be an appeal at the end. I watched her as she listened intently and as the preacher asked for those who wanted to respond to stand, she lifted herself unsteadily and used the chair in front to support her weight as she stood before her God.

Even with a body that no longer worked as it used to, and a house much quieter than it used to be, she is choosing to spend the next stage of her life faithfully serving her God. She is a faithful prayer and will now expand her ministry praying for more of those on the mission field. She also bakes for our youth ministry, to encourage the mums of the kids to stay and chat which is a great ministry for building relationships and taking opportunities when they arise to share our faith or just lend an ear.

She is a great example to me about not sitting back and letting circumstances or excuses stop us from fulfilling the calling or purpose God has for our lives. She has more reason than the rest of us to opt out. Her feet ache and her legs are weak but her faith is strong. Is there something that God is asking you to do but health or work or recreation is getting in the way? It’s time to get ready, rearrange things and listen for what God wants you to be doing. Some things might be easy: He already wants you to be in a real relationship with Him and meeting regularly with His people, but He also has a specific purpose for you to fulfil.

The God of the Universe, who sent His Son to die so that I could have a restored relationship with Him, has a plan and a purpose that is just for me. He certainly doesn’t want me just sitting here doing nothing. And when I hear His voice, when those verses that jump out at me or I recognise that quiet prompting in my heart. I will buckle up and stand before my God and say “Here I am. Send me!”. (Isaiah 6:8)

"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." Eph 2:8-10

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Thursday, November 12, 2009

On The Lighter Side

I didn’t want to tell you until now. The truth is, when I first started, I wasn’t sure I would even continue past a couple of days. I was going to wait until Christmas for the great unveiling. But, how could I hold out on you when this might just inspire you too and we can all fit into our summer clothes!

I wanted to give you my total because it would sound so much grander, but my premise all along has been to be honest with you even in the average stuff so here it is. I have lost 8kgs! (about 18 pounds for you American gals). I would love to have said 15kg (33lb) by Christmas, but I dont think Ill make that one, and since Christmas is 6 weeks away, if I share it now, you might just reap some benefits by then too! (update - made 10kg by Christmas)

Wanna know how I did it?
I Got Organized, Got Honest and Got Out!
(I just made that up ;)

But… as the Good Book says “physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come” (1 Tim 4:8) … so let me share with you some great spiritual application too.
So if you want to get a healthier body or a healthier spiritual life, read on!

OK this is a long one, so I’ll give you a rundown of my tips then you can read on if you’re interested:
1. Get a diary
2. Weigh in
3. Get ready
4. Be honest about your body (metabolism, cravings…)
5. Don’t skip meals
6. Small portion size
7. Exercise daily

Get Organised

The first thing I did was to purchase a diary. There is no way I can be disciplined in the physical or spiritual aspects of life if the rest of my life is disorganized. You need time aside for important things.

The second thing I did was to commit to weighing in on my Wii Fit every day, even when I knew I had done the wrong thing (eaten badly or missed exercise). You need to be accountable to aid in being disciplined and so that you can recognize the consequences of making wrong choices. Join a group, they will give you training, companionship, accountability and encouragement. Join a church, we’re here for the same thing!

The third thing I did was to make sure I had the supplies that I needed. I required shoes and clothes for walking, topped up the songs on my iPod, got rid of my favourite biscuits, chocolate and sweets, and stocked up on healthy alternatives and water bottles. I also put away my magazines and got out a good devotional book and occasionally an uplifting novel. What you choose to put in will have a direct effect on how you go both physically and spiritually!

Get Honest

There are heaps of things I have realized that have helped me in my journey so far, here are the main ones…

I’ve realized – skinny people don’t just have good metabolism, most of them actually do exercise and generally eat well. And Good people don’t just have a good conscience, most of them spend time reading the Bible and seek to honour God in what they do.

Sometimes it will be easy not to pig out, and sometimes it is all you can do to not have that chocolate slice at morning tea. That’s life. And in life it’s the same. Sometimes it will be easy to ‘be good’ and sometimes you will be trying your hardest and still be tempted even though you know it’s not the right thing.

I had to realize what certain foods did to my body and my hunger. If I eat sugary or highly processed carbohydrates, I crave more of the same. A packet of fruit mentos or some McDonalds fries and a coke make me feel good temporarily, but not for very long, and I end up eating more of that kind of stuff. And if I compromise on values such as loyalty, honesty and integrity, it gets easier and easier to do worse and worse. So, for me, it is way healthier and easier for me if I don’t.

Its important to have a good menu planned out. That way you can have some variety and choice of good things. Have a good bible study, devotional book or reading plan (such as Deliberate People) so you’re getting fed in good quantities.

Now I would have thought that y’all know what kind of foods are bad for you, but for the record, go for lots of fruit, salad or veges with egg or other protein to keep you going and stay away from biscuits, lollies, cakes and fried food. I also cut down on bread, and it actually made me feel less hungry, but see how you go with that. It really really really does make a difference. Give your body what it needs and you will feel better at the end of the day and throughout your life.

Don’t skip things that build you up. While cutting down is the first logical thing to do when you have been overloading, cutting out meals isn’t the right way to go about it. Work out what you need (use a dietary calculator if you like) and do it well. Don’t skip things that build you up. If you’re stressed out or overloaded, cut out on things which don’t add to your life or don’t fit your personal mission. If you do need to cut down, make sure you keep a good amount of things that build you up and are nutritious for your soul.

Don’t have too much on your plate. A amazing little truth that helps every day! If you put too much on your plate you will be overloaded (calories or stress) which may very well have been your problem in the first place. It requires a lot of self control not heaping up an extra serving of lamb, and extra big piece of cheesecake or saying yes to that newly offered position, but if you say no at first and sit back, almost every time you will find that it was necessary anyway. And if you change your mind, it is even more satisfying!

Get Out

By far the most important factor in losing weight is going for a walk almost every morning. Putting this all into practice is the only way to make any difference to your life. Be honest about your commitment. If you aren’t prepared to make the sacrifices necessary to see change, stop talking about it! Seriously, physical and spiritual health require discipline. It is extremely rewarding, has great results, and isn’t really that hard if you get organised, get honest and get out, but you’ve got to be committed.

Did you know that exercise goes on burning fat, even when you sleep? Even when you don’t feel like getting up for a walk, you’ll always be glad you did. And even when you don’t feel like getting up for to read the bible, going church, or going to bible study, you’ll always be glad you did. And the effects keep multiplying even when you aren’t aware of it.
I hope that gave you some inspiration and some tips to living well. I hope your clothes are a better fit after you put some of that into practice and you find that life is a better fit too.
Let me know if it worked!

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Friday, November 6, 2009


Lisa @ The Preacher's Wife is holding a scavenger hunt so I thought I'd join in.

The Treasures

1. First Name: Donna

2. State and Country of Residence: Queensland, Australia

3. Husband’s Ministry Title: Associate Pastor

4. Length of time in Current Ministry Location: Almost 2 years.

5. Children: 7yrold daughter and 5yrold son.

6. Number of unique homes in which you’ve lived during your marriage: 8 houses in 9 years and we are definitely over packing and moving!

