29 Apr. 2008

Pictures of Here...

Our Volcano

The Blue Lake on a Still Day


Reflections in Blue & Green

In the Valley


Centenary Tower

28 Apr. 2008

I BROKE MY CAR!!!

OOPS!!!

Ummmm Errr, Yesterday on the way home from church, I kinda pranged my car into a lovely white holden 4x4! The 4wd fared quite well, as did all peoples involved (no injuries, except to my pride!)The boys were in the back seat and werent fazed at all, it seemed! They probably thought "COOL!"anyways... I managed to get it back home before all the radiator fluid ran out.The car doesnt look too bad, considering what it could have looked like. Luckily the other car swerved and didnt t-bone us!The front apron is all bent, the centre upright has been stoved right in and punctured the radiator, the grill, bumper and number plate are stuffed and the bonnet bent. The car isnt drivable anymore due to the radiator.Sooo I called the insurance mob, and they sent a tow truck to pick it up and take it to the crash repairs for assessment.Now I am waiting to find out if they will fix it or write it off....

25 Apr. 2008

A Note to all Single Women!

This is a suggestion.... perhaps one that should be an unwritten law....
if you are a chick that isnt currently being swept of her feet by prince charming or somebody dressed like him.... then please, unless you want to wake up the next morning with puffy eyes and a pile of used tissues....
Stay away from, and avoid at all costs..... romantic chic flicks!!!!!
After watching another fairy-tale-ish chick flick... as the only other stuff on the box was footy and murder mystery and seriously inapropriate SBS shows....
I now wish i had pressed the little button at the bottom of the screen and curled up with a book... or just plain gone to sleep!!!
Hmmmm
oh well...
Note to self - turn the tv off!

:o)

24 Apr. 2008

Bittersweet Victory!

At the moment here where I live, we are apparently having a mouse plague!
I discovered I indeed had a mouse, last week, as I saw it run across the rug at the front door, then to see it poke its cheeky little nose out from behind the bookcase.
Horror upon horrors - I couldnt find any mousetraps at the time! I think I might have chucked them when I moved house... which was real silly as they were the ones that really work, and expensive too!
so last week I bought 6 mouse traps from Bunnings, took them home and set them up, promptly banning Buddy our dog from comming in while I had them set up... poor Buddy!
the next day.... the mouse traps were empty.... but not just no mouse.... no food either! The mouse was a cheeky one, either that or the traps I had bought were dodgy!!! I tried again that night... adjusting mousetraps... gently carefully.... changing the bait to peanut butter....but alas... not a single bit of luck that night.
So then began the hunt all over town for traps... the good ones that work! Alas... Kmart, Woollies, Fishers, Banner, Coles.... no luck... in the end I gave up and bought some plastic versions of the classic wooden style... hoping.....hoping they would work....
That morning Rob had declared he had seen a mouse in his room, and I had heard a mouse (or mouses!) rummaging around in my ceiling above my head this morning while I lay in bed!..... so I had Declared WAR!
Yesterday after more foodless mouseless traps.... I had almost given up the fight in frustration... hoping that someone somewhere would get some more "mouse traps that really worked" in!
Yesterday afternoon.... as a last resort.... I visited the only decent place in town that I hadnt previously visited.....
Mitre 10..... I went "WOO HOO" when I discovered they had the "sure-safe" mousetraps in.... not just in, but abundantly stocked.... I managed to contain my joy enough to not actually dance a jug around the aile all the way to the checkout... but I proclaimed joyfully and thankfully to the checkout attendant that I was soooooo glad! that they had the good ones in! (I worked out I had then spent nearly $20 on mousetraps!!!).
So with relief I exited the store... and we travelled home and immediately set the new traps!
I awoke 20 minutes ago now.... to squeaking.... I lay there praying "please Lord let it die, so I dont have to deal with a trapped but alive mouse!"
But the Lord was teaching me resiliance! and perseverance, and how to not be a complete woose when it comes to tiny creatures that go bump in the night!
I had to get out of bed, not only because I dont think I wouldve been able to sleep with the racked it was making.... running around banging the mousetrap on furniture and other stuff while squeaking in pain!!!
I suddenly had a brain wave as I was venturing to turn the dining room light on..... BUDDY!!! Terriers are supposed to be good rodent killers.... well they go rabbiting dont they!
So I flicked the switch... and saw this tiny little furry thing with a cute nose and its leg caught in the trap..... frightened and in pain!.... what should I do???
I Took a deep breath and went and let the dog in... who immediately barked for a game, but then was too much of a woose to get to close to the noisey furry thing!!!!
Oh dear!! Now I really had to deal with it!.... I contemplated hitting it over the head with a hammer... but my stomach told me NO!! and I cringed at the thought! I looked around.... not a thing to catch it with.... then I spotted the empty 3L plastic milk bottle that was waiting to go in the recycle bin..... Maybe I could catch it in there put the lid on and stick it in the bin... but then I realised that it would probably eat through the bottle and escape.
Then I did what any single woman with no idea would do.... I sat down on a chair next to the little trapped mouse.... I took the lid off the milk bottle and stuck the end over the mouse.... I dont know what I expected that to do... but the mouse copped the dregs of milk... and ended up wet.... then I called the dog over.... and tried to get him to look at it and realise it was food and fun..... but Buddy is definately a woose!
I sighed and taking care to not think at all about what I was about to do.... I pushed down on the end of the milk bottle, over the mouse..... holding it... praying that it would die quickly....
After a minute I took away the bottle.... and regretably looked at the poor limp thing... but I took a breath.... straightened my back and my resolve. and picked up the trap - mouse and all, and took it out the back door, calling buddy with me.... I released it into buddy's bowl, and promptly came back inside and closed the door....
trying not to think about it anymore....
then I reset the trap,
and thought "what a bittersweet victory that was!"
but one down.... how many more to go???
and now I am about to crawl back into bed!
G'Nite!
sleep tite dont let the bed bugs bite!!!!

