Sunday, December 31, 2006

The Year of Never Been Done Before

There's only hours left of 2006 and 2007 is nearly upon us. So how will I remember 2006?

Early in the year, I decided that this year I wanted to try things that I had never done. Too often in the past I had missed out because I was too scared to step out of my comfort zone and try new things. The aim was not merely personal fulfillment but I wanted to serve God and live for him and not let fear hold me back. God is so big and would surely be with me all the way, even though the things that were new and scary to me might not seem like a big deal for other people. And so 2006 became 'The Year of Never Been Done Before'.

I've looked back over my year and made a list of things that I did for the very first time in 2006.

* I went on a plane for the first time (in July to Melbourne)
* I went out of WA for the first time.
* I started helping out in English as a Second Language (ESL) ministry, meeting for bible study with Chinese people investigating Christianity.
* I went on the ESL camp (in October).
* I was asked to be a bridesmaid (for my housemate Emma who's getting married in May 2007).
* I went into a bridal shop.
* I made new friends (although that seems to happen every year).
* I was part of a women's bible study group (having previously been in mixed groups).
* I went to an Eskimo Joe concert.
* I started helping out with Sunday School at my church.
* I went to Cornerstone for the whole camp (having previously been a day visitor).
* I went camping in Margaret River (although that was a disaster because I ended up with gastro).
* I went to the State Youth Games (playing for South Perth CofC).
* I started a blog (and a Flickr site).

Not all of these things are ministry-related and not all of them are scary (in fact most of them were just plain fun!). People who were previously acquaintances became good friends. I strived to maintain existing relationships with friends and family. Friends moved house. Relationships began and ended. There were many engagements. My church grew. Babies were born and more are due next year. Sadly there were also deaths. The Eagles won their third premiership. I went through a very difficult time from early to mid September (although it felt like months) where I seriously doubted God's goodness and called him a stinge. God responded in a way that really threw me - he started giving me what I had been praying for. I had doubted him and turned away from him but he was faithful. I repented and turned back to him and it truly felt like God was with me in the darkness. May 2007 be spent walking with him.

I've also realised that every year is a 'Year of Never Been Done Before'. 2007 will surely bring new and exciting things.

I have lots to look forward to and be thankful for in 2007. Leave a comment and say what 2006 meant to you.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

I'm Back!!!

My holiday in Albany ended yesterday and I headed back to Perth on the bus. It was a very relaxing trip - I caught up with my family, my animals, friends from Albany, friends from Perth who used to live in Albany and Perth friends who came down to visit. I went to different beaches many times, went on long walks, saw Casino Royale at the cinema, did last minute Christmas shopping, had to have massage/physio appointments, Carols by Candlelight, the Christmas pageant and went to church. Christmas was quiet with just my immediate family and my nan. Although I'm definitely glad I don't live at home anymore (I moved out in Feb 2001 when I moved to Perth for uni). I've got my own routine now and my family can be extremely noisy and nosey. Sometimes I feel like yelling "SILENCE!".

Now I'm back in the city andI think the trip reminded me of why I want to return to the country one day (just not to anywhere hot). I'm housesitting my cousin Huw's place and looking after their cat, Fizz, in Inglewood until Wednesday. So I won't have slept in my own bed for quite a few weeks.

I'm definitely looking forward to New Year's - am going to church and then we're having some sort of gathering afterwards. What are you all doing for New Year's (if anything)?

Happy New Year and resolution making everyone!!!

Thursday, December 28, 2006

The Year of Failing Technology

As 2006 draws to a close, I've decided to review the big things that happened to me this year. Ok, maybe this is not major but have you ever had all of your technical devices die or just need upgrading in ONE YEAR?!? This year it felt like all of my technical stuff has been replaced and not cos I wanted the latest gadgets. The list includes:

* TV
* DVD/VCR player
* Computer
* Camera
* Washing machine (the house I rent is furnished so the owner replaced this luckily!)
* Fan

I think that was it. So it's been a pretty expensive year. It's like they all plotted together that this is the year they would cark it. Maybe I don't really need all of this fact I'm sure I don't.....but I do appreciate it's usefulness when it all works.

Rule number 1 - never rely on technology.

Here's to a less expensive 2007 as far as technology is concerned.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

A Post Christmas Joke

For those still high on Christmas, here's a bit of belated humour for ya...

When four of Santa's elves got sick and the trainee elves did not produce the toys as fast as the regular ones, Santa was beginning to feel the pressure of being behind schedule.

Then Mrs Claus told Santa that her Mother was coming to visit. This stressed Santa even more.

When he went to harness the reindeer, he found that three of them were about to give birth and two had jumped the fence and were out, heaven knew where!! More stress...

Then when he began to load the sleigh one of the boards cracked, and the toy bag fell to the ground and scattered the toys.

So, frustrated, Santa went into the house for a cup of apple cider and a shot of rum. When he went to the cupboard he discovered that the elves had hidden the alcohol and there was nothing to drink. In his frustration he accidentally dropped the cider pot, and it broke into a hundred of little pieces all over the kitchen floor.

He went to get the broom and found that mice had eaten the straw end of the broom.

Just then the doorbell rang, and irritable Santa trudged to the door. He opened the door and there was a little angel with a great big Christmas tree. The angel said very cheerfully, "Merry Christmas, Santa. Isn't it a lovely day? I have a beautiful tree for you. Where would you like me to stick it?"

And so began the tradition of the angel on top of the Christmas tree...

Hehehe. I hope you all had a great Christmas!!!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Who's Jesus?

Christmas is only one sleep away and as everyone frantically finishes their shopping, I wonder if they really know what they're doing? By that I mean, has anyone actually paused to consider why they celebrate Christmas each year?

To some it is about family. To others it's getting smashed and having a good time. To others it's like an all you can eat buffet. And to still others it's about getting the ipod they wanted.

To me it's about the birth of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Saviour. Nowhere in the Bible are we commanded to keep Christmas, it's more a pagan holiday really. But it is a good time to reach out to people with the good news of Christmas - that God came to earth as a man and about 33 years later he died on a cross in order to reconcile people to God and to take the punishment we deserved for not living God's way. THAT'S good news.

But I too get distracted by what Christmas has become today. I wake up and look forward to receiving gifts (although not like I did when I was a kid), eating good food and having a relaxing holiday with family. These are all blessings but tomorrow I just hope I pause for a second to remember the greatest gift that God has given to all of us and thank him for it.

I was in Woolies in Albany the other day with my mum. It was pretty busy - stressed mums pushing trolleys full of food, kids whining about what THEY wanted. Carols were playing merrily in the background but I doubt anyone paid much attention.

Last night I went to Carols by Candlelight and I found myself looking out at the crowds singing such well known songs. Did anyone really know what they were singing? Or was it all just too familiar? Did the thousands know they were singing the gospel across the beach, that they were praising the Lord of heaven and earth?

May all Christians show love to others this Christmas so that they may know we are Jesus' disciples.

Lord, please have mercy on many people this Christmas - on the thousands in Albany who do not yet know you and everywhere.

Merry Christmas all :D

Monday, December 18, 2006

Calling all Theoblogians #1

I've only been a Christian for five years (and boy has it gone quick!) so I decided it's about time to get those pressing theological questions answered. What better place to do it than the blogosphere! My intention is not to offend but to get others' opinions and of course voice my own as well. I want to venture beyond tradition and see what the Bible has to say...easier said than done perhaps but I pray we can all (myself included) look at this with open minds.

The first issue is........the gift of tongues. Does this get your tongues wagging? :)

For the first couple of years I hadn't thought much about it. I go to a fairly conservative church and we have discussed tongues in certain sermons (1 Corinthians 14 for example) but I wouldn't have a clue if anyone I know speaks in tongues. I know of one person who thinks it's all dodgy because they went to a church where the pastor said, "Right now everyone start speaking in tongues" and the whole congregation started babbling non stop and stumbling around everywhere. There was such pressure to speak in tongues that this person's friend felt quite ashamed that she didn't and kept trying and trying until she spoke in tongues. Which raises the point - do some people fake speaking in tongues because of pressure from other Christians or to get acceptance by their church?

Another person I know asked a very good question - what is 'speaking in tongues'? Is it an unknown language that the person themselves doesn't know but can speak (like Harry Potter being able to speak in Parseltongue) or is it the gift of suddenly being able to speak to others in another language eg. French? I decided to have a look through the Bible and find out.

In Acts 2 on the day of Pentecost, what seemed to be tongues of fire descended upon the apostles and they were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. Jews from many nations had come to Jerusalem and each of them heard the apostles speaking in their native language. Therefore, it appears the gift of tongues enabled the apostles to speak the gospel in other languages so that others could hear it in their native tongue.