7. Cook Sunday lunch or eat out: It's 'fend for yourselves' ie leftovers, unless we are having guests :)

8. Typically on time for Sunday School or not: just on time.

9. Favorite TV Show: NCIS

10. Something you watch/like/do that you would never tell the church people. (Except now you just did…lol): My kids often have cereal for dinner and can make themselves tomato sauce sandwiches if they are hungry (but I make them eat the crusts ;)

11. Most annoying church-related pet peeve: Nothing really annoys me, but sometimes I feel sorry for our kids having to be happy about attending everything we do.

12. One thing you need to throw away but can’t bring yourself to do it: I just threw away my smaller sizes, but I think Ill be needing them again soon (yay!)

13. The one food you can not live without: Is Pepsi Max a food? ;)

14. Parsonage or have your own home? Own home, just 2 minutes from church, almost completely renovated by generous family and church volunteers!

15. Freak when the doorbell rings or always ready for a visitor? Sure, come on round. I have learnt to change out of my PJ's very early in the morning and have resigned myself to the fact that there will always be dishes in the sink and washing to fold on the couch. (So if there isn't when you pop around, be very impressed!)

And speaking of treasures, this is one treasure that I am totally hanging out for! Its Lisa's new book coming out in January!

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Wednesday, November 4, 2009

For Your Mother

Most of my headaches are as a result of my kids not doing what I say. Today I have a headache cause I DID do what MY mum said.

I started walking regularly about 10 weeks ago and not long after that I noticed a weird looking spot on my skin. It wasnt a mole, more like a scar with a purple bit inside. I made an appointment with my GP just to be sure and he wasnt overly concerned when he saw it, and suggested I come back in January to check it again. Excellent, the perfect diagnosis!.. For about 2 minutes until I happened to add that the reason I came was because I could hear my mums voice in my head saying "have you got that spot checked yet?". He said that because she has had a melanoma, he had to cut my spot out. Doh!

So my little 2 stitch scar had healed up quite nicely after just 2 weeks and was hardly noticeable...until today when he had to take "the rest" out which made a z shaped scar and sports 12 stitches on the outside and a total of somewhere around 20 the nurse guesses including the ones under the surface. And just so I couldnt hide it this time, I have to look like this till Friday...


I'll be fine, it wasnt a dangerous one. But I know there are many of you out there wondering about a spot or a mole that you have noticed on yourself. Well, allow me to be the voice of conscience (or the voice of your mother ;) "Go and get that checked!!"

Your GP or skin clinic might say, "It's fine, come back next year" or they might take it out and the scar will be hardly even noticable. On the other hand, your quick action might just save a whole lot of trouble down the line, or may even save your life.

So if you have any querie as to the health of your skin, please please please get it checked! Pick up the phone and make an appointment with your GP or skin clinic. Go on. Off you go!

And y'all know I cant just leave it there - If you have any doubts about the health of your soul, do something about that today too!

Don't ignore that still small voice inside.

It might just save your life.

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Thursday, October 29, 2009

Let Us Pray

There is a lot going on in the lives of my friends at the moment. One has just been diagnosed with an aneurysm in her brain which is leaking. One just underwent major surgery. One lost a job. Two older friends are grieving the loss of their husbands. And so I am moved to pray. There is not much else I can do.

Yesterday at school I was waiting to see the friend that was about to go into surgery. I had been praying for her that morning and I asked God whether I should offer to pray with her. She doesnt usually pray as far as I know, and previous assurances of our prayers were accepted with just a nod. But today was different. I told her it was ok if she would prefer not to, but asked her if would she like me to pray with her before leaving for hospital. She gratefully accepted and so right there in the middle of the school ground we bowed our heads and prayed to our Creator to calm her nerves, give her His peace, hold her and protect her, give the doctors wisdom, precision and discernment, and bring a quick and full recovery. What a priviledge.

We have so many opportunities to meet people right in their time of need, and though we usually cant do anything about their need, we serve a God who can. When I started praying, I asked God for an opportunity to pray with her but He reminded me that the opportunity is there to pray with people all the time, so I resolved that if I saw her, I would take the opportunity and offer. And next time someone shares with me something they are going through or about to go through, I will offer to pray with them. If they say no, thats totally fine.

Steven Curtis Chapman puts it this way...

I hear you say your heart is aching
You've got trouble in the making
And you ask if I'll be praying for you please
And in keeping with conviction
I'll say yes with good intentions
To pray later making mention of your needs
But since we have this moment here at heaven's door
We should start knocking now, what are we waiting for?

Let us pray, let us pray, everywhere in every way
Every moment of the day, it is the right time
For the Father above, He is listening with love
And He wants to answer us, so let us pray

So my friends, I will continue to pray for you, and friends reading, I will pray that you will have an opportunity soon to bring someone to the King of Kings, the Father of Hearts in their moment of need.

**Update** My friend with the aneurysm isnt doing so well and I was feeling sad. When my friend Lynne heard about it, she offered to pray with me!! She felt nervous about doing it, she didn't feel like she had the right words to say, but she did it anyway and it made the world of difference to me. You can do that for someone else too!

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Saturday, October 24, 2009

To Say The Least

Today the house is quiet. When I clean up a mess, it stays clean! When I set myself a task, I can finish it without interruptions. Its not the first day of school for Josh (but that will be coming very very soon!), it is quiet because of a generous friend.

I picked her son up from school yesterday and she met us at Kids Club later that night. It wasnt out of my way, it didnt take up much of my time, I didnt even have to make afternoon tea! But earlier that day, she had noticed that I looked a bit under the weather and so last night offered to have my kids for the whole day today. Wow! She thinks this isnt much to do for me, but it is a huge blessing that I really really appreciate. Not only is she cooking with them today, and no doubt humouring my daughter in many and varied conversations, it takes about half an hour from her place to ours and she insisted that she would come and pick them up!

There is a lot I could be doing... completing two subjects for my TAFE course, doing reports for work, doing my mums BAS (sorry mum!), cleaning and tidying, preparing for sunday school, and cooking dinner among other things, but I will use this time in the manner with which it was given ;) - to rest and recouperate... and write! And if I do, those other things will be a lot more enjoyable and easy to accomplish.

Often a gift which is "the least I could do" means a whole lot for someone else. I know of another friend who's church is advertising for a new pastor. She is setting aside some time in the coming year so she can help in whatever way is needed. Wow! As a pastor's wife, I know that will be such a blessing for the new pastor. He will be freed up to do more ministry because of her willingness to serve.

Many times, service that fits our gifts, talents, abilities and passions is quite easy for us to do and doesnt seem like much. But it is encouraging and a blessing to those who recieve it. I know there are times when service is hard work, but if its God who's asking me to serve, then in the light of the amazing gift of His Son, its the least I can do for Him!

The 'least' you could do might be to look after someone's kids, or serve in the kitchen at a ministry event, or set up chairs for a church service, or design a website, or join a choir, or write a note, or give a gift, or teach sunday school, or help at youth group, or make a dinner, or just say to someone, "how can I help?". And I'm not just talking about pastors or churches at all, there are many people in our community for whom those acts of kindness are just what they need and might just pave the way for God to work in their lives.