22 Apr. 2008

Another email from a friend......

I was sent these words from a song....
(I dont know the title or the author)

I have a Maker,
He formed my heart.
Before even time began
My life was in His hand.

Chorus:
He knows my name,
He knows my every thought,
He sees each tear that falls,
And hears me when I call.

I have a Father,
He calls me His own.
He'll never leave me,
No matter where I go.

a snippet from an email.... and some

A friend sent me this today.....

Like you, I am a human being filled with joys, fears,frustrations, and hopes. And, like you, I want to beunderstood, accepted, and appreciated.-- Eric Harvey and Steve Ventura

How True this is of all of us, even if we wont admit it openly, deep down there is the feelings and longings for the above.
What makes us different is how we deal with it all.

For some of us life is.... "slow and steady wins the race"

but for others, life can be like a rollercoaster full of so many highs and lows.... where there is a real deep cry, longing, for a smooth, level, gentle pace, and rest.

Rest, rest for our soul, a chill session for our mind and spirit, oh what wonderful bliss that is.

The rest I find only at Jesus' feet. Curled up, asleep, dreaming of Glory, walking with Him, kneeling at His feet, hearing Him speak... and sometimes, washing His feet with my tears and drying them with my hair.

20 Apr. 2008

hearts


Our hearts are silly things at times. They dont always do what our heads tell them to do. They sometimes run off and get their hopes up, only get left behind. Then they are heavy, so heavy to cart around. And they force tears to well up and fall, and leave an ache in your throat, and thunder in your ears.

19 Apr. 2008

Hmmm

Have you ever wondered....
when you have put your foot in it....
How exactly do you get it out????

A little blue book, a friend, and me....

Today I share this at a Gideons Auxillary Luncheon....




It wasn’t a thunderbolt or the hit over the head with a bible that brought me back to God.
It was indeed the Holy Spirit and the quiet witness of a lady, and others at a Baptist Church outreach program.
I had spent the last number of years in very loud rebellion from God, but I was also digging a very large hole for myself. I was lost, very lost, but strangely found comfort in being around the Christian ladies at the community activities held by the church.
In the third term of Hi-Time in 2002, I ended up in a creative writing class with Mrs E, another Christian lady and a number of non-Christians. The “teacher” who wasn’t Christian and I were struggling deeply in our personal lives but mostly put on brave faces.
Occasionally it was just Mrs E, the teacher and I at the class and we found ourselves sharing some of our personal struggles with her. She seemed to have wise counsel.
The last day of the term was a tough one. The teacher had to leave early to be at home. So it was just Mrs E and I.
My memory is not as good as I would like it, a legacy from my years of rebellion. But I do clearly remember the two of us sitting down at a table quietly in a little room.
In discussion with her I realised that my life was quite a mess, and it wasn’t about to get better any time soon, the way I was going.
I also realised I had to get real with God and stop shunning Him from my life.
Mrs E pulled out a little Gideon’s Testament and started pointing out some scriptures to me. Then she prayed with me. I asked God for forgiveness for my rebellion against him and asked him to be in my life again, and I re-dedicated my life to Jesus as my Lord and Saviour.
I was SO Happy; it was like a Huge weight had been lifted off me!
I was fearful of what my non-Christian husband would say, but knew that God in my life was more important than anything else!
I also knew I needed to show my children God, because if I didn’t, who would?
I was given the little Gideon’s Bible to take home.
I still have the little blue book today, or rather my eldest son does. Robbie has taken quite a lot of enjoyment from it. He loves reading the John 3:16 verse at the front and the translations! He also has used the little helps as well.
For a long time he has carted it around with him, like a treasure. Now my middle son has his own little Gideon’s Bible that I found for him at a second hand store.
Sean too carts his around like a treasure, even though he is just learning to read. He occasionally asks me to read something for him.
I am sure there is some novelty in that they are the right size for their small hands. The fact they know what the little book contains... the Words of God, and they treat them like treasure, as indeed the little books hold within treasures for life, is great.
The bibles are a gift in our home, and I hope the pleasure my children find in holding God’s Word in their hands and in their hearts stays with them forever.
Maybe one day, when they are grown, they will cart them around in the back pocket of their jeans and read them to someone as Mrs E did to me.