1 Corinthians 14 goes more into the gifts of tongues and prophecy and their use in the church. Verse 2 says that those who speak in tongues, speak to God and not to men because no-one else understands them. Paul goes on to say that the gift of prophecy is better because it edifies the church but tongues edifies only the individual. Verse 14 says "For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays but my mind is unfruitful." Does this mean that the person who speaks in tongues has no idea what they are saying? Paul says in verse 13 that the tongue-speaker should pray that they will be able to interpret what they're saying. Chapter 12 lists different spiritual gifts, one being speaking in different kinds of tongues and another being the intrepretation of tongues. I was always under the impression that if someone were to speak in tongues in church then there must be someone present who can interpret but some of these passages indicate that the speaker can also interpret what they say.

Another thing I heard was that the gift of tongues is spontaneous ie. the individual will suddenly just start doing it at any moment and cannot stop themselves. After reading 1 Corinthians, I disagree with this. Paul seems to be advocating orderly worship - 1 Cor 14:28 says "If there is no interpreter, the speaker should keep quiet in the church and speak to himself and God." Which begs the question - how do you know whether an interpretator is present or not?

From reading these passages, I'm convinced that tongues is a good gift from God and one of the many gifts of the Spirit that God gives us for the building up of his church. What I don't like is when some Christians go about saying that you can't be a Christian unless you speak in tongues because tongues is a sign of having the Holy Spirit - if you don't speak in tongues, you don't have the Spirit. It's black and white to them. I had a tradesman come to my house about six months ago and I soon found out he was also a Christian. He was a very friendly guy and we were soon having a good chat but then the conversation became all about tongues and I could not shift it from there. This guy went to a church where to become a Christian, you had to have spoke in tongues at the point of conversion and he used Acts as an example saying that everyone who became a Christian in Acts spoke in tongues. He asked me how I knew I had the Spirit if I didn't speak in tongues. I mentioned 1 Corinthians 12:7-11; 27-30 which shows we each have the same Spirit but different manifestations of the Spirit such as gifts of healing, wisdom, prophecy, tongues, faith etc. In 1 Corinthians 14:5, Paul says to the Corinthian Christians, "I would like every one of you to speak in tongues but I would rather have you prophesy." This implies that not all of them speak in tongues. I also had a look through Acts and not all converts speak in tongues or at least it is not mentioned whether they did or not. Acts 2:40-41, 4:4, 5:14, 8:36-40 (Philip's conversion), 16:14-15 (Lydia's conversion) and there are probably heaps more which I can't be bothered listing. Most of all, Ephesians 1:13-14 says that those included in Christ when they believed the gospel were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit which is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance. Emma and Peter arrived a bit later and continued to discuss these things with him.

This guy wasn't convinced by any of these verses. His mind was already made up and I can't be bothered arguing with people for the sake of arguing. We parted on good terms and I could tell he still wasn't convinced I was a real Christian. But I'm convinced. Later on I looked at the website of one church which has their statement of beliefs. In the 'How to become a Christian' section, it says that people should pray for Jesus to fill them with the Spirit and they should start speaking in tongues. In brackets it says (not in English).

The point of this post is to hear from other people in the blogosphere. I'm not convinced that all Christians need to speak in tongues but I do wonder why in some churches, everyone speaks in tongues and in other churches, nobody does. Is it a case of 'birds of a feather flock together' or something else? I want to get beyond what our churches/denominations teach and see what the Bible says. Do YOU speak in tongues? If so, perhaps you can answer the 'what is it' question? Should we all WANT to speak in tongues? I know of some people who pray very earnestly for the gift of tongues. I'm not sure what their motivation is but is it a gift all Christians should want?


Saturday, December 16, 2006

Holidays at Last!!!

Yay! I'm on holidays and I'm typing this blog post down in my hometown of beautiful Albany while all the Perthites suffer in the heat. A friend smsed me and told me it was over 40 up there today. It was only 29 down here. Perfect for someone who can't stand hot weather. Now I'm on holidays for next two weeks and go back to Perth on the 29th, just in time for New Year's.

Thursday was my last day at work and my department had our Christmas lunch at the Mt Henry Tavern in Manning where we got our Secret Santa presents. Thanks Santa for the weighted bookmark with frogs on it. We're not meant to say whose Secret Santa we were but mine accidentally let it slip - not-so-Secret Santa hehe ;)

Yesterday I headed down to Albany on the bus and before I left, my friend Rachel who lives down here sent me an sms saying she hoped I wouldn't get stuck next to a talkative old lady. Well I didn't - I got stuck next to a talkative old man! Normally I'm so tired when I go on the bus and I can't be bothered talking to people; I just listen to my discman or sleep or watch the movie if it's decent. But before I could put on my earphones, the old man started talking to me and he was such a nice chap really, I decided I would make an effort despite the fact I was insanely tired. He talked about how he was in World War 2 and that he'd played tennis in Japan and was going to have a holiday at the Kalgan River near Albany with his daughter and her family. Perhaps he was just lonely and he seemed delighted to talk. I don't have any grandpas but he seemed like a nice grandfatherly type fellow.

I was meant to go on a yacht around the harbour last night with my mum and some people from her work but I was so tired I decided not to go and all I did was sleep. Today I caught up with Rachel (we've known each other since kindergarten) and we went out for lunch, then I saw her place. This evening we went to the annual Albany Christmas pageant. Now I'm veging at home, watching Rachel's DVD of Little Britain and blogging. Yes I'm at home on a Saturday night and the olds are out having dinner with friends - sad I know, but I'm catching up on rest :)

P.S. My conversation with my friend on Wednesday night was all good (big enthusiastic two thumbs up)! We talked for well over an hour and man was I tired the next day.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Prayer Request

Well, now my technical problems are over, I want to bother you all with problems of a different kind.

If you are reading this, can you please start praying...right now...thanks. If you're thinking this is a totally bizarre request and have no idea what to pray for, keep in mind that God knows EXACTLY what I need you to pray for right now... and pray anyway.

Now I'm going to stop being so cryptic and give you a bit of a clue of why I need your prayers. First of all, I'm not in trouble or don't worry. A friend of mine just texted me and asked to call me tonight. It sounds important and I have a feeling that I know what I'm going to be asked. It's an important decision and one that cannot be taken lightly. I want to do God's will in this situation and make the right decision. I've been praying to God about it but I can't hear his answer. I was whispering "God please show me what I should do". I kind of have peace within about this but I want to make sure I have God's peace about it. And to make it clear, I'm not disobeying God's word either way, it's more of a wisdom issue. By the way, my friend is not in trouble either (at least not that I know of).

So please pray that I make a good decision about this. Of course, my suspicions about why my friend is calling could be totally wrong and therefore, all's good.

Cheers mateys :)

Monday, December 11, 2006

Technical Help Needed!

Yes, something weird is happening to my blog again....maybe it's happening to yours too and you might be able to help me...

I've noticed that strange things are happening to some of the comments people have left on various posts. Fellow bloggers who use their Blogger/Google IDs to post comments are now showing up as anonymous. I know who they are because the comment originally came up with their ID but now suddenly it has been switched to anonymous. This hasn't happened on all posts, only some. Also the blogger ID photos aren't showing up on the comments either.

Please help o technical gurus!


Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Lesson 3 from Sarah's School of Dating

It's baaaaaaaaaaack! The dating school that answers all your burning questions about one of the most talked about topics in Christian circles (well kind of).

I must confess, I again struggled with my motives for reviving the dating school. Now suppose, just suppose that all of my 'graduates' go on to become happily married one day partly because of advice they heard on this blog (God would also have a big hand in them getting married of course). Maybe they'll all be married and I'll be a shrivelled old spinster lady watching from afar. Hmmmmm, maybe that's just selfish and if people enjoy this dating school then I'll keep it going. Besides, I've looked at my previous couple of posts which all have 0 comments. I got 18 on the last dating post (even though many of them were me responding). Time to bump up my number of comments people!!!

As I promised in the comments section of Lesson 2, this lesson is going to be all about whether girls should ask guys out, initiate romantic relationships/courtships - however you want to put it. There is so much debate on this topic amongst Christians. On one side we have the 'Men should do it' group and on the other side we have the 'It doesn't matter' group. I'm going to explore the arguments of both and then offer my opinion. Then I'd like you to leave a comment and let me know yours.

This group firmly believes that men should initiate romantic relationships with women as this is a fulfilment of their God-given role to lead. To support their arguments, they often quote Ephesians 5:22-33 about the husband being the head of the wife and argue that if a man is to lead a relationship, that should include starting it in the first place. If the woman initiates it then that will set a bad pattern if the couple marry with the wife leading her husband.
Here are some sites/blogs I've found which believe that men should be initiators. (read the first two posts).
Last year I received the following forwarded email:
"Women are like apples on trees. The best ones are at the top of the tree. Most men don't want to reach for the good ones because they are afraid of falling and getting hurt. Instead, they sometimes take the apples from the ground that aren't as good, but easy. The apples at the top think something is wrong with them, when in reality, they're amazing. They just have to wait for the right man to come along, the one who is brave enough to climb all the way to the top of the tree. Share this with women who are good apples, even those who have already been picked!"
Basically, the argument is that men are built to pursue and when they want a relationship, no amount of shyness or fear of rejection is going to stop them. The woman's role is to wait for the right man to come along, although this doesn't mean women have to be passive and can't develop friendships with men. Men learn to trust God by asking, despite fear of rejection. Women learn to trust God by waiting and resisting temptation to 'make something happen'.