Ask God who He would like you to help. He has gifted you with many things you are good at, or very able to do, and some things in particular that He uses to bless others when you do them.

Even if you feel its the least you can do, do it! You might just bless the socks off someone and enable them the time and resources to bless others.

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Saturday, October 17, 2009

The Father Of Hearts

I have some brilliant news. I know I haven’t been here chatting very much lately, but I just had to tell you about this. And by the way, Im working on a way I can stop in here more often while keeping all those plates spinning ;)

We went to Brisbane on Wednesday for Josh’s heart scan. Y’all can read about why
here and here. The doctor studied the ultrasound for quite some time, even asking Josh to change positions so he could see from a different angle.

The result – the specialist could find no trace of an aneurysm! We were expecting that it would have grown as it did last year just because his heart is growing. We would have accepted if it had remained the same size. We would have been pleasantly surprised if it had have gotten smaller but it just is not there. WOW!

I did pray that day asking God to heal it, because I know he can, I just didn’t expect that he would! Those other outcomes were OK with me, but I still asked for more.

I spoke to a great group of about 100 ladies on Thursday night and shared that the most memorable thing about this whole experience isn’t the fact that Josh’s aneurysm has disappeared, though I believe that is indeed a miracle, but that God has been all that we need the whole way through. With strength that doesn’t fail, peace that doesn’t fade, and life that doesn’t fall short of the fullness that He has promised to those who choose to trust him daily.

Rich Mullins wrote a song about finding perfect peace. He said lots of people say follow your heart, or follow your nose, or follow your dreams but those things are so subject to change with emotions, circumstances or others advice. The chorus goes like this..

The Father of hearts
And the maker of noses
The giver of dreams
He's the one I have chosen
And I will follow him

I know that God is the creator of hearts and could heal Josh, and I am soooo thankful that he did. And like there were 4 years when he chose not to heal it, and many circumstances in peoples life where He chooses not to intervene, sometimes things are going to happen in my life which are heartbreaking and hard for me to understand. But even in those times, I am going to choose to follow Him. Because He is God and He is worthy of my allegiance and he sent his Son to die for me so I could spend eternity with Him.

So Id like to say, along with thousands of others over the years (and millions of others over the centuries) To the father of hearts and the maker of noses, to the giver of dreams, you’re the one I have chosen and I will follow you.

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Thursday, September 3, 2009

The Lost Ring

Today's guest post is by my dear friend Connie Heckathorn...

When Jim went into hospital in July, he removed his wedding ring and I wore it on my thumb--just till he came home again. But when he passed away, the ring--engraved inside "Semper Tuus"--was the only tangible memory I had decided to keep. I was very aware of my husband's keeping of that promise to me of faithfulness to be "Forever Yours".

Yesterday I was very busy in the gardens: watering, weeding and pruning. Late afternoon Pastor Daryl dropped in, so I stopped for a cuppa. He helped me feed the horses before he left. Inside, washing my hands, I was suddenly aware that Jim's ring was not on my thumb. Had it come off as I distributed the horses hay? In the waning light of evening, I ran out and carefully scanned the ground where the horses had been eating. Crying, a prayer rose from my heart, "O Lord, help me find the ring!"

Too late to do any more searching, it would have to wait till morning. I was aware there was little chance of ever finding it, and I must accept that it was only a symbol and I should not attach too much feeling to it. But my heart ached at the loss.

Before 6am the next morning I was having my 'quiet time' in the sunroom, enjoying a new day dawning. I opened my Bible to Luke 15 and was reading the parable of the lost coin. "Lord Jesus, please help me find my lost ring", I prayed again. I felt a strong urge to go search in the front garden where I had been pruning. I had not cleaned it up so there was a mess of branches, twigs and leaves littering the ground. With the sun coming up and still in my pyjamas, I got down on my knees and methodically began to scratch around in the prunings beneath a well pruned bush. I searched around every rock, pushing mulch carefully aside for about 20 minutes, reminding myself that "the shepherd had found his lost sheep" and "the woman had searched carefully and finally found the lost coin".

As I pushed some leaves aside I saw something shine in the early morning light--Jim's engraved ring--the wedding ring! Tears blinded my eyes, "Thank You, Jesus, for guiding me in finding the lost ring". Joy overwhelmed me as I cried and thanked a loving God who cares about EVERY thing in my life.

Thanks Connie for sharing that special answer to prayer!

Love You!

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Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Spoiler

WARNING ** The following post contains a spoiler for the movie Sister Act **

I trust that you all know me well enough by now to know that I do not consider myself any more amazing than anyone else. I don't think I need to remind you of my many shortcomings, although you are welcome to go
here to read them.

But... in fairness to the great feats my friends have undertaken to make sure I know this... yes I do know that there are some of you out there that think I am amazing.

Today, two people commented on my amazingness. (I still feel guilty writing a post about how amazing I am). The first was a 'just because'comment from a friend who wanted to be sure I knew how she felt. The second was in appreciation for my calmness in calling an ambulance and relaying information this morning at church when a little baby stopped breathing. The baby is now fine, the breathing difficulties were a reaction to reflux.

So, for the record, I accept your compliments and, though I do not feel worthy, I believe that you feel this way and I thank you. But here's the spoiler - it's not me!

Have you seen the movie Sister Act with Whoopi Goldberg?

Remember the shy nun Sister Mary Robert who had the tiniest little voice and Whoopi got her to sing amazingly well? Well, guess what, it wasnt her singing! Wendy Makkena was acting and her songs were sung by Andrea Robinson!

Its a spoiler for me, because that was one of the great themes in the movie, how she was able to find that inner talent/beauty and make it shine. I know that some of you see things in me which you think are great. And I do pray that you will see in me something that inspires. But I have to share with you the spoiler - it's not me!

Paul says in Philippians "It is God who works in you to will and to act according to His good purpose". Not only does God enable me to do what I do, he even gives me the desire to do it! I could do nothing without Him. Seriously! I might be a good actor, but I would be off beat and off key without His Spirit in me.

If you see any hint of love for the unlovely, if any glimpse of joy through sorrow or stress, if any peacefullness during calamity, if any patience in trying circumstances (you might have to look a bit harder for that one ;), if any kindness to those who are nasty, if there is any goodness, faithfulness, gentleness or self control, it's not me!

And I know I said it
last post, but it will remain true for all that's left of this time on earth. It is only through submitting our lives to Jesus, through reading the Bible, prayer and by God's work in us, that any of those things can be real in our life.

So thankyou, I appreciate your applause, but all credit goes to the One behind the scenes that gives Life to the performance.

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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Start Acting Like It!

I heard a story this morning about a time when a church nearly split over where someone was parking their car. I'm guessing there was a problem of attitudes, both the person insisting they should park their car there, and those inconvenienced by this choice. I know I am a very young and inexperienced pastors wife, but a carpark? really? In many years I might look back and see how naive I was disbelieving that this is any cause for division, but for now, I am absolutely astounded.

