Wednesday, October 31, 2012


We ignore Halloween. Nobody's ever knocked on our door and SP doesn't know it exists. But at some point, we're going to have to go one way or the other.

This article by John Dickson is making me think.

What do you do?

Thursday, October 25, 2012

1 year ago today...

... we started this journey

Today, we are privileged to know our happy, healthy, beautiful 10 month old girl. 

May God be glorified.

Vegetable Vandalism

I was vainly hoping that the increased visitation of our next door neighbour's cat might help protect the veggies this year, but it would appear not.

I've been googling for possum solutions for the last half hour. Anybody got any?

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

New Compassion Child

Sun, earth and a dot for Australia.

Our first sponsor child moved away from his project a couple of years ago. I frequently wonder how he's doing. 

We've been supporting the Child Survival Program since then, and waiting for children SP's age to be old enough to join the sponsorship program, in the hopes of sponsoring a child born in the same month as him. 

Last night, we found a boy born on the very same day. 

SP seems quite keen on giving some of our money to help a boy like him who doesn't have much. And intrigued by the idea of daytime here being night time in Brazil. Cue impromptu lesson in the rotation of the earth, with 2 random balls and 2 bits of blutack. He lapped it up, but still doesn't get it. 

R from Brazil, welcome to our family. We pray that your connection with us, and especially with SP, will last a lifetime. 

Resource Help Needed

At our church, kids get Bibles when they turn 7 & 12, as a way of acknowledging their growth & giving us an opportunity to pray for them as a church. 

The most recent 12 year old, a girl, has just been given a couple of new bibles, so I'm looking for devotional material or some good reading. 

At the moment, she's feeling the dilemma between a fascination for David Attenborough & his plant & natural world series (and all things science) and how that fits with her Christian beliefs. 

Does anybody know of any resources out there that would help her a 12 year old with these questions?

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Memorising 1 Peter 1:13 - 2:3

This post is part of a series on memorising the whole book of 1 Peter. To see all the posts in the series, click here

I was hoping to have this week's audio up a little earlier, but busy week + sore throat = lack of enthusiasm for recording. 

We sang 'Take My Life and Let It Be' at church last Sunday, so 'Nottingham' is today's tune. 

Here's my audio track. No distorted backing midi this time. 

Happy learning :)

Politically Incorrect Parenting

On Deb's recommendation, I'm reading Nigel Latta's book 'Politically Incorrect Parenting'. 

No author and reader will ever totally agree on parenting philosophy, and as a non-Christian he obviously misses the whole issue of sin and grace in parenting, but a lot of the book is just pure gold. 

Here's my favourite bit so far, which describes his psychology session with an 8 year old who won't sleep in his own bed, and his parents: (transcribed without permission from pages 98-99)

'What do you enjoy most in the whole world, Jordan?' I asked.
Because he had no idea that he was setting himself up, he simply told me. 'Soccer.'
'You like that the most?'
He nodded. 'Soccer is really cool.' 
I could see it in his eyes - this boy was mad passionate about the game. 
'OK,' I said, turning to his parents. 'When would you like him sleeping in his own bed?' I asked it using a tone which said that this would be no problem at all - they just had to choose the night. I used this tone for two reasons: first, to instil some confidence in both them and their son, and, second, because it was true.
They looked at each other, before Petra said, somewhat hesitantly: 'As soon as possible.' 
She smiled as if she wasn't sure I was serious. 'If that's possible.' 
I turned back to Jordan. 'How much do you like soccer again?' 
This time he answered a little less certainly, because, being a very bright young man, Jordan had tumbled my game before his parents had. 'Umm... quite a bit.' 
I laughed. 'You're a smart kid, Jordan. What do you think I'm going to tell your mum and dad to do?' 
He gave me a conflicted frown, because he was pleased with himself for figuring it out, but in the same breath absolutely opposed to the idea. 'That I can't go to soccer unless I stay in bed?' 
I smiled broadly. I liked this boy a lot. 'Bingo.'

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Going, going, eventually going

Back in 2006 I was very excited to find that I'd moved close to a unique shop.  It had three main product lines: wrought iron, antiques, and movie collectables.  Specifically, antique swords and movie collectable blades.  So, like the good public citizen I am I made a contribution to the local economy and bought a couple of Lord of the Rings pieces: Theoden's sword Herugrim and Gimli's double-headed battle axe.  I'm not sure what my future father-in-law thought of it when I brought them around for show and tell, but he still let me marry his daughter so they can't have been too unsettling.

But after several years hanging behind my seat at the dinner table, they, and Aragorn's sword Anduril, are going.  At least that's what I keep telling myself.  They look nice, but they've just been sitting there.  At least with some of my other interests, SP and F can get involved, but the axe will break your foot if you drop it in the wrong place, so they've both been hands off.  So the other week I took them down and boxed them in preparation for putting them on e-bay or something.

Now I just need to bring myself to put the ad up, and figure out what price I'll put up with... thanks to the movement of the Aussie dollar there's no chance I'll get dollar for dollar what I put in, but I need to figure out the sweet-spot between giving things away too far below value and setting the price so high that no-one's interested.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Teaching kids...

Back at the start of the year, I promised Petrina that I'd teach a term of Sunday school - partly to help out 'cause I see how hard it can be to get enough teachers for the term, partly to show (I hope) that it doesn't have to be the same people over and over again, and that it's OK to do something different to what you normally do at church.

This idea was fine until a couple of weeks ago, when I realised just how close the start of term 4 was.  Saturday was kinda stressful - although I was working off material that other very experienced teachers had prepared, I was still quite uncertain about how I'd go actually teaching it to kids. 