As you may have guessed (well duh)...this group believe it doesn't matter whether the man or the woman initiates the relationship. There is no scripture that says the man must do it, only that the husband should lead in marriage. Many guys echo this statement by saying they like it when a woman approaches them because it takes the pressure off.

There are the arguments. Where do I stand? Personally, I prefer to be asked by the guy and I believe women can make it easier for guys by being gracious and truthful, even if they want to decline his offer (see Lesson 1). I'd rather be chased than have to drop hints. I really don't think it's my role as a woman. However, that doesn't mean I look down on women who ask men out.

What do you think? Guys, are you pursuers or are you quite happy for women to ask you out? Girls, are you waiters or do you like making the first move? Do you have a set opinion or really don't care?

Read the articles/blogs I linked to and comment away.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Those Crazy Maggies

I have no interest in birdwatching but I did just witness some very strange behaviour from some magpies. I was on my lunchbreak and found a bench in the sun where I could sit down and read. My attention was drawn to a pair of magpies on the grass nearby. One appeared to youngish and was quite grey and other was an adult. The young one stood next to the adult and started cheeping, then all of a sudden it was on it's back, it's feet thrashing in the air and the adult leaning over it. At first I thought they were fighting. Then it appeared that their beaks were locked in some kind of embrace.

Before I had a chance to fully comprehend what was going on, a third magpie (an adult) joined them and started attacking the young one, which was on its feet by then. A interested mudlark saw what was going on and began hovering over the squabbling magpies. They pecked at it and it soon got the hint and left. The third magpie then chased the young one behind a tree and they kept peeping around the trunk at each other before continuing the chase up the hill. Then the original adult also turned on the young one and started chasing it until they disappeared out of sight.

Was this some kind of bird discipline, a mating ritual or was it just a game? I don't think I would have liked to have been the young magpie. Those beaks look sharp!

Friday, December 01, 2006


I just thought I'd take the opportunity to introduce you to one of my favourite pets. I'm a big animal lover and over the next few months I'll introduce you to my great (and some sadly late) pets. Lily was great but now sadly fits into the late category - she died on 3rd November 1999, aged seven and a half (which apparently is the average life for chooks).

I may be biased but I reckon Lily is one of the most beautiful and unusual looking hens I've ever seen. I've looked at bantam books and tried to classify her and can't, so if anyone knows what kind of breed she is, let me know. I think she may be a mixture with her white crest, brown neck, white body, black tail and feathery feet. When I was growing up she was a great friend.

I first got Lily and Cuckoo on the 9th February 1992. They were both scrawny, unattractive pullets but they soon started to cluck, fattened up and began to lay (albeit spasmodically). Sadly Cuckoo was only two and a half when she met her fate at the hands of a dog which jumped our fence. I think she suffered a heart attack before the dog got to her. The hens had a fenced in yard and they were let out of their cage every morning so they were susceptible to predators but they enjoyed being free range. I was so sad when Cuckoo died. Lily managed to escape by hiding in the garden next door. That was the first of her many lives.

Lily and Cuckoo in their cage. 1992

Over the next couple of years, Lily continued to cheat death. She took an immense dislike to Cuckoo's replacement - a black Pekin hen called Speckles and made it clear that she did not want other hens for company. She loved people, was tame enough to pat and my nan, who loves chooks, used to pick her up and tuck her under her arm. When Speckles mysteriously disappeared in June 1996, leaving behind only a pile of black feathers, Lily again was unharmed. This time we decided to let her live alone as a spinster hen :).

Among the clover. 1996.

I have my neighbour across the road to thank for saving Lily's life again in 1996. A cat from across the road cornered her in our yard but luckily our neighbour saw what has happening and chased the cat away with a kettle of water. Lily was so petrified, we picked her up and shut her in her cage for a while. When a hawk started flying around our street, Lily again was shut in her cage.

To her, being free range meant being able to go wherever she liked. Despite having her wing clipped, she continued to fly lopsided and enjoyed many dust baths in our neighbours' rose garden. When we got our cats, Ellie and Marmalade, I was initially afraid they would kill her. But I needent have worried. They were absolutely terrified of Lily although she just wanted to be friends. She took a particular like to Ellie and followed her everywhere. When we moved to our new house, Lily started thinking she was also a cat and was annoyed that did not enjoy the same privileges such as coming into the house. She hung around the patio, leaving her calling cards and quills everywhere and sat outside on the mat. My dad was most annoyed when he had to step over her to get into the house.

Lily and Ellie in 1998. Isn't this just the cutest pic ever?

Lily's diet and sitting posture also became more cat-like. She started sunbaking on the driveway. She came through the cat-door, chased the cats away from their meal and started enjoying some cat biscuits and roo meat. Her favourite food was grapes but her diet consisted of all kinds of scraps which included chips, hard-boiled eggs and ....wait for it....CHICKEN! Yes, she even started eating her own kind. She continued to lay once in a blue moon and made such a racket when she laid an egg. But she knew she wasn't going to get her head chopped off.

Lily didn't completely forget she was a hen. When we looked after another hen for a few days, she didn't give it a moment's peace, despite the fact it was twice her size. She made it quite clear it was not welcome in her house. Then when a handsome young rooster made his way into our yard, she was smitten. But by that stage I think she was a bit too old ;).

Lily died suddenly in her cage on the 3rd November 1999 after appearing to be not quite herself for the couple of days prior. Maybe she had some kind of bird disease but I'll never know. My brainy old bird was greatly missed. I'll never have another hen like her!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Irish Idol


I'm so glad Damien Leith won Australian Idol on Sunday night. After four series of Idol, finally there's a winner that appeals to me and I would definitely buy his CD (yes, I know Guy Sebastian's a Christian and seems to be a top bloke but his voice is far too nasally in my opinion).

I went out to dinner after church on Sunday night and got home in time to see the winner announced (after hearing James Mathison say "after the break" a gazillion times). I wouldn't have minded if Jess won; she has a terrific voice but I'm kinda over the diva sound. Traditionally, the winner's single has sounded like something off The Lion King but I really liked Damien's version. I can't wait to hear his album.

I just hope his newfound fame doesn't hurt his marriage and family.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Happy Birthday Emma!!!

My dear friend and housemate is 23 today!

Friday, November 17, 2006

Hey! Check out my Blog - Part 1

Since becoming a blogger in June this year, I've inevitably started comparing myself to the 'gurus' in the blogosphere. You know the ones I mean - the people who seem to have a readership of hundreds and commonly get up to 50 comments on a single post. They can just say "hey I had spaghetti for dinner tonight" and suddenly people are crawling over each other to comment. "Was it nice?" "You should try out my recipe." "I find your life so incredibly exciting". Blah blah blah. Then a new blogger posts on a controversial topic, hoping to spark up some debate....and gets 0 comments. Can you relate? I honestly feel sorry for some bloggers. I read some blogs regularly and find what they have to say very interesting, yet not many others seem to. Then they feel like giving up because the whole point of putting something on the net is so others will read it.

I'm not having a go at people who have large readerships. Many are fantastic bloggers and I read their blogs myself. What I want to raise for discussion is the fact that having a lot of comments doesn't mean they are the best writer. Good writing is often a matter of opinion anyway. Sometimes it's who you know/who you are and not what you know. If Tom Cruise starts a blog, he's bound to get lots of readers simply because he's Tom Cruise and not necessarily because he's a certainty to win 'blogger of the year'. So if you have a blog and aren't getting many people commenting or maybe even reading, take heart. Even the kings of the blogosphere had to start somewhere and probably stared at '0 comments' on the end of their posts for quite some time before their readership grew. Persevere!

My blog turns 5 months old on Sunday and sometimes I get disheartened because of my seemingly small readership. I am greatly encouraged by others' comments but sometimes I wonder, "what's the point?". Am I boring? Then I read this article which gives ways on how to attract readers to your blog. The fourth one is Comment on others' blogs. This lets others know that you have started a blog and they may like to read it. I think many of the people who comment on my blog, first came to read it because I first commented on theirs. I also told some of my friends about it and I know some of them read it, although some haven't commented. Now, you don't need to comment in the hope of 'luring' others to your blog so you can boast about the size of your readership. I only comment on blogs that I'm interested in and feel I can contribute in some way. There are also a great number of blogs that I read that I haven't commented on yet.