And I pray that as I age, and by the grace of God, inconveniences will never cause me to be angry, or to anger others. Ahh, thats not some pot-luck old lady thing is it? I have to start it now. We have some terrific older people in our congregation, many of whom I can say "I want to be like them". But its not an accident they are like that. Selfishness is too ingrained in us to naturally let things slide. It's only God's love that brings about those selfless traits. And its only God's Spirit who can do that in us.

So, I'm sorry for passing judgement on the whole car parking issue, I'll use it to remind me (and you ;) of the need for Love like His.

And if I do, I will be patient. I will be kind. I wont envy. I wont boast. I will not be proud. I wont be rude. I will not be self seeking. I wont be easily angered. I will not keep a record of wrongs. I will rejoice with the truth and I will always protect, always trust, always hope and always persevere. (1 Corinthians 13:4-6)

I want to be an old lady like that. And I want to be a woman like that now. I want to be a mother like that, a friend like that, and a wife like that.

I like it how the Message puts it

"If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don't love, I've gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I'm bankrupt without love.

Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn't want what it doesn't have.
Love doesn't strut,
Doesn't have a swelled head,
Doesn't force itself on others,
Isn't always "me first,"
Doesn't fly off the handle,
Doesn't keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn't revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back, But keeps going to the end."
1 Corinthians 13:4-6

I asked Hannah yesterday what she would say to a particular young friend if she asked "What should I do if I want to be a Christian?" Hannahs response - "Start acting like it!"

Of course there began a teachable moment about Christianity being a relationship with God beginning with beleiving in Jesus and choosing to follow Him, but her perception was good - those who follow Jesus should be acting like it. In the sermon on the Mount Jesus said "By their fruit you will know them".

By spending time in the Bible and in prayer, through the work of the Holy Spirit in me, I'm gunna "start acting like it!"

Peace Out.

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Thursday, August 6, 2009

The Return

Do you remember the time Jesus and I went on a date? Now you probably don't, 'cause this particular event happened 15 months ago, but I was reminded of it today in a very special way.

The date I'm referring to was a special occasion when I felt that God was asking me to give some money to a lady who couldnt afford glasses. I really wasnt sure how it would go or what she would think. Most people aren't used to others giving them money out of the blue. It went better than I expected actually, but as is often the case, I did not get to see the final result. And that is OK.

Today, however, 15 months later, after not having seen the lady for about 9 months, I saw her at work. She told me with an excited expression how much easier it was to drive now, and how she could see the computer screen at work. Actually when she saw me walk in, she told me to wait at the desk while she went out to the back office to get them just to show me.

Im not taking any credit for the gift, it was God's idea. And I'm really praying that she doesnt think about ME when she appreciates her new gift of sight. I pray that she'll shake her head and wonder why that crazy follower of Jesus would do something so outrageous. And I pray one day she will wonder why this Jesus would do something so outrageous as to give His life for her. And I pray she will bow the knee to the King of Kings who loved her so much he gave her some glasses to show that He cares.

Do you have a date planned this week? Better check your calendar :)

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Tuesday, August 4, 2009


Bryce made me a gerbera garden for my birthday. I LOVE gerberas. A friend told me last week they are the smile of the garden and my garden is well and truly smiling. One of the little gerberas wasn't smiling for a week or so though, it was a bit traumatised by the whole planting experience.

Bryce was eager to get the gerberas out of their pots and into the newly prepared holes in the garden bed. The potted plants needed a bit of roughing up around the roots to get them ready for the soil, but he was a little too heavy handed on the first gerbera and it didnt take kindly to having some of its roots broken. It spent its first week in the soil with all of its leaves and its two flowers limp and lying on the ground. It was still alive, but had no strength. We watered them every day and even covered this struggling one to protect it from the sun and it's just starting to look better this week.

Sometimes our replanting in life can leave us feeling weak and unable to stand. It's sometimes like God picks you up out of your little pot where you have been comfortably living, only to rip away your network of roots and leave you seemingly fending for yourself in a hot and dry environment.

But that little gerbera wasnt left to fend for itself. Many times a day we all would go outside to see how it was doing. The kids would water it with their mini watering can "just like daddy's", Bryce and I would water it once a day and make sure it was protected from the afternoon sun. We knew that its life in the pot would be limited, but if it survived in the garden it could go on living and growing for countless seasons.

The little gerbera did have a rough time, but all that breaking of roots has enabled it to start putting out its own roots. The change in environment will, in the end, be for its good, though I'm sure it doesnt feel like that at the moment.

"And we know that all things work together for good for those who love God and have been called according to his purpose."Romans 8:28

You might have had a rough time lately, but know that you have not been left to fend for yourself (even though it might feel like it). You might be weak and unable to stand, but God is caring for you, protecting you and nourishing you so that you can fulfil a greater purpose.

God uses everything that happens in our life to bring about some good. Sometimes we see the fruit of others coming to know Him, sometimes we see the growth in ourselves, sometimes we see others blossom in the relationship and service with Him, other times the growth is under the surface and not for us to see. But God can and does use any situation to grow us, and bring glory to Him.

Whether you have just been replanted, are weathering a dry season or are standing tall, remember to drink deeply of His living water today.

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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Get Ready

I just went in to Hannah's room and
asked her why she was still awake.
She said "I was just asking God to tell
Grandad Jim that we miss him".

This morning we attended the funeral of a dear friend. Jim was an awesome, Godly man and one we both respected immensely and loved spending time with. I sat on the couch with Jim just a month ago to watch the final episode of Anne of Green Gables which I had been watching with his wife Connie this year. I have so many special memories and I thank God that he blessed us with the opportunity of getting to know and love Jim and Connie (we even made it to their fridge :)

Today marks the third funeral for our church in the last month and it is a sad time. Two of these funerals were for people who didnt have much time to prepare, which meant some things here were left undone, but all three were brilliantly prepared for the other side...

Ernie, Audrey and Jim left this world and were immediately in the presence of Jesus. All three had the assurance that heaven is where they were going and their families have the sure hope that they will see them again one day if they too believe that Jesus is the Son of God and submit their lives to Him.

The most important thing we need to get ready is our relationship with God. Have you decided to follow Him and are you continuing to do so? Cause there is a day coming soon, when you will have to give an account for your allegiance and your life. There will not be time to say "I didn't know" or "I needed more time".

I have asked Jim's family if I can post a poem that Jim wrote and I have posted it here.

Jim was an inspiration to so many people and today, through his poem, his family's reflections on his life and a song that his son Ed wrote, I came away with a renewed desire to take seriously the dreams and aspirations God has placed in my heart and do everything I can to make this life count for Him. I don't need to do anything to earn my way into heaven, that was finished on the cross, but my response to His great love is going to be to serve Him in any way I can, with all of my heart, soul, mind and strength.

...I know its been a while since I last posted. But I have been getting something else ready... I'll tell you about it sometime soon ;)

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23 May 2001
by Jim Heckathorn

Today, more than ever, I am at peace with God
Today, more than ever, I trust that my home will be with the saints in heaven

Today is the day
Not yesterday, to say
I believe that I shall see
What God has always planned for me.

Today is the day
To work and to play
To see what God has in store
And never want for more.

