Friday, January 30, 2015

A Gospel Pageant: A Reader's Guide to the Book of Revelation

I got this great little freebie from Meredith's book giveaway last year.  I couldn't wait to get started on it.

It's not the first book I've read on Revelation, but it's definitely the shortest.  I've heard Allan Chapple preach before and he's a very learned bloke who preaches in everyday language for the everyday Christian.  You don't have to be an academic to read this book!

One thing I recommend (which I didn't do) is to have the book of Revelation open alongside this book as you read it.  This is not a commentary, it is a reader's guide.  He doesn't address every verse and chapter of Revelation.  It's more a sweeping overview on how to read and understand the book.  As you may well know, Revelation causes a lot of controversy among Christians, but Chapple cleverly focuses on what the text itself says - not on preconceived ideas.  Although it is difficult, try to cast aside your cherished views on the book (i.e. pre-mil, a-mil etc.) as you approach it.

One thing I found enormously helpful is how he calls Revelation 'a gospel pageant'...because the whole of Revelation is not some new truth.  It's all about the gospel.  It's reinforcing the gospel.  It is a new presentation of known truth. (page 11).  Revelation is a prophetic book, but not all prophecy is to do with what will happen in the future, biblical prophecy is also about the past and present.

Another helpful aspect of this book is how Chapple likens Revelation to a printing press.  First the printing press does its first run, then it goes back over where it has already been to lay down the next colour.  This is how Revelation is.  Each event mentioned is not necessarily a different event one after the other.  Sometimes it is a replay of the same event.  The event is written about (the first print run), then written about again later with more detail (the next colour).  A sermon series I listened to on Revelation a few years ago described it as like a sports replay.  A player scores a goal, then we watch replays from several different angles...but it's all the same goal.

Definitely read this book!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Christmas 2014

Some belated Christmas piccies.

We hosted my parents and my brother, Duncan's parents and his brother, and our friends Isaiah and Harriet and their daughter Sarah from Dunsborough.

It was all too much for my bro.

Rory had a ball playing with Sarah (who's 4).  He was devastated
when she left.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The Year of 40ths

Duncan and I have quite a few friends who either turned 40 at the end of last year, are turning 40 this year, or next year.  As I mentioned in this post, I don't think age should be a barrier in friendships.

This was the first of the 40ths I went to (sadly Duncan couldn't join me because of harvest).  My good friend Sarah had her big bash in her church's hall with a black and white cocktail theme.  I roadtripped up to Perth with two friends and we thoroughly enjoyed our childfree weekend.

I don't know how many of the birthday girls and boys will have parties.  I hope they do, I like parties!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Get On Your Soapbox #28

Two consecutive rants....whoa!

It's Australia Day today.  I love being an Aussie, but one aspect of our culture gets my goat.

Tall Poppy Syndrome.

I'm certainly not advocating worshipping celebrities and talented people, but just because someone is good at something doesn't mean they're arrogant.

I wish Aussies would stop using jealousy disguised as 'keeping people humble' to cut talented individuals or groups down to size.

Why can't we just say 'well done', instead of trying to dig up dirt?

Image from here
 Rant over.  Back to more 'peaceful' posts now.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Get On Your Soapbox #27

I grew up reading Enid Blyton books, and used to spend many hours daydreaming about how fun it would be to one of the characters in her stories.

So, you can imagine my disgust when I saw a copy of The Magic Faraway Tree at a bookshop, and the characters' names had been changed.  Instead of Jo, Bessie, Fanny and Dick, they were now Joe, Beth, Frannie and Rick!

After doing a bit of Googling, it appears the main two reasons for the change are that Fanny and Dick have certain 'connotations' for today's children, and the new names make the books more appealing to an American audience.  Apparently Beth is a more modern derivative of Elizabeth than Bessie.

When I was a child I knew the other meaning of Fanny and Dick.  But who cares?  The books were written in the context of the 1940s.  Just enjoy the story.  Yes, their names are FANNY and DICK, how funny, how rude....GET OVER IT!

And why, WHY does everything  have to be changed to cater for Americans?  I don't see any Australianised versions of popular American books out there.  I'm sick of seeing Australians translating our lingo for Americans (bikkie means cookie, arvo is afternoon, Hungry Jack's is Burger King etc.).  I grew up reading Judy Blume and I had no idea what a barrette was, or eventually figure it out (oh, a barrette is a hair clip, bangs are a fringe).  Why can't Americans learn about Australian and British culture for a change?

I'm so glad I still have my older, original copies of  Enid Blyton's books....Fannies, Dicks and all.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Toddler Taming

I'm only two years into this parenting gig, but I've already worked out one thing when it comes to toddlers and parties...

It doesn't take much.

Water, balloons, bubbles, a few packets of chips and're all set.

We had a very basic 2nd birthday party for Rory in Perth last weekend.  There were seven kids, including him, ranging in age from nine months to four years.  Plus, we enjoyed catching up with our friends, too.

Originally we were going to have the party in Kings Park, BYO everything and we would provide the birthday cake.  A temperature forecast of 38C changed those plans and we hastily arranged to have the party at the house we stay in when we come to Perth.  Duncan quickly went out and bought a paddling pool.

Afterwards, a friend thanked me for lowering the bar when it comes to kids' parties.  She said I made it doable for her when her daughter turns two in a few months time.  I was only too happy to oblige.  If this is 'lazy parenting', then it works quite well for me. ;)

This was the most elaborate part.  The teddy cake
(a joint effort by Duncan and me).
Rory's obsessed with teddies.

When Rory saw the cake, he exclaimed, "Ted!"

He became shy while we sang 'Happy Birthday'.

Rory's friend Jethro helping him open his presents.

Monday, January 19, 2015


Today, my little boy turns two.

Two years of being a mum.

I am thankful that God has brought this little fellow into our lives, and all He has taught us through him.