Which brings me to my next point. Why do we (myself included) become regular readers of certain blogs yet NEVER comment? I know sometimes it's because they're the blogs of people I know or sort of know and I'm afraid of exposing my blog to them. I'm not sure why this is when I haven't written anything greatly offensive or sordid. I could comment as an anonymous person but I prefer to use my blogger ID. Some people genuinely think they don't have anything interesting to say - which isn't often the case. Sometimes I don't comment because all the other people commenting seem to be friends/acquaintances of the blogger and I feel stupid being the only stranger. Also, if you don't know the blogger personally, is it weird to be a regular commenter on their blog? Is that stalking? Some of the people who comment regularly on my blog, I haven't met or perhaps have seen but not met properly. I love the way they keep coming back as it gives me motivation to write. Yet, maybe some people see it differently and the purpose of their blog is more to keep in touch with their circle of friends and not to meet new people as much.

I'm going to make an effort to comment more regularly on blogs, knowing that it might just encourage someone to keep blogging, that what they write is worthwhile. How about you? Do you comment on the blogs you read? Why/why not?

Lastly, just to inflate my own ego, I'd like to give you all a challenge. If you are a regular/semi regular reader of my blog, please leave a comment on this post, even if it's just to say 'hi'. I'd especially like to hear from you if you've never commented before. I'm not that scary - really ;)

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Goodbye Belinda

I am still sad over the death of Belinda Emmett from cancer early on Saturday morning and from reading other blogs, I can tell I'm not the only one. I remember watching her on Home and Away in the late 90s and when she took a break from the show to have treatment for breast cancer, another actress filled in for her until she came back. Over the past couple of years, she has been looking more frail and gaunt and about a year ago, a magazine said she was dying. I didn't hear anything else about it until I heard the sad news on the radio on the weekend. Belinda was only 32.

My prayers go out for Rove and the Emmett family. Whatever people think of Rove and his show, I don't think anyone can question his love and devotion to his wife. That's not to take away anything from people who aren't in the public eye that have faithfully cared for their ill spouses. Nor does it take away anything from the many cancer sufferers who fought just as bravely as Belinda.

*The picture is from the Unofficial Belinda Emmett website.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Thank You God!!!

I just have to share a MASSIVE answer to prayer I received last week. In June, you may remember, I mentioned I had asked my boss if I could work part-time (4 days a week) so I could spend one day a week working on my novel. Working full-time, being involved at church and having a social life while trying to write an epic story as fat as the Harry Potter books was just too hard. My job involves sitting in front of a computer all day and the thought of spending my nights/weekends staring at a monitor while I wrote, made my eyes sore. If ever I could work part-time and write, then this was the time in my life to do it. No kids, no mortgage and no desire to join the sleazy backpacker culture. I didn't know if I was ever going to be published, but I wanted to find out if it was God's will.

My boss wanted to help me but the bigger bosses said 'no'. At first I wasn't so disappointed and I knew God had it under control. But as time went by and I became more dissatisfied with my job, I started wrestling with doubt. Should I give up? Was God saying 'no' or 'wait'? I didn't hate my job but I just didn't want to spend 5 days a week there. Should I try again?

I had my yearly review at work a few months later at which I told my boss I still wanted to work part-time. She hadn't forgotten this and told me that my best chance would be at the end of the year when the workplace was going to be restructured. So I waited. Then I started questioning God. Why did he want to be stuck in this job and there were no other jobs out there (trust me I looked)? Why did he say 'no' to everything I asked? I then realised that God was telling me to trust him no matter what, that he knows best and is working everything out for my good. It was a very hard lesson to learn. God was no genie that gave me whatever I asked for. I had to learn to say that 'God is good' even when he didn't say 'yes'.

A little while ago, an email was sent around my workplace, asking for expressions of interest from people who wished to change their working hours or move to another department. This was my big chance. I put in my request and waited for a couple of weeks until the lady in charge of this came back from leave. I still didn't hear anything. I prayed about it but found this time I wasn't overly worried. But I began to tell myself that if I got another 'no', I would seriously keep looking for other work. Then I got an email from the lady in charge of this area and she asked me to come to her office. I was a bit nervous and expected her to say 'no', so when she said 'yes', I couldn't believe it! Not only that, she said I could work part-time for a year and then if I didn't like it, I could change back to full-time (although I don't think I will). Also me working part-time will help others who are on contracts get more work.

I cannot thank God enough. I just hope I will use my day to write diligently and not waste time. I have a friend who is keeping me accountable and wants me to show her how much I have written each week. While I waited, I wondered if sometimes God wants us to kick down the doors ourselves or wait for him to open them? I always used to look for 'open doors' but this experience made me not so sure. If I hadn't approached my boss, then how could I expect them to read my mind and know what I wanted? Also, if I'd gotten another 'no', does that mean I should have given up or kept trying? In this case, I'm glad I kept trying and waited for 6 months. But we still need to prayerfully seek God's will and I was still dependent on him to open the door, even though I kept knocking.

God is good. I want to say this all of the time.

As for why I want to write and what my book is about - more on that later :D :D :D

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Mad Hatters!

On Tuesday, I attended my first Melbourne Cup lunch. My workplace has one every year. It's held up in the staffroom, we get far too much food, go in the sweep and have a mad hat competition. Over the years, I have been very anti Melbourne Cup and last year I didn't attend the lunch. Despite being a big fan of National Velvet, I don't generally like horse racing (whipping is cruel, I don't care what anyone says), and all it is is an excuse for people to get drunk and spend far too much money on outfits and betting. Millions are wasted and that could be used to help the poor and needy. It's disgusting! Yet, I was challenged by Rodney Olsen's post to actually DO something with my money, instead of sitting on it and self-righteously condemning others who waste theirs.

So why did I attend this year? The mad hat competition of course! Two years ago I made a crazy hat for Jane's mad hat party for her 21st. It consisted of an upside down straw hat filled with straw and sitting in it was a chicken. No, not a live one. I got an old stocking, stuffed it with newspaper, shaped into a chook and put black tape all around it. Then I bought some feathers from Lincraft and superglued them all over the body, made a beak, eyes, comb and wattles out of cardboard and superglued them on too. Lastly, I stapled a big red ribbon to the hat that would tie under my chin. My fingers were covered with dry glue and bits of feathers but it was worth it. The hat made its second public appearance in March this year for Tammy's 30th. The Melbourne Cup seemed a perfect excuse for the now somewhat decrepit looking hen to sit on my head once again.

It may seem trivial but I felt the Melbourne Cup reminded me of my sin. I had been telling my workmates in the week leading up to it about my truly marvellous hat (although I didn't describe it) and how I was a certainty to win the prize for best hat, that NO-ONE could EVER bring a hat that was so creative and spectacular as mine. How arrogant of me! When I arrived one of my workmates was wearing a straw hat with a toy donkey stuffed through it. I thought it could be a potential rival but surely I was to win!

As it turned out, God convicted me of my arrogance and I didn't win. I came second. God was very kind and I got a box of chocolates as second prize. Not a good prize for my diet but I'll eat them slowly. The Melbourne Cup ended up bringing out my competitive streak that I wish I didn't have. But in the end, I found that I really didn't care that I didn't win and was happy for the donkey hat lady who won. Second was good enough for me. I still really like my hat. The whole thing just showed me how trivial I am.

I'm going to go and put my money on a goat!

At Jane's 21st in Nov 2004.

Caroline and I

Rohan, Sarah D, me, Jono, Tamba, Jane and Min

Ali and I at Tammy's 30th in March this year.

Oh Where, Oh Where Have My Pictures Gone?

People perusing this blog! Can you help?

If you have a look at my archives, then you'll notice a lot of my pics have disappeared and all that's left is a little box with an 'x' in it. Right clicking on the box and choosing 'Show Picture' doesn't get the picture back.

I've looked at the online Blogger Help group and there are people experiencing the same problem - but no-one has replied to them.

Can anyone tell me how to fix this?!?

Many thanks!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


I can't believe Chris Murphy has been voted off Australian Idol. What is wrong with you, Australia?!?

I'll tell you what's wrong - teeny bopper girls with too much credit on their mobiles. That's what's wrong! They're the only reason Dean is still in the competition.

After I swore I wasn't going to watch Idol this year, I got sucked in by Chris's talent. He rocks! I just love the kind of music he does. He's an Albany boy too but that's not why I was voting. I guess the three votes I sent off yesterday weren't enough to save him. :(

It's good that there have been Christians in the Top 12 in Idol each year but that doesn't mean I'm going to vote for them. I vote on talent and whether or not I would buy a CD by that person. I'm glad Dean's a Christian and I'll pray God will keep him strong in his faith and that he'll be a great witness to other contestants and the viewers. But he is NOT the best singer there and should NOT win based on his looks.