Today is the day
If it is ever to be
To plan and to action
The vision God has given to me.

Today is the day
To work through the issues at hand
Today is the day
To accomplish God's Plan.

Today is the day
To complete what I have promised
To stay in His will
And not stray from His Word.

Today is the day
for I may not have tomorrow
To make sure that I am ready
someone else’s faith I cannot borrow.

Today is the day
To pray much more than ever
To ensure that I will live
Forever and ever and ever.

Jim Heckathorn (1936-2009)

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Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Stay Fresh

I love receiving my "Just Between Us" Magazine every quarter in the mail. I just read this article and wanted to write it down, cause its important to share stuff that is meaningful to you, even if its just with one person, or just on a computer screen.

This excerpt is from an article on page 14 by Patricia Hickman.

"There's an old story that circulates here on the East Coast about a company that deep-sea fished in the Atlantic to supply restaurant owners. The live fish caught and dropped into a holding tank were swimming to the bottom of the tank and dying before the ship could reach the docks. One day, a sea catfish accidentally slipped into the tank. Sea catfish are trash fish, not good for human consumption. Nonetheless, the captain noticed that when the other fish grew lethargic, the catfish, seeing them as easy dinner, would nibble on them. Not wanting to be eaten alive, the high quality fish swam away. When the ship docked, the catch that day was fully alive because the catfish's nibbling kept the fish from growing lethargic and dying. So, the captain started capturing catfish to drop into the tanks to preseve his catch, thus guaranteeing that the fish arrived at the harbor fresh and alive."

Patricia related the story to how God uses adversity to keep us fresh as Christians. She talked about the temptation to become complacent in our decisions without adversity, beleiving that the decisions we make in every day life don't really matter. But when we respond rightly to adversity, we are more alert and more likely to discern the truth, and make good decisions that lead to life. And life not just a heartbeat at the bottom of a fishtank, but real life swimming freely and fulfilling your life's purpose.

You might have a nice tank, but removing adversity from your life and adding nice coral features isnt going to improve your life. Don't get wheighed down by life's adversity, use each opportunity to come before God again, to submit to Him again and make good choices that will lead to real life.

"So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be alert and self controlled." 1 Thess 5:6

"Now choose life ... that you may love the LORD your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the LORD is your life" Deut 30:19-20.

p.s. sorry I havent been around much lately, I was trying to fight off those little catfish instead of swimming up. ;)

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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Just call me Fred

I like it that my kids enjoy the same sort of music I do and are happy to listen to Christian CDs in the car. I wasnt sure what Josh (4) was requesting when he asked for the "Fred" song. Until he sang to me these lines off a WOW Worship CD, that particular version by Phillips, Craig & Dean.

"I am a friend of God
I am a friend of God
I am a friend of God
He calls me Fred"

Well at least we have a conversation topic!- starting with, "Do you think if God is your friend he would know your name?"

By the way, thanks to Grandpa for the occasional use of "Fred" as a term of endearment.

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Thursday, May 14, 2009

White Rose

On Saturday I went with a couple of friends to Coral Coast Christian Church for their 10th Annual Mothers Day Dinner. It was awesome, especially due to their guest presenter and our table companion, Aliki Flodine. I so appreciate people who can share truths about God in real and relevant ways and make people want to go deeper in their relationship with Jesus. Its what I want to do by sharing stories from everyday life (though my 'everyday' seems to come more under the category of random and crazy), and its what Aliki does amazingly well.

As a gift from the evening, and to fit in with the black and white theme of the night, we all received a white rose. It was beautiful and had a lovely scent. When I got home I put it gently on the bench and the next morning Bryce put it in a nice vase so we could enjoy it. It continued to open over the next few days and is still a lovely centrepiece on our dining table.

I was at a friends place tonight who joined me on Saturday and saw her rose blending in very nicely with her black and white theme, but looking a tad tired as it had been out of water for 4 days. We both received the same rose, but its impact and beauty changed because of what we did with it.

I think the same can be said about what we take away from special events such as the Mothers Day Evening. Everybody receives the same encouragement, inspiration and challenge, and many will speak highly of the event in the same way, but unless you nurture what you have received, it will lose its beauty and impact very quickly.

Our meals this week are flavoured with the scent of the rose, and I pray that not only will my year be flavoured by the characteristics of God that were put in a new light, but that my life will be flavoured by my daily meeting with Him so that it brings beauty into the lives of others, and maybe even makes an impact for eternity.

What are you doing with your rose?

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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Pass It On

We pass on lots of things as mothers. Genetic material, mannerisms, attitudes and values and also our attitude towards God – our faith. Some of what we pass on is unintentional but passing on our faith needs to be one of the most intentional things we do as mothers.

I asked Hannah what a mother was for and she said

For taking us to school
Making food
Looking after us when we are sick
Doing my hair up

(when I asked is there anything else she said, "yeah, making breakfast, making lunch, making morning tea")
With a little bit more prompting she added

Loving us
Teaching us stuff
Helping us to be good

God has given us, through His Holy Spirit working in us

The ability to influence others
The ability to love unconditionally and
The ability to be self disciplined.

As Hannah put it - “to teach us stuff, to love us, and to help us be good”

And that is not just for us, it is for us to pass on to others. Wanna know how to do that? With Relationship, Relevance and Reality.

RELATIONSHIP - Eagerly seek to discover, embrace and pursue a deepening intimacy with God
RELEVANCE - Have an active visible connection between belief and everyday living
REALITY - Use your gifts to serve God, the church and the wider community

There is so much more to say there, but Ill leave you with that for the moment. Its 5am and I have already been up for 3 hours. I guess thats the 'looking after us when we are sick' part. Today Josh has his second ear operation. Not major, but major for us, you know? He has had an ear infection behind his ear drum since January. This is the next step in trying to help it to heal. And all we can do is leave it in the hands of the One who thought to use the tiniest bone in the body to give one of the greatest gifts of all - hearing.

And Speaking of gifts... you should definitely go visit these two blogging sisters who are giving US presents for THEIR blogaversaries!

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Monday, April 20, 2009


On my way home from dropping Hannah at school today I was happily following another car along the main road and had a number of things on my mind. I was interrupted from my thoughts as a 4WD sped past me on the other side of the road. Ooh, He's in a hurry I thought, until I looked down and we are doing 40km/h in an 80km/h zone. As I look in my rear vision mirror I notice a dozen cars also slowed down by this car in front.

I was still happy to plod along behind this driver...for about 20 seconds...and then I felt my frustration rise. As I watched the 4WD disappear into the distance and the car in front slow down even more as we came to an intersection I started to voice my concerns. Of course no-one could hear me, but it feels better when you say it out loud. I even gave a tiny little toot of the horn (I dont think they heard) cause really, 30ks in an 80k zone, that is just ridiculous!

When they finally turned off (and slowed down even more before they did that I might add) I revved past them hoping they would see the error of their ways and drive faster next time.

But what changed during that stretch of road? One minute I was happily plodding along at 40 and the next minute I am forward in my seat absolutely frustrated with another driver (who was totally in the wrong ;). And you know what it was? I realised someone else was getting ahead of me.