It has been five and a half years since that day. Many things have happened since then.
The day after my decision, I told my Husband that I wanted to start going to church. He was not happy. So, for a while I didn’t attend normal church services, I only attended a House church.
After the Christmas holiday recess for house church, I was really struggling; I felt I was starving from lack of teaching and fellowship. My mum (a Christian, and married to an unbeliever at the time), encouraged me to make a stand and go to church. I was a bit hesitant, but knew I needed the fellowship, so I went.
Although my husband wasn’t happy with it, he didn’t stop me. He did not stop me from taking the kids either. It wasn’t easy taking two littlies to church on my own, but I was welcomed and cared for.

I believe I was on the verge of a breakdown before I gave my heart back to God. I secretly went to a counsellor who tried to encourage me to have a holiday at Glenside, and go on medication. I knew I couldn’t do that. But I was on the verge of giving up on my marriage and at times of giving up on my life. Through all of the turmoil within me, my husband was oblivious.
It was God that stopped me giving up. He stopped me, and He lifted me up from the dark hole I was in.
I praise God that he placed Mrs E in the right place at the right time, to lead me back to Him.
I had worried initially that my “getting religion” would really end my marriage.
But in reality, I know that God sustained my marriage for the following two years. God also blessed us with another son in that time.
I tried hard not to push God in my husband’s face. I was careful not to leave my bible around and tried to make sure that Radio Rhema wasn’t playing when he got home from work. Sometimes though He would come home unexpectedly.
He grew increasingly discontent with my Faith in God. It became harder to be around each other. Near the end, He said he was leaving, but he changed his mind the next day. I was an emotional mess. A month passed and my husband declared that our marriage was over and didn’t love me anymore as he said I wasn’t the woman that he had married. He moved out a week later. It was 10 days before Christmas 2005.
My husband blames God for our marriage ending.
I don’t blame God,
I thank God for the extra years that He gave us, and for our three sons.
The road has been tough since then, but now there are no more arguments, I can talk openly with my children about Jesus and I can read the bible without fear of angry words.
My children are content, and they see their dad often. Their dad and I are now on good speaking terms. He has re-partnered, and God has shown me that my children can be a blessing to his fiancé who cannot have children of her own.
I have accepted my life as it is now.
I have a deep joy that no sorrows of this world can take away.
Before God filled me anew, I was empty, rotten and took pleasure in cursing His Name to all I knew.
Now all that I am is because of Him, for if not for Him, I would have taken my life.
He is the reason I live, and every day is a surprise.
I am amazed how God guides me into things.
I have found that God turns my cant’s into can’s.
For the past two years I have run the church playgroup, which is a miracle that God convinced me in doing it!
I love the journey I am on with God, God has given me His deep strength to through all the valleys.... He has carried me or held my hand all this way.
I cry in public and laugh out loud now more than I ever did for Jesus has broken down walls.
But for all the heartache, I wouldn’t trade this life I have with Jesus, for all the whole world.
His Word he has planted in me, as the lamp to my feet and the light to my path.

I want to encourage Gideons to not give-up, or be disheartened from giving out God’s Word.
We don’t know how and when God will use the bibles Gideons give, to bring someone into His Kingdom, or how many of that someone’s generations to follow will come to know Jesus, like my own kids.
Remember His Word never returns to Him void.



Have you ever been given a bible from Gideons? Did you put it on the shelf, throw it in the bin or did you read it?

If you have a story to tell because of the gift of a little Gideons bible, why dont you let them know, as they would love to hear your story.

If you would like to know more about Gideons International.... you can find them here....
http://www.gideons.org.au/Public/godslove.htm

17 Apr. 2008

Beachport Rock Cod population down.....