I'm voting for Damien, the Irish guy now. He was my second favourite and he's got a terrific voice. Hopefully the 'Luck of the Irish' will be with him.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Lesson 2 from Sarah's School of Dating

Finally it's back! After a 3 month hiatus, my dating school has been revived (not that it really died, it was more like it was in a deep sleep). I'm no expert and I doubt my opinions represent all women but then I thought I might as well keep it going. You may get a laugh. You may learn something. And remember, like I said before, it's your choice to be here. If you're looking for a matchmaker, pics of single Christians or a dating agency, you're in the wrong place. This is an educational series - for both men and women.

For those who missed Lesson 1 or would like a refresher, go here.

Since I'm a woman, Lesson 2 is going to be all about some behaviour I've observed in different women (although I'm not suggesting all women are like this). Let's start with a (fictional) story:

Susie has realised she is developing feelings for a friend at her church, Phil. She decides against letting one of her female friends know and instead keeps her growing feelings to herself. There are a number of reasons for this:
a) She's afraid one of her female friends won't be able to keep their mouth shut and she'll become the butt of church gossip. Phil will find out and there is a chance she could lose his friendship.
b) She doesn't want her feelings towards Phil to become infatuation. She's been there before - having crushes that have developed into obsessive feelings that have gone on for years, feeling jealous of other girls and seeing them as love rivals, becoming discontent in her singleness and not focusing on what God would have her do now. Susie is aware of the dangers of 'dating Phil in her mind' and instead decides to submit her feelings to God, asking that if it is not his will, to take the feelings for Phil away.

So Susie keeps her feelings for Phil under wraps and no-one has a clue. Then one day, her friend Julie (also from the same church) announces to her in confidence that she has feelings for Phil. She also announces rather bluntly that Susie had better not ever develop feelings for Phil as well. Susie almost smiles at how ironic Julie's statement is - if only she knew. But inside Susie is torn and almost angry. She feels Julie has just squashed any chance she had with Phil. Julie has 'claimed' Phil for herself, even though they are not together, and she has also announced that even if she can't have Phil, no-one else can. Of course, Phil may not be interested in either Susie or Julie so there's no problem but Susie is annoyed about Julie's attitude of 'reserving' guys for herself and declaring that no-one else can have them. Susie also knows that Julie has two other guys from church that she has 'reserved' as potential partners for herself and told other girls to 'back off'.

Time goes on and Susie doesn't dare tell Julie that they like the same man. Julie is her friend and there seems no point in having a conflict over a guy that neither of them might end up with. The one day, Phil approaches Susie about starting a relationship. Their friendship had been growing closer recently and they'd been spending more time together, much to Julie's obvious jealousy. Susie is immediately torn. She genuinely likes Phil and considers him potential marriage material. She's not liking Phil simply to spite Julie and badly wants to say 'yes' to him. Yet, she knows that Julie won't speak to her again. What should Susie do?

This may seem like a Christianised version of Mills and Boon or Neighbours but, if you're a woman, I think we've all known a few Julies in our time or maybe we've even been Julies ourselves. This behaviour is common in high school but sadly a lot of women don't grow out of it. It's not that Julie's a bad person - she wants to get married and she's attracted to a good man. This is a good thing. But she's taken it too far - she's made claims on people who do not belong to her, she's envious and she's depriving both Susie and Phil of a chance to see if they could be married - people who are both supposed to be her friends.

My opinion is that Susie should go out with Phil and then tell Julie as she tells everyone else. If Julie reacts badly - tough. Sure, Susie should be gentle with Julie but if Julie cannot accept it and move on, then she's not being much of a friend to Susie. And Susie should pray for Julie, that she'll find satisfaction in God. Chances are that Julie will marry someone else anyway and she'll later wonder why she ever had feelings for Phil. If Susie had said 'no' to Phil so she wouldn't upset Julie, what would that achieve really? Does Phil really have to stay single until Julie decides she's over him? I talked to someone who faced a similar dilemma and ended up marrying the guy. Her friend who also liked him eventually ended up marrying someone else.

Women, let's all have courage when we're Susie and repent when we're Julie.

As I said before, not all women get insanely jealous and carry on like seagulls squabbling over a dropped chip. Men, I'm interested to hear what you have to say. Do men get jealous like this? How would you feel if you were Phil and you found out what had been going on?

That's my two cents worth ;)

Thursday, November 02, 2006


I went to Allen's funeral on Monday. My parents came up from Albany for it. My bro Tim decided to stay home and look after the animals. He doesn't like going to funerals and I can't blame him. We joined a couple of hundred people in saying goodbye. Allen was a well-liked bloke.

People asked me how the funeral went. I didn't know what to say to that. 'Good'. 'Okay'. 'Sad'. Something along those lines. But I know they were only asking because they care.

Allen was buried at Freo cemetery with his wife, Lyn who died in February last year. I thought Karen (their daughter) held up pretty well during the service. The service was very 'Christian' ie. lots of bible readings and prayer. Allen wasn't a Christian though and that's what I was most sad about. We Christians tell others to trust Jesus and that he is only way for salvation and eternal life. Yet when a non Christian we love dies, we don't like to think that our loved one is not in heaven. I think death is a taboo topic for both Christians and non Christians.

Suddenly my parents and their friends have realised that life is short and they are frantically making plans to catch up more often. I hope they don't suddenly go crazy the way some people do when they realise that life is short ie. buying ferraris and going on expensive holidays etc. I know God can bring good out of this and I hope that they all question what life REALLY is about and find that life in Christ.

I know this is a pretty morbid post and I promise my next one will be much happier. Maybe it will be the long-awaited Lesson 2 from Sarah's School of Dating.

Stay tuned ;)

Allen is on the far left. This was taken at my birthday in May this year.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

My First Letter!

On Friday, I came home from work to find some mail for me from Compassion. It contained my first letter from my sponsor child, Rayssa. She's six (nearly seven) and is from Brazil. I've sponsored her since the State Youth Games in June this year and I wrote her a letter and sent her a photo of myself a few months back. The letter I received was written in Portuguese by a monitor since Rayssa can't write yet and was translated into English (obviously since I can't understand Portuguese). But it was fun trying to match up the Portuguese words with the English words. She sent me a very colourful drawing as well. It really brightened my day :)

I wanted to sponsor a child for ages but after finally getting around to doing it this year, I can honestly say if you've ever thought about it, it's a truly worthwhile thing to do. Although it was hard choosing one child out of so many that need our help, I would love to have the money to sponsor them all. Compassion is a great organisation - they are Christian and teach children about Jesus as well as providing them with practical things to help them beat poverty. I pray that Rayssa comes to know and trust Jesus and that poverty will be made history. It really makes me think about all the material stuff I have that I really don't need and how tempting it is to always want more.

I'm encouraged by the verse that Compassion use on their brochures - 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.' Matthew 25:40. Every person matters to God and it's such a privilege to make a difference in one life.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Gettin' Down and Dirty!!!

No, this post isn't dodgy - it's about gardening...and cleaning...and stuff!

I had a weekend jam packed with all sorts of physical labour. On Saturday morning, myself and some others helped a family from church fix up their garden. They live in North Perth and are planning to sell their house and move south of the river to be closer to church. Before they put their house on the market, they asked if anyone could help with performing a 'Backyard Blitz' on their garden.

I was the only girl who showed up so I got given the 'female' jobs like pruning, weeding and painting while the guys fixed up the back fence and the retaining walls in the garden. But then I helped the guys shovel dirt and we all ended up pretty filthy - a mixture of sunscreen, sweat and dirt! It was fun though! Sometimes it's good to just get dirty and not care. I even had dirt up my nose (sorry for that mental image)! You can always have a shower later.

Then yesterday we had an inspection (one of the downsides of renting). We're neat so we only get inspected twice a year but it always occurs at a busy time so cleaning up can be a pain in the bum. My gardening fest continued and I spent part of the weekend pulling weeds out from between the bricks in the back courtyard. Roundup did the rest. Emma and I used Enjo on the house (except for killing the mould in the shower) and it all worked really well. We passed...naturally.

I'm always much more enthusiastic about helping others with their cleaning/gardening than I am about doing my own. Not sure why that is, but maybe I'm just dobbing myself in for endless busy bees by admitting that on here ;)

Not surprisingly I was very tired after it all.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

You Eat Crap, You Look Like Crap


I just weighed myself this morning for the first time in a while and I've put on more than three kilos. How did that happen?

No, I'll tell you how it happened. October has been birthday month and when there are birthdays there is bound to be cake - and lots of it! Chocolate Friday hasn't been going so well lately (its become many other days of the week) and I'm finding it difficult to think of anything but food. I think this is due to having a boring job so my mind wanders. It's nearly exam time and I've stopped teaching classes and have less shifts on the Reference desk. So I sit at my desk and always feel hungry - and them I succumb to temptation. Maybe I should get a different job? Perhaps if I was doing physical labour I wouldn't have time to be hungry. Maybe I could chew gum to distract myself like smokers do? Or maybe I should just learn more self-control. Curse my sweet tooth!