Ouch. Isnt that the same in the rest of my life? Quite happily content with what I have, where I am going, what I am doing, until I take notice of someone else getting ahead and then all of a sudden where I am isnt good enough.

And doesnt that affect our attitude when we do that! We snap at our kids, grumble at our spouse, assert our authority at work, inwardly churning away cause we dont have what someone else has got.

I am SO sorry God for doing that! Next time I am behind someone going 40 I will remember to be thankful for where I am and Ill use that time to pray instead of grumble.

"Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you."
Hebrews 13:5

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Thursday, April 9, 2009

A Letter to A Teacher

Hannah who is 6 wrote this letter today to her teacher from last year...

Dear Mrs Faley,

Thankyou for being a Gerat ticha Have a Gerat Holaday and In Joy it!
You know I Like You Becos You have a smiil evry Time I See You.
And Josh Likes You to

Love From Hannah

How Cute!

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Tuesday, April 7, 2009


Today I was over at 5 Minutes For Faith, talking about my drive across town in my Pink Pyjamas. It would be just like me to get pulled over wouldnt it!

(I didn't get pulled over, but take a look all the same ;)

Yesterday at the Park

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Saturday, April 4, 2009

Give It Back

I heard footsteps coming down the driveway and then a knock at the door. I curioulsy answered it, not expecting anyone to drop in today. It was a lady named Jean who's elderly parents live next door 'returning' some kids clothing. It seems that their cat has a strange case of Kleptomania. He steals items of clothing from neighbouring houses and presents it to his owners in their loungeroom. Obviously my kids have been leaving things outside because this time she was returning a shirt and 2 pairs of socks! (And no, this is not the first time!)

It is a pity though, that he doesnt have a taste for possums ;)

Jean was giving our clothes back because her parents had aquired them under false pretenses ;). But I need to give some things back too. I need to give credit to Venita for helping me clean up the kids rooms cause I accepted their praises without disclosing all that she had done. I need to give credit to Glenn and to Jenny for helping me get Bryce the best birthday present ever. (Happy Birthday Babe!) I owe my kids more patience than I showed them today. I owe Bryce more kindness. I owe my sponsor child a letter. I owe our Sunday School leaders more thanks. I owe my family more phone calls :). I owe God more time in the mornings. I owe the hungry food, I owe the opressed freedom, I owe the orphans care, I owe the poor shelter (Isaiah 58).

I'm not going to do any of these things because I should, but because I have been blessed, and I'd like to give some back. Because Jesus died for me, my life is rightfully His. But that's not a bad thing, He wants the best for me! So I will sacrifice because He gave his life as a sacrifice. I will put up with insults or discouragement because He was ridiculed and murdered. I will love others because He loved me.

"Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor. Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law. The commandments, "Do not commit adultery," "Do not murder," "Do not steal," "Do not covet," and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this one rule: "Love your neighbor as yourself." Romans 13:7-9

What do you owe?

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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Soap Free at 5M4F

Want to know how I included gluten free chocolate, divine appointments and Methylchloroisothiazolinone all in one story?

Then head over to 5 Minutes For Faith and see what I've been up to!

And I'll have some more about pink pyjamas, best friends and bad singing coming up very soon.

Have an awesome week!

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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Little Miss...

Thanks to Megan, I have been officially sketched!

Check out her creation...


Megan sketched this by hand, and I added the colour in photoshop. (I kept the original cause the colours arent quite right just yet). She was inspired by my 100 things I think - see how many you can spot in there!

If you need a professional illustrator or just someone to create something for fun or work, Megans services are available at fabulous prices. Just leave a comment or email me and I'll pass your request on.

I think I need to make it into a shirt!

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Saturday, March 14, 2009

Uh Oh

It's the feeling you get when you hear the crumpling of car metal, or the doctor say "hmmm", or the child scream 'that' scream, or the message "limit exceded", or the sirens behind you, or the friend say "I have something to tell you".

It's not exactly that you're worried, its just that there is automatically an air of concern. Like something is wrong and you will probably need to do something about it, but you're not exactly sure what yet.

Do you know what the most common cause of injuries to little boys is? Would you guess it involves either a trampoline, a tree or a fence. Well, Josh decided to try all three this week. At once. It didn't end well. He balanced a tree branch in between the trampoline and the fence, and tried to balance on the branch. Then I heard 'that' scream. Uh Oh. And I was concerned.

Yesterday we had x-rays and today we got the results - not a fracture, but a mild buckling of the posterior cortex of the distal shaft of the radius. In other words, he'll have a sore arm for a while. Concern has passed, for the most part. But for the 48 hours between accident and diagnosis I did feel like things weren't quite right.

And I remembered the last post about 'needs'. And that in times of minor concern, like this one, or major events that happen in our life, we should go back to the Bible and read those verses. Often there is nothing we can do at the time, so we need to rest in God.

We need to be still (Ex14:14)
We need to pray and we will receive his strength and grace (Heb 4:16)
We need to persevere (Heb 10:36)
and God will meet our needs according to His glorious riches (Phil 4:19)

So next time you feel that heaviness of concern, either for you or your family, or a friend or even a stranger, start by praying, read the Bible or remember those verses and then in His strength and grace you can act or help or wait.

"The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail."(Isaiah 58:11)

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Friday, March 13, 2009

...Drumroll Please...

Well folks, this is officially my 100th (ish) post!! Are you sick of me yet?

And following the legacy of many great bloggers who have gone before me, I hearby present you with 100 (ish) Things About Me .

You're welcome. :)

No, you'll need to click on the link.

Off you go. Yep, the one in blue.

Yeah thats it!















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Thursday, March 12, 2009

Even Better

Well the Google Search was fun, but a good friend reminded me how good it is that we can find what we really need in the Bible.

So I logged on to Bible Gateway and this is what I found when I searched for "need":

Genesis 33:11Please accept the present that was brought to you, for God has been gracious to me and I have all I need. (this one would be good for a present tag!)

Exodus 14:14 The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.

Psalm 116:6 The LORD protects the simplehearted; when I was in great need, he saved me.

Isaiah 58:11 The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.

Daniel 3:16 Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter.”

Matthew 6:8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

Romans 12:13 Share with God's people who are in need. Practice hospitality.

2 Corinthians 9:8 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.

Ephesians 4:29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

Philippians 4:19 And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.

Hebrews 4:16 Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

Hebrews 10:36 You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.

Wanna know what the Bible has to say about something? Just go to Bible Gateway and type it in the box up the top left of the screen.

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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

And over here we have

You'll find me at a couple of places in the blogosphere this week.

Over at
5 Minutes for Faith..

"...We had to renovate our new place as it was lacking what some would consider necessities, such as doors, flooring and walls. We wanted to make it a more comfortable place to live in, to make it stronger and more durable, to make it more attractive, and enjoy the feeling of personal satisfaction at our work..."

wanna read the rest? off you

Rena tagged me in this Google Game.

My instructions were to type “Donna needs” in Google search and then list the first ten responses that make sense.