By the time I got to morning tea after church, I was in a state of mild shock.  And somewhat puzzled by reactions when I told people I'd been teaching the 8-11 year old boys.  Everyone seemed to think it would be incredibly hard work, but I didn't think so at the time and I don't think so now.  Short version is that they scare me the least.

As for how the lesson went, well with a grand total of one week's experience, I've learned:
  • Even with a class of 3 it takes effort to engage everyone equally
  • Distractions can come in any number of forms
  • Confiscation is generally an effective way of dealing with distractions
  • Half an hour is not very long
  • Everything takes longer than you think, especially if you haven't memorised the whole lesson beforehand.
  • For these kids at least, saying "that's a tough question, I really don't know and the Bible doesn't say much about it" is an acceptable answer (the prep notes didn't mention that when discussing how Christians will see Jesus again when we die, the class may ask if suicides go to heaven or not)
Now to see what next week's lesson will bring...

TWIST tomorrow

I'm looking forward to an evening of great music :)

I'll be selling CDs at the end of the night. If you're there, come and say hello...

Monday, October 15, 2012

SP sings

Dave and I had the privilege of joining with his brother and sister-in-law (both professional musicians) to provide the music for his sister's wedding.

We sang 'Down in the River to Pray' as a processional. You can hear the Idea of North version here. SP has been singing it ever since, and today he had a go at recording it. 

Pretty good, although I am completely biased, of course. 

And here's a couple of out-takes: 

Singing in a low voice like his uncle and 'put it onto the green...' (he wanted me to play it back for him, and the play button is green). 

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Ok, now F is signing

Back in August, I reported that F was signing 'more'. It turned out to be a false alarm. After the post, she never did it again.

But in the last 24 hours, she is definitely signing 'finished'. As in this little conversation from the end of lunch today. 

Me: F, we don't throw food onto the floor. If you're finished, you can sign 'finished'.
F signs finished.
End of meal. 

Friday, October 12, 2012

On tonight's menu

Deconstructed cottage pie.

Otherwise known as bolognaise and mashed potato.

Masterchef may not have changed my cooking much, but it sounds better than it used to.

1 Peter memory cards

For those who are playing along, here's the text of 1 Peter in a take-along format, broken into passages to match the sermons. 

I'm planning to laminate a copy for the bathroom wall and keep another in plain paper for my pocket. 

Right click to save the 8 point version, and the 12 point version

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Memorising 1 Peter 1:1-12

We're studying 1 Peter at church this term. And I've decided to try memorising it. If you're wondering 'Why bother?', I'd encourage you to read Jean's series on Bible memorisation.

I'd love you to join me in my little project, or keep me accountable during the term. 

My favourite method of memorising big chunks of bible is to set them to old hymn tunes. I've still got 'To God Be the Glory' in my head after my little organ adventure, so I'm using it for this week's reading: 1 Peter 1:1-12. It takes a bit of set-up, and the word-setting is often a bit clunky and awkward, but this method really works for me. 

Here's the recording (of myself) that I'll be listening to ad nauseum. Backing midi from here.  I'll aim to put one up each week as we progress through the book.

This week's passage below, if you want to follow along. I'm using the ESV. 
Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ,
To those who are elect exiles of the Dispersion
in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia,
according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, 
in the sanctification of the Spirit,
for obedience to Jesus Christ
and for sprinkling with his blood:
May grace and peace be multiplied to you.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!
According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again
to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading,
kept in heaven for you, who by God's power are being guarded through faith
for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.  
In this you rejoice,
though now for a little while,
if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials,
so that the tested genuineness of your faith
—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—
may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
Though you have not seen him, you love him. 
Though you do not now see him, you believe in him
and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible
and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith,
the salvation of your souls.
Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace
that was to be yours searched and inquired carefully,
inquiring what person or time the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating
when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories. It was revealed to them
that they were serving not themselves but you,
in the things that have now been announced to you
through those who preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven,
things into which angels long to look.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Not much embarrassment, really

I had a go at playing the pipe organ for a hymn at church today. Having had one, informal organ lesson about 9 years ago. 

It went surprisingly well. Lots of fumbles & mistakes, but the congregation was kind. And the 80 year old for whom it was a birthday present was pretty thrilled. 

Turns out pipe organs are significantly more difficult to play than pianos. I have a whole new respect for those who do it regularly.

Saturday, October 6, 2012


Feels like I'm going to jump off a cliff tomorrow. 

Nothing major, just potential for embarrassment. 

I'll tell you about it once it's over. 

Friday, October 5, 2012

Praying for Husbands and Children

Excuse the dodgy photo, but this is the cupboard beside our kitchen sink. On top, 31 Days of Praying for Husbands, from The Adventure of Motherhood, which sadly seems to now be an invitation-only blog, and I don't have an invitation. . Below, 31 Days of Prayer for your Child. A good prompt to pray while I'm washing up.

I've also come across this nifty little bookmark by Susie, on praying for husbands. I'm planning to print it and stick in my Bible.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Building on the Brain

SP is having trouble playing with F without smothering her. 

I say, "We might have to make a new rule that you can't hug F until you've asked for permission."

He says, "Can I use my screwdriver to put the screws in to help you build that new rule, Mummy?"

Monthly Population Survey

We got a letter today from the Australian Bureau of Statistics. They'll be interviewing us each month for the next 8 months, as part of their Monthly Population Survey. 

I had no idea such a thing existed. I now know that it's used to calculate unemployment statistics and the like. 

I love a good census, so this should be quite fun. The first time at least. I suspect that 8 will be enough.