I bet you're thinking "Poor Sarah. There are starving children in the world and all she thinks about is gaining a few kilos." I know I'm not fat but this is the most I've weighed in my life. I may not look any bigger than normal but I know and I'm not happy about it. From now, I'm on a strict diet. With God's help, I know I can control my eating. Don't worry, I'm not about to starve myself or go on one of those weird diets. I just want to be back to the weight I was before and I'm aiming to lose about four kilos. I get annoyed when people complain about their weight but keep stuffing themselves and don't do a thing about it. My plan of action started today - I resisted the calls of the food at the Carousel when I went shopping with Emma and my dinner tonight consisted of salad, fruit and yogurt. Junk food night is now going to be on Tuesdays cos that's when I have Bible study and being in a women's group, there's always plenty of chocolate. I'm on my way from misery to happiness today.

I had to take a long hard look at myself. Why do I care about this when God and many people I know are never to going to judge how I look? I DON'T admire stick-thin Hollywood stars but maybe I'm more influenced by the world than I would like to admit.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Ten Reasons Why I Never Wash

I got a laugh out of this when I first heard it but it's kinda sad too. If you've ever tried to invite friends or family who aren't Christian to church, you may have heard these before.

1. I was forced to wash as a child.
2. People who wash are hypocrites. They think they are cleaner than everyone else.
3. There are so many different kinds of soap, I could never decide which one was right.
4. I used to wash, but it got boring so I stopped.
5. I wash only on special occasions, like Easter and Christmas.
6. None of my friends wash.
7. I'm still young. When I'm older and have gotten a bit dirtier, I might start washing.
8. I really don't have time to wash.
9. The bathroom is never warm enough in the winter or cool enough in the summer.
10. People who make soap are only after your money.

Additonal excuses:
  • I get along very well without washing.
  • I work hard all week and am too tired to take a bath on the weekend.
  • The first bar of soap I ever used gave me a rash, so I haven't gone near soap since!

Apparantly it was written by a parish priest in Dublin but the exact author is unknown.

Cover Those Ankles

Everyone's talking about that Muslim sheik in Sydney who apparantly made comments that if women are raped it is their own fault because of the suggestive clothing they wear. If you've been living under a rock or are technology-starved and don't know what all the fuss is about, you can read the story here. The sheik claims he was misrepresented. Although the media do twist words, everyone who recieves backlash about their views claim to be misrepresented these days. It's hard to tell who has been and who hasn't.

I was just at morning tea at work and all my workmates were talking about it. One of them made a joke about what I was wearing, saying in the Muslim view I would be a prime target for rapists. I'm wearing a sleeveless top and knee-length skirt. I used to live with a Muslim guy in student housing 4 years ago and I asked him once, while wearing a similar outfit, if what I was wearing who would be deemed inappropriate by Muslims. He didn't reckon it was but many Muslims have differing beliefs on some issues ie. some women cover their heads and some don't. So who's right? Maybe we should look into what the Koran actually says? I guess some issues get hazy for Christians as well.

Anyway back to the point. I guess it would be easy for most women to fly off into a feminist rant about what the sheik said so I'll just give a few of my thoughts. No-one deserves to be raped. Even if a woman is half naked and being very suggestive, two wrongs do not make a right. Although I do wish girls understood the struggles guys face when looking at a woman who is dressed inappropriately (ie. too short skirts, low cut tops). Christian women are always reminded of this and I do try to dress with the welfare of my Christian brothers in mind (not that I'm a hot babe or anything). However, I still think I'm a bit naive about the struggles guys live with.

I don't think what I'm wearing right now is inappropriate but I guess sometimes it comes down to conscience. This sheik apparantly said all women should be fully covered and stay at home. My boss reckoned what he said is actually an insult to men as well as it implies they are animals who have no self control at all. If a rapist is on the prowl, they often won't care what their victim is wearing. I don't believe God calls me to be fully covered with only my eyes showing.

There are now calls for this sheik to be deported. This shows that there are no such things as tolerance and free speech in Australia really. All it is is "you can say anything you like as long as it you don't claim it to be true and it doesn't go against what the majority of society thinks. I'll tolerate you as long as you're like me." No wonder Jesus is so controversial, claiming to be God himself.


Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Weddings Galore

2007 should be called the 'Year of the Wedding'. Seriously there are so many people getting married next year, it's unbelievable. I'm going to a least four weddings next year (and who knows who else will decide to get hitched) plus I know of friends of friends who are also getting married. Three of the four weddings next year have definite dates, here they are:
  • 20th January - Sarah and Craig
  • 27th January - Leanne and Jason
  • 12th May - Emma and Peter (this one I'm a bridesmaid for)

Plus my cousin Huw and his fiancee Anna are planning to get married in Sweden in early September I think. How exciting! My first trip overseas! I love weddings. Despite the fact that it's hard to be single sometimes, I still have lots of fun there celebrating with the bride and groom.

A couple of weeks ago, I ventured into territory I had never ventured into before - the bridal shop! Before now, I hadn't ever had a reason for going to one. No, I wasn't doing a Muriel - I went with Emma, her parents and Amy (who is also a bridesmaid) to help Emma choose a wedding dress. I was half excited, half apprehensive about going. Excited because Emma was and apprehensive because I was afraid it might trigger off a relapse of the singles blues, which I was so relieved to be out of for the moment. But it was fine. After visiting three bridal shops and trying on about 18 dresses, Emma had a shortlist of about five and I'm pleased to say that yesterday, she chose one. Obviously I can't say what it looks like cos she'll kill me (and with good reason) but I'm happy to say she looks very beautiful.

Being in those shops, I have to say I was shocked at the price of the wedding gowns. Guys, you would pass out if I told you. I'm such a cheapskate when it comes to spending money on clothes - I shop at op shops and off sales racks and I won't buy something unless I can wear it again. Personally, I wouldn't feel any peace about buying an expensive wedding dress if I was getting married. Now I'm not saying this to have at go at people, this is my own decision and I'm not trying to make anyone feel bad. It's their choice how much they spend. Yes, the dresses in those shops are beautiful but there are other options:

  • Op shops (ok it's rare you would find anything decent - most dresses are puffy-sleeved merangues from the 80s.)
  • Borrow a friend's wedding dress (it would depend on size of course.)
  • Buy a second-hand one from the paper or online.
  • Buy a normal white dress from a dress shop.

Yeah yeah I said I was a cheapskate. But I'm very much looking forward to going to all these weddings. Bring on the nice clothes, flowers, cake, music and dancing. Oh yes, definitely bring on the dancing!

Friday, October 20, 2006

Sad News

I just found out this morning that a family friend died suddenly while on holiday in Tasmania. I am totally in shock at the moment as I only saw him last Saturday and he left for his trip on Monday. He wasn't sick and was in reasonably good health, except that he has been overweight for many years. Apparantly he came down for breakfast at the place he was staying at and just dropped dead. The cause is still unclear. I think he was 63.

His name was Allen and I called him my uncle, even though he's not a relative. He was such a jolly and generous bloke. His wife Lyn and my mum had been good friends since they were about 7 until Lyn died of mesothelioma in February last year. In 1994, Lyn and Allen's son, David died of bone cancer a few weeks before he turned 14. Their daughter Karen has now lost all the members of her immediate family and she's only 29. I can't imagine losing my parents and brother right now. I spent a lot of time with her growing up. She's now married and pregnant. Allen was looking forward to being a grandfather.

There's so many people dying around me at the moment. Last year, Lyn died and also my parents' former workmate, Wyn died of cancer. This year, five of my workmates have lost parents and another one lost her uncle. And of course there have been the deaths of Steve Irwin and Peter Brock. Death was not a part of God's good creation. It ends relationships. I look forward to the day when there will be no more death, mourning, crying or pain.

It's completely natural to grieve when anyone dies but when a Christian dies, there is also sense of peace and rejoicing that they have gone to be with the Lord and we know that one day we will be reunited in heaven. When a Christian loses a non-Christian they love, it is shattering. Allen wasn't a Christian (as far as I know). I remember feeling such comfort when I found out from my dad that Wyn had become a Christian before he died.

The death of a loved one (particularly of a somewhat young person) can cause non-Christians to respond to God in different ways. Some believe it shows that God is cruel and unjust and cares nothing for them, that he is totally out of touch with their pain. Some seek the truth and end up giving their lives to Christ. I'll pray for the latter for Karen. I know that she considered herself an atheist after her brother died. I don't know what she believes now.

I don't know what to say at non-Christian funerals when people are saying that the deceased person is in heaven because they lived a 'good life' and they were a 'good person'. Or maybe I shouldn't say anything. Life is so short and I want to tell everyone about Jesus but just don't know where to start and have to fight off fear, laziness and complacency in the process.

I don't know what else to write.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Inspirational Movies

On Sunday night, I watched parts of the Countdown to the Most Inspiring Movie of All Time on Channel 7. Basically it consisted of counting down the Top 100 'most inspiring' movies ever as voted by the 'experts' in the film industry. I kept telling myself that I was going to have an early night but curiosity got the better of me and I held out to see what the number 1 movie was.