Here goes…

Donna needs a loving, nurturing adoptive family who can accept her.
(aww thanks)
Donna needs bloggers’ help. (
Jo-Lynne did my new layout, do you like it?)
Donna needs volunteers. (Yes please!)
Donna needs to go. (Sydney baby, 14 sleeps!)
Donna needs to be appointed a conservator.
(Really? What exactly do you think I'll be getting up to?)
Donna needs a name. (Any ideas? so far we've had BigD and Is Don Is Good)

Donna needs support.
(yes I do :), so leave comments!)
Donna needs $$$. (Thankyou Mr Rudd, I believe that's on the way)
Donna needs to respond in court to every one of these lawsuits. (I hope not!)
Donna urgently needs to be transferred to The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee where she can walk and roam on soft ground, graze on fresh vegetation, swim and play in lakes and ponds, and live out her natural behaviors like an elephant is supposed to do. (yes, yes I believe I do)

I think Snooky would get a laugh out of this. You're tagged.

Have a great week!

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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

On Celebrities, Cyclones and Siamese

I was at the hairdresser today and I overheard a trainee hairdresser talking to a customer. She was obvioulsy using some reflective listening skills she had learnt at college, and was sounding over-interested in a lady talking about another lady who stole her idea of breeding short-haired siamese cats.

The lady on the other side of me was talking about the impending cyclone hanging just off the coast and then they both joined in a conversation about going to heaven and elvis being there.

This was one I chose not to enter in to. But in hindsight, since we were talking about these opportunities, maybe I could've said something. Any suggestions?

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Wednesday, March 4, 2009


I'm sure you remember the possum fiascos, but something that I didn't tell you was that when I ran to get the camera to take this photo, I fell and really hurt my left knee. It was worth it for the story ;) but when it was still hurting 6 weeks later I decided to go to the doctor.

He thinks I have bursitis, inflammation of the bursa - the small protective sack over my knee joint. (That is not to be confused with inflammation of the bursar - due to the non payment of school fees. :)

Being an old-school doctor, the generic term he gave it was 'handmaids knee'. A condition caused by overusing or repetitively stressing a joint. Since I dont spend much time scrubbing floors or planting veggies, it must be from all the praying. ;)

It doesnt happen often in our bodies, but occasionally if we keep doing something which is detrimental to our health, one part will become inflamed. It hurts, but the end result is healing because it brings about a change in behaviour.

It doesnt happen often in life either, but on the odd occasion it is necessary to let someone know they are doing something that is detrimental to their spiritual health.

Some people have a wrong view of God which is going to make them miss out on the awesome eternity God has planned for them. And sometimes, on special occasions, we need to prompt them to think about that. I am not saying you should share this without thinking to everyone you know, I just would love it if you would be praying about and open to opportunities where God might want you to ask a question or share a truth about Him that people might not have considered.

Normally that is not something that I would do. I dont want people to potentially be inflamed because of something that I said, but if I consider the long term effects of how they are living, and God provides an opportunity and prompts me to say something, I will.

Cause Jesus is coming back,
and its not going to make any difference then
if they think I am a nice person,
But it is going to make all the difference
if that's all they think Jesus is.

So think about that today, and go inflame your bursae by prayin for those who don't know Him.

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Tuesday, February 24, 2009


I travel 30mins to my Bible Study group on a Tuesday morning. To most of you that isn't too bad, however if you talk to a local, that is a very long way. But I go by the old saying, "The road to a friends house is never long"!

We are studying Hebrews at the moment and have just come to chapter 11. The question was asked, "What is your definition of Faith? What is its meaning in your spiritual life?"

We came up with simple definitions but lets check out these heroes of the faith mentioned in Hebrews 11 and see what was recorded about them. This is my little summary:

Abel gave the 'firstfruits'.
Enoch walked with God.
Noah was obedient.
Abraham obeyed and went and he lived as a stranger.
Abraham trusted God and was willing to sacrifice all for God.
Isaac passed on a blessing.
Jacob worshipped.
Joseph passed on the faith.
Moses' parents risked their lives to save his.
The Israelite people relied on God to keep the water up and bring the walls down.
Rahab believed and acted.

What a great liturgy of faith we have there! Doesn't it make you want to go read those stories and be inspired anew? There are so many areas I haven't been faithful or faith-ful in! But I'm going to read one of these stories each day this week and see what God has to say.

You can start by going to Hebrews chapter 11 and finding the references to those stories in your footnotes, or you can go to and search for who you want to read about.

Go do some hero training!

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Sunday, February 22, 2009

Healing Waters

Imagine a lovely stream freely flowing with green grass and lovely willows along the bank. Other strong tall trees are dotted along the edges providing nests for wildlife and shade for passers by. Parents bring their children to play at the waters edge and they relax on blankets and enjoy the cool breeze and the soft grass. As you take in the surroundings you notice a change in the water downstream. Something has blocked up the river, creating a dam and the water is murky and is hardly flowing at all. Jagged rocks pierce the surface and the trees look dry and wilting. There are no native animals, few birds and no families having picnics on the riverside. Just upstream from the blockage the water has become turbulent. Logs are hidden just under the surface making the water unsafe for swimmers.

Sometimes circumstances in our lives cause us to hold things in, bottle things up or block things out which builds a barrier in our hearts. Because these barriers usually build up over time, it is very difficult to break them down. You find that even though you try to look happy, appear successful, love your family, please your friends or be a good Christian, the water is starting to turn murky, and you start hurting people or yourself by what lies just under the surface. Pretty soon there is hardly any water flowing at all and people dont want to come by your river any more. Its not healthy, and its certainly not nourishing to anyone else.

You dont want that big stoppage in the way, but just when God starts to break through that defence, that mask, that coping strategy, you find yourself plugging up the hole, almost as if without thinking. You try with all your might to move the boulders but you always seem to fail. You are right, it is impossible to break down that wall. But the mightiest of dams have been brought down by a single crack. If you allow that water to trickle through, if you are honest about who you are and what you are really feeling, if you allow God to that innermost part of you that was so hurt or you are scared to let anyone really see, a little crack forms in those huge boulders, and bit by bit it expands until that life giving water flows freely again. And you know what, soon the boulders start to crumble. The water starts to wash away that murkiness, and smooths the sharp stones, and removes the hurtful debri just under the surface.

The plants of peace, love, joy, of emotion and strength, of your maleness or femaleness blossom and grow. People start hanging around and even stop to take in the beautiful surroundings. Friends and family are refreshed and bring others along too. That work that you allowed God to do in you becomes a blessing for others, for them to quence their thirst and be refreshed and renewed.

Jesus said "Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life." John 4:13-14

You cant make it on your own. You cant fake it for long either. You can only be truly fulfilled by being connected to the Source, and you can experience the ultimate and eternal fulfilment in heaven by choosing to follow Him - Jesus.

Your job is just to be connected to the source (and stop rebuilding those walls!).

And wait till you go on a fishing expedition from THAT river!

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Saturday, February 7, 2009

Enter At Your Own Risk

I overheard a pre-school teacher this week say that if she had things her way, she would erect a 6 foot high barbed wire fence around the kindergarten. I know she was concerned about some troublesome teenagers getting in and damaging the property, but I'm thinking thats a bit of an overkill. It certainly doesn't give a very reassuring first impression.