Zac with his trophy fish... first catch of the day
and his first fish ever!

Rob with his First ever Catch

Sean with His first Ever Fish


The Trio.... relaxed an cruising home after a hard days fishing

Chief Boat operator.... My Dad

Fun Had by all, except for the sad and sorry seven Rock-Cod who are destined for the freezer, in waiting for next summer's cray season..... as bait.

13 Apr. 2008

Songs of Heart

Today A friend sang a song, which I hold close to my heart.
He sang it from his own heart, and caused my tears to fall.

the song.... "Praise You In The Storm" by Casting Crowns.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VHlQ6sBEO9A

We praise Him as He carries us!

1 Apr. 2008

One Family One Body One Friend

We are family, as we are the family of God.
We are a body, as we are the body of Christ, and Christ himself is the Head.

But right now we are a family in mourning, our hearts cry out as one body for the death of a Brother.

We grieve not just for the death of Stephen, but we also grieve for each other, our brothers and sisters who are laden with sorrow. We cry out loudly in pain and let tears fall in roaring silence, but we carry each other. It is Compassion. It is Love. It is who and what we are, being and doing as God designed us to do.

Not one of us though grieves alone, for even in moments of solitude Jesus is weeping with us, just as He wept with the mourners of Lazarus. Full of compassion, beyond any measure we hold, Jesus is Being with us as we grieve.

Some of us cry out with WHY? Hurt and anger have mixed with tears, demanding from God the reason. But we don’t hear the answer, at least not now.

We have hope, in the Word of God, we clasp verses in our hearts,
like Romans 8:28 "everything works together for the good to everybody who loves God and is called according to his purpose"
and Proverbs 3:5-6 “trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path”

We remember Job in his suffering, David with all his heart cries to God and Paul with his perseverance.

But we also remember Lazarus, whom Jesus resurrected, and the young boy, the widows son, that Elijah breathed on and God made alive. And we question.... why then and not now? Why didn’t God bring Stephen back? We know He could’ve if He wanted to.

It was Easter Sunday when Stephen died, and we know that Easter Sunday is when we celebrate new life, and the resurrection of Jesus! It seems like a cruel joke. But it is not a cruel joke, it just is how this chapter of life has gone.

But why must we see it all in black and white? Why do we always expect God to do it our way, the way we want Him to? I know I expected Stephen to walk out of the bush anytime... I hoped and prayed he would. I thought, “Hey God, this is Easter, what better time for a miracle!”

But God says to us clearly in Isaiah 58:8-9
For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” declares the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.

And we know that For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven Ecclesiastes 3:1, but we as yet find little comfort. Little comfort except the greatest news of all, through this whole journey...

We know that Lazarus and the widow’s son were brought to life again, and we know that God also took Enoch and Elijah up to live with Him, without their facing death. We know that every day early Christians faced death, and were not delivered of the pain of it, but found eternal life with Jesus on the other side of death.

These weren’t the paths that Stephen took. God didn’t perform a miracle and breathe life back into his body, God didn’t take him up through the clouds, God did not make him face a stoning or lion.
Stephen’s body just died, and he breathed no more.

But like the dry bones in the desert, God breathed Eternity into Stephen’s spirit, and we are now assured that Stephen is now also walking with God.

So God didn’t do what we wanted or expected Him to, and our eyes may not see the goodness or rightness or reason in it, but still we place our Hope, Faith and Trust is in the Lord. The Lord is sovereign, true and righteous, and He does not abandon those who love Him to the grave. He is faithful and He will fulfil His promises to those who love Him.

John 14:1-6 tells us that Jesus has prepared a place for us all who trust in Him:
“Do not let your heart be troubled.
Trust in God, trust also in Me.
In My Fathers House there are many rooms,
if it were not so I would have told you.
I’m going to prepare a place for you,
and if I go and prepare a place for you,
I will come back and take you to be with me,
so you may also be where I am.
You know the Way to the place where I am going.”
Thomas said to him, "Lord, we don't know where you are going, so how can we know the way?" Jesus answered, I am the way (highway) and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me"

Stephen believed with all his being that Jesus is whom He says He is!

So Stephen is dwelling now in Our Father’s house.

One day we will all meet him and Jesus there.

And we’ll chuck a big party with streamers and balloons, and eat cheesecake and play with spoons.


But for now we grieve, for that is what we must do,
and we will celebrate all our memories of him,
and we will dance too, one day again,
but with the memories of him still in our hearts,
smiles and tears,
until eternity when we are all reunited under the SON.