Now I happen to love 'inspirational' movies with memorable lines, that really make you think, give you goosebumps and make you want to fight for a cause. Some of them on the list were not a surprise at all, while there were others I'd never heard of. This was mainly because they were way before my time ie. black and white films from the 30s and 40s.

Here's the Top 100 list.

Out of that list, I have to say I've seen very few of the movies. Here are the ones I have seen and their ranking.

#3 Schindler's List
#6 E.T. The Extra Terrestrial
#10 Saving Private Ryan
#23 The Shawshank Redemption
#24 National Velvet
#26 The Wizard of Oz
#32 Casablanca
#37 Forrest Gump
#41 The Sound of Music
#59 Dances with Wolves
#62 Braveheart
#64 The Black Stallion
#73 Erin Brockovich
#78 Thelma and Louise
#79 The Ten Commandments
#80 Babe
# 93 A Beautiful Mind

After this countdown, I now have plenty of ideas about what to watch next.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Get on your Soapbox #2

It's Friday and I feel like venting at something that has frustrated me for a long time - living in this non-RSVP generation!

How hard is it to respond to an invitation and say yay or nay? All it takes is a quick phone call, email, SMS, word of mouth......yet no-one seems to do it.

Some people are just plain forgetful but it seems like others just don't want to commit to coming to anything in case they get a better invitation from someone else. It's so rude - and it's not just young people who do it either!

I've seen my friends trying to organise weddings, engagement parties and 21sts where they need to know numbers for catering purposes....and hardly anyone has responded by the RSVP date. They have enough to deal with and they've ended up having to ring people to ask them whether they're actually coming. I experienced the same thing when organising my own 21st a couple of years ago. I needed to know numbers yet a whole lot of people couldn't be bothered responding or responded late. I remember chasing up a certain person to ask if they were coming (a few days from the party) and the conversation went something like this:

ME: Are you coming to my 21st?
INVITEE (with an annoying grin on their face): Hmmm, I dunno. I'll think about it.
ME: Have you actually got anything else on then? I really need to know now.
INVITEE: No I don't think I've got anything else on...but I might decide to do something else. I'll let you know.

That person didn't let me know and ended up not coming. Maybe they got a better offer to do something else but the whole conversation made me so mad. The party was being catered for and I didn't want food to go to waste. I also couldn't afford to invite too many people and I was annoyed that I had wasted an invite on that person when I could have invited someone else who would have loved to come.

I once saw an invitation where someone I know was having people over and supplying all the food. He had set an RSVP date and had said that he really needed to know if people were coming by this date because he needed to go shopping for all the food. He also added that people who didn't RSVP were still welcome to come but there wouldn't necessarily be food for them - that he'd only buy enough food to feed those who were definitely coming. I think this a great idea - and I intend to put this on my invitations in the future.

I really feel for people who are trying to organise important occasions and have to chase up people who should show some common courtesy and RSVP!!!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Jesus and Pharmaceutical Books

I just discovered something very odd - but very cool. I'm at work at the moment (and shouldn't be blogging!) and one of my tasks is to evaluate the Library's Reference Collection for Health Sciences, remove old editions of books to the main collection and order in the latest edition. So what has this got to do with Jesus?

Well, I was looking at a pharmaceutical book and the authors had written 'To the Lord Jesus' and paraphrased Colossians 2:2-3. It was certainly different that just putting 'To Fred' as authors most commonly dedicate their books to their spouse or some other family member or friend.

Good on 'em for raising people's awareness about Jesus through secular books :)

Sunday, October 08, 2006

The Busiest Weekend Ever!!!

I am very grateful for this weekend. It has been so quiet and I've hardly seen anyone (although I'm going to church soon so will see lots of people then). I've done some gardening, bought a bedside table from the Salvos (thank God for the Salvos), played tennis, did some grocery shopping, watched TV, talked on the phone to my friend Rachel in Albany and went to the gym. However, I really needed this weekend because last weekend was THE BUSIEST WEEKEND EVER!!!

Seriously there were enough activities crammed into it to last three weekends. Here was my itinerary for the long weekend.

* Friday night - Leanne and Jason's engagement party at Bassendean Presbyterian Church.
* Saturday morning - buying and preparing salad to take to the Grand Final bbq at Craig's place as well as getting everything ready for the camp I was going on on Sunday.
* Saturday arvo - Watching my boys taste premiership glory of course with a mob of fellow Eagles supporters (although I am the nuttiest).
* Saturday night - Emma and Peter's engagement party at the Rhein Donau Club (aka the German club) in Myaree.
* Sunday - I finished packing my stuff and left at 6.45am to head to Guilderton for camp. My church was running a camp for people who speak English as a second language in partnership with St Matthew's Anglican Church, Shenton Park. Most of the people who came were from China and are here to study or work. They aren't Christian but are very keen to find out about Jesus. The camp started on Saturday but I came a day late because I wanted to go to Emma's engagement party. It was such a blast!! We ran exploring Christianity bible study groups, went down to Moore River and the beach, watched The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, ate, talked and much more. It was my first time as a leader on this sort of camp but everyone was so nice and their kids were so much fun to be around that I soon forgot to be nervous. I've only been involved in this kind of ministry for the past month and I have no idea what God wants me to do but I feel him telling me to trust him and he will make things clear and my path straight. I just wish Australians were so keen to find out about Jesus as these Chinese people. I will pray for them. We headed home on Monday arvo. Normally I would have to work because unis don't observe all public holidays, but I had a day of annual leave. Yay for holidays :)

At the end I was SO very tired but thankful to God for sustaining me and giving me a safe trip to Guilderton and back and of course for the Eagles winning. It was a great weekend and all the things I did were worthwhile things to be doing but I pray I don't have another weekend quite so busy for a while!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

We're Flying High!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


There, I think that's enough. In the last quarter, I had a headache and thought I was going to have a heart attack but I stayed to the end. We were all screaming "WHERE'S THE SIREN?!?" and then when it finally sounded and I saw Big Cox's arms go up and Adam Goodes sink to the ground, everyone was shouting for joy.

It felt weird watching them win another premiership. Probably cos it has been 12 years since their last one. The 1994 premiership was so one-sided but to win by 1 point!!! That's insane!!! But I'll take it :)

It's a bit freaky that the 85-84 scoreline was the exact score that Sydney won by in the qualifying final. Do you reckon God has a sense of humour?

Now the Eagles are receiving backlash from the Vics after the win - the not shaking hands with the kids incident, Lynchy and Big Cox swearing in joy in front of the cameras which was broadcast on Channel 10, Beau Waters eating Adam Hunter's pet goldfish, Andrew Embley's singing and dancing before the crowd at Subi Oval on Sunday....

a) I agree it was bad that not all the players shook hands with the kids. They wouldn't have meant any harm by it and were just so caught up in their excitement. They still should have shook hands though but I can't see how the Vics are making such a big deal about it when not all the Sydney players shook hands last year or Port Adelaide the year before. They didn't make a big deal about it then.
b) Swearing is not good - even in happiness. No excuses there.
c) Eating a goldfish is just dumb and cruel. If anyone ate Aquarius or George, my goldfishes in Albany, I'd be livid. I don't care how drunk they were. Waters admitted later it was dumb.
d) Andrew Embley's singing and dancing was cool. They're allowed to celebrate!!!

According to the West Australian, Mark Seaby will only be having a few beers. Good on him!!

Controversy aside, I AM SO EXCITED!!! The Eagles are kings for the next 6 months before we defend our premiership for the next 6 months after that. I really felt for Jaymie Graham being left out and it's good to hear that Ashley Sampi is going to get his butt into gear for next year and wants to start training straight away.

Oh and thanks to the immature Dorkers fans at for their lovely Eagles bumper sticker saying we suck and for inventing Eagles Suck Day. WE ARE THE PREMIERS!!!


What am I going to blog about for the next 6 months? Lots! Stay tuned ;)

Friday, September 29, 2006

Eagles Fans For a Day

It's so exciting being an Eagles fan right now - only one more sleep until the Big Day (makes it sound like a wedding, eh?). While it's pretty obvious who I'll be supporting, the day does pose a dilemma for supporters of teams other than the Eagles and the Swans. Who will they adopt as their team for the day? Or will they even care who wins?

This question was being asked on the radio this week on more than one station. Based on last Friday's disappointing loss, Freo fans were invited to call in and say whether or not they'd be supporting the Eagles this Saturday.

I wasn't expecting a lot of support from them to be honest. Last year a lot of Dorkers fans laughed when the Eagles lost the Grand Final (how they could laugh when they didn't even make the finals I'll never know). On Monday morning, a lady who was a HUGE Freo fan rang one of the radio stations and declared she was going for Sydney. She said she hated the Eagles and that she didn't care if the cup went over east as long as it didn't go to the Eagles. Then on Seven News last night, it showed a a twenty-something-year-old Dorkers chick playing her guitar and singing a horrible song she wrote about the Eagles, about them being girls and how much she hated them because they were too clinical and professional in her opinion. Hmmm yeah whatever.