I want to give a better first impression, both in my church and in my life. I want people to say, 'This is a nice place to be, I think I'll come again'. And, for the record, once you get inside our church that is exactly what you experience. They are warmest and friendliest bunch of people I have ever met. We just need to turn our focus out to the community, 'cause as Geoff pointed out, people arent coming to church to get saved anymore. As the saying goes "We are to be fishers of men, rather than keepers of the aquarium."

So often the ministries of our churches and the commitments of our life take our focus away from the real reason we are here, to share the reason for our faith and our life. But Jesus told us to go, to make discples, and to teach about everything that He commanded. (Matthew 28:18-20)

So Go! And make a great first impression!

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Tuesday, February 3, 2009

On Bears and Bees

Do you think if I stop blogging, wierd stuff will stop happening to me?

You know, like the
kamakazi parrot, the exploding possum and the historic vapour rub?

Well, today, for your entertainment and edification, I'll share about someone else's weird happenings!

I've been talking to a few bloggy friends about being drenched with joy and what it is that keeps us from experiencing the joy we have in Christ. Sometimes we miss the connection because of time constraints and busyness of life, sometimes there are cracks in our life like worry, discontentment, and selfishness where the joy seeps out. And sometimes we just arent thirsty enough to want to get to the source.

It is my prayer that through these random ravings God might whet your thirst for Him again. And, true to form, He has provided some thirsty critters to illustrate the point.

An extremely lovely lady I met recently shared this story with me today. The family had been out all day Sunday and upon returning were informed by their daughter that there was a bee in the bathroom. On closer investigation, they found a swarm of around 200 bees had somehow made their way into the bathroom through the small space in the window track. Fortunately for this family, most of the swarm was contained in the bath and had, alas, perished.

(It does seem like there is a dead animal theme going on here but I assure you I had nothing to do with it!)

On another more 'lively' note, we have been having crazy weather lately: cyclones in the North and heat-waves in the South. This little Koala was so thirsty it ventured onto someones porch looking for some water. Apparently the people put out the water for the Koala to drink and he hopped right in! Although I'm not sure who actually took the photo, Nine MSN published this as a news story.


The bees and the Koala realised their need for water so desperately that they put everything else aside in order to get that life giving refreshment. They left their usual habitat and safe surroundings to pursue a higher calling. The bees didnt make it, but our Koala friend is indeed drenched, and loving it!

Maybe our lives are so busy and full of other things that we dont realise how dry we really are, and how much we really do need the life giving water God provides. I dont want to wait for a heat wave to realise this, I'm diving in.

How 'bout you? Thirsty?

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Saturday, January 24, 2009


Today I let my kids play in the rain, in fact, I suggested it! I can remember playing in the rain as a kid, and I am pretty sure most of the time my mum was in the rain with us. A few weeks ago we went to Australia Zoo in the same sort of weather. It was steady, soaking rain. Not uncomfortable to walk in, but by the time we walked from the elephants to the tigers, we were wet. Especially my son who delighted in running, jumping, racing and playing in the rain. He was drenched. From his sagging hat, right through his clothes to the soles of his shoes. And he was loving it.

I heard of the term used by CS Lewis this week - "drenched with joy". I wasn't exactly sure what he meant by it, but it kept coming to mind, so I did a little bit of digging through the Bible. Wanna see what I found?

Luke 10:21 says that Jesus was full of Joy through the Holy Spirit, and we know from Galatians 5:22 that one of the fruits of the Spirit is joy. Lots of the New Testament verses refer to being 'filled with joy'. And in John 15 Jesus spoke about remaining in Him and obeying God "so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete." (John 15:11)

Joy is closely tied to the Holy Spirit in many contexts, and just as we receive the Holy Spirit when we choose to follow Jesus, and then are 'continually filled' with the Spirit (Eph 5:18), so we receive joy when we first believe and then continue to experience the fullness of this joy as we live out our faith and trust in Jesus.

Ps 16:8-11 says "I have set the LORD always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure, because you will not abandon me to the grave... You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand."

In His presence, we are filled with joy. Because God is with us, this joy in us need not be shaken. Because we believe He has a purpose in everything, we can be glad. And we can REST, because He will not abandon us. And we have HOPE for eternity.

Drench means "to saturate by immersion, to cover or fill completely, or to provide with something in great abundance." A little sprinkle can be refreshing and cooling, but only that steady rain can really drench. You really have to be walking in the rain for it to reach the skin and soak even the inner soles of your shoes.

Going to church might be encouraging, a prayer here and there might lift your spirits but the only way to experience God's joy in abundance is to be filled with the Spirit by spending time in prayer, in the Bible, and in obedience to God. Remaining in Jesus is the key to being 'drenched with joy'.

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." (Romans 15:13)

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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

In A Blaze of Glory

Let me just say, this is the last post, tweet, status update, message or story you will hear from me about possums. But its a good finale.

Last night, at the suggestion of the Environmental Protection Agency, we boarded up the possums last hole into our roof, right by the electricity wire that runs from the power pole to our house. Obviously that has been their way in for some time, as our line sags as though it has been supporting many kilos of possum, unlike the lines to our neighbours' houses.

At precisely 4:30am this morning, hubby woke because the fan had stopped and he could hear banging coming from the front of the house. Yep, you guessed it, mummy possum was none too happy at all about being shut out of her house (oh yeah, we found out it wasnt a 'he' at all). So mummy and baby possum were precariously hanging from our electricity wire. For 3 hours.


I suppose I was expecting mummy possum (AKA "big rat" to our 4yr old) to resign herself to the fact that this was no longer her home and leave quietly. But she wasnt going anywhere. By the time the electricity guys got here at 7:45 she was still holding on for dear life and wasnt letting go. They tried to move her and pull her but nothing happened until we heard a bang, saw a flash of light and noticed the smell of burning fur. Mother had indeed gone out in a blaze of glory.

"In a blaze of glory" has been
defined as "in a majestic splendour, in a moment of splendid triumph." I'm sorry Mrs Possum, but that stunt was more like 'going up in smoke'. (pun intended :)

There was no need for her to hold on so tightly to her temporary home, we were having her taken somewhere much nicer. But after some blood sweat and tears, the electricity men took Mrs Possum and Possum Jnr to the animal shelter where they are expected to make a full recovery. (seriously, she was just singed)

So how are you going at reviewing the status of your
home sweet home? Are you still holding on with all your strength to something that is uncertain and temporary? I tell you what, I'm letting go so that I can go out in a blaze of Glory the way it was meant to be.

"With a loud command and with the shout of the chief angel and a blast of God's trumpet, the Lord will return from heaven. Then those who had faith in Christ before they died will be raised to life. Next, all of us who are still alive will be taken up into the clouds together with them to meet the Lord in the sky. From that time on we will all be with the Lord forever." 1 Thes. 4:16-17

Here's the You Tube video if you want to take a look. Its not the high voltage video, it just shows the possums hanging in there. (please note, no possums or electricity men were permanently harmed in the making of this video)

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