On the other hand, there are some Freo fans who want the cup to come to WA and are quite happy to support the Eagles. They see it more as barracking for WA against the Eastern States. To be honest, if the Dorkers had made the Grand Final and the Eagles hadn't, I'm not sure who I'd go for. Since the Dorkers beat us twice this year, I'm not feeling too kindly towards them but if the Eagles had won both derbies I think I'd be more inclined to go for Freo. It'd probably depend on who was playing in the Grand Final, who had the biggest premiership drought and who I felt most sorry for.

But that doesn't matter. The Eagles will be there tomorrow and I'm excited! Just hearing about the Grand Final parade and Swanson St, Collins St and Flinders St Station made me think of my trip to Melbourne two months ago and wish I was there again. I can now say I've been to those places WOOHOO!

I'd like to pose a question to all Freo fans and fans of other teams. Who will you be going for tomorrow?

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Last Saturday in September

Gosh, I can't believe that yesterday was the first time I'd blogged about football for a while...well a few posts ago hehe. After a heartstopping preliminary final, the moment I've been waiting for for the last 12 months has arrived....this Saturday the Eagles have their chance to get revenge on Sydney.

The 2005 AFL Grand Final was on Saturday 24th September 2005. Kate and I decided it was far too boring to watch the match at my place and that we'd much rather be in an exciting, rowdy atmosphere with plenty of other passionate Eagles' fans - a local pub.

Eventually we decided on Cheers in Vic Park as the destination where we would watch Eagles' premiership glory. I emailed fellow footy fanatics (even Dorkers fans) and invited them to join us. But no-one else could make it. So Kate and I went on our own but it was all good!

We hadn't booked a table and thought we might have to sit outside but luckily someone had booked but not turned up, so a very kind couple let us share their table. The place was decked out with yellow and blue balloons. It was buzzing. I was so disappointed when I found out Phil Matera was ruled unfit and was therefore not playing.

The match begun. It was so loud we couldn't hear the commentators but it didn't matter. It was great when we'd get a goal and everyone would rise and cheer and just go bezerk. I love watching footy with fanatics or going to games. There's no way you can look stupid among people who are just as crazy. At the next table were a group of middle aged women. They were all Eagles fans except for one. Every time Sydney got a goal she'd stand up all alone wearing her red and white fro wig and scarf and blowing a little horn. She'd probably had a few drinks but I still thought she had some nerve ;)

By half time it wasn't looking good, but I still held out hope. Then we started our comeback. I remember when Sydney was kicking it out from defence and I think it went straight to Ben Cousins. He goaled and from that moment I thought the premiership was ours. But then Sydney hit the front again. I started wailing that we were going to lose by some ridiculously small margin but Kate was adamant that I shouldn't talk so negatively and that there was still hope. I wanted to believe it but when Leo Barry took the match-saving mark for Sydney, I knew it was over.

Then the closet Sydney fans started to emerge from the cracks in the walls or wherever else they'd been hiding. They ran riot, heckling brokenhearted Eagles fans and popping the balloons. We were disgusted at their behaviour. I drove Kate home with my Eagles flag still flying proudly out of my car window. I don't remember being sad, just numb but still so terribly proud to be an Eagles fan. They'd done their very best.

Looking back, it didn't really feel like a grand final. Sure, the hype was there but I think it was because so many grand finals over the past decade had been one-sided, that it seemed odd to have a close one. When the Eagles last won in 1994, I was 11 and in Year 6 at Albany Primary. Last year I was 22 and I thought how ironic it was that I'd had to double my age in order to see the Eagles in another grand final.

I remember being a bit mad later when I got an sms from a friend who doesn't follow football or even know anything about it. She was rubbing it in and I just ignored her. I went home and defrosted my fridge, still feeling peaceful despite the loss.

Last Saturday, the 23rd September 2006, exactly 364 days since the grand final disappointment, I watched the Eagles win the preliminary final in a heartstopper at Craig's place with fellow Eagles fans from church and a few others. It was such a great atmosphere and this Saturday, Craig is kindly having us over to do it all again. Later that night, I went out to dinner with Sarah D, Sam, Jill, Ali, Richard E and Rohan to guess where.....Cheers. It had taken me just under a year to go back there (not deliberately though of course).


Isaiah 40:31
but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

Kate and I at Cheers last year. This was taken at half time.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Kick a Vic!

As Grand Final day fast approaches, it appears the Vics are not too happy about having another all interstate Grand Final. The cup hasn't been won by a Victorian team since Essendon beat Melbourne in 2000 and the last time a Vic team was even in the Grand Final was 2003 when the Colliwobbles lost to Brisbane.

This got emailed to me. Hehe. It pretty much sums it up!

Saturday, September 23, 2006

How Well Do Your Friends Really Know You?

A couple of months ago, I received a questionnaire via email. Now I'm always getting questionnaires - you know, the ones where you have to answer a whole lot of questions about yourself and then forward it on to your friends. Then they fill it out and send it back to you (well, you hope they do).

But this questionnaire was slightly different. I had to fill it out and answer questions about my friend, Christina to show her how well I really knew her and then send it back to her. Then I sent the list of questions to a group of my friends to see how well they knew me. Unfortunately, I only got 5 responses (slackers!) and I'm happy to say they all did pretty well. I marked the responses below in red (very teacher-like I know).

I'm happy to say they all got that right! (Not gonna write it here in case someone Googles my name - no stalkers thanks).

Year 11 Human Biology
MYC 2003 - Actually this was wrong, Sarah. I met you first at a CCU Progressive Dinner a month before - just being picky.

Frances x Uh no, Jill. It's Rosanne.
Roseanne x Incorrect spelling Mandy ;)

Since Year 11 Human Biology Yep, Chrisy that's 7.5 years woohoo!
2.5 years
5 years dude!!!!!!!!
Since June 2003
10 does time fly!

Last Saturday night, pizza and movies :)
Friday, whoa we actually caught up!
On Sunday at church
This morning before you left for work - Yes, poor Emma has to see me every day ;)

Definitely not! ;)
Nooo, yuckies
No, you've only tried it once.
Yep, all right here. I tried it when I was 13 but smoking is BAAAD mmmkay.

Occasionally :)
Yes but not to excession
Sometimes, but not a lot, generally just socially, except for the night-cap of baileys you had for awhile! - I was trying to finish the bottle okay ;)
Correct, I drink occasionally but not a lot and when I do it's usually beer.

Yay a friend with the same sense of humour as me!
Hot chick
I like her. She's as nutso as me.
You're a godly, fun and easy going gal who made me feel comfortable amongst many strangers.
I thought you were a bit zany, but very fun-loving.

Sing and pretend to be Julie Andrews hehe :)
Spend time with me cos I'm awesome. Church. Tennis.
Watch one of your favourite TV shows, or catch up with a friend you don't get to see much.
They would all pass as correct, I s'pose.

Yessum, crazy girl
Yes, very. You're talented in that area.
Awww, thanks guys :D

All sorts?
Lotsa top 40, easy listening type stuff.
Rock and pop
Hmmm... you have a pretty varied taste in music yourself. Sound of Music songs? :)
Check out my profile to see my favourite music.

Yes, and quite often do.
Yes, but you keep that information very quiet. Not a huge amount of people know this!
You are coming along nicely with Heidi's expert guidance! I have definitely noticed an improvement this year. You are a very joyful singer!

Sense of humour, funness, laugh, eyes and hair! :)
Your sense of humour and honesty.
Your cheeky smile and laugh.
You are a very real person (not fake) and you're always good fun to be with.

Outgoing but shy if you don't know anyone.
Bit of both. Depends who you're with.
Inbetween. Depends on the people you are with and the situation you are in.
You're shy when you first meet people, but once you're comfortable you let rip!
Yep, that's about right.

A little from column A and a little from column B.
Rules are good mmmkay
You can be a rebel if that's the right thing to do, because rules are unjust. But usually a rules person.
I think you are a bit of a rebel, you always challenge why things are.
Depends on what the rules are and who's making 'em.

Yes, singing and making people laugh.
Making animal noises - I do a hen laying an egg and a rooster crowing :)
Oooh, that's a personal question :P ????????
Singing, acting, playing the comedian at times (eg, CCC annual dinner earlier in the year).
Your shower singing is superb! And you are a great writer.

Spinster librarian!! (NEVER!) Nah, budding talent. Quietly confident.
I dunno. Fun?
Cheeky - different, in a good way you are even sometimes weird. I hope you see that as a compliment. Cause who wants to be average!
I don't like classing people or putting them in boxes. You defintely don't fit into any box - but that's a good thing.

You are hot to me :)
So hot right now
You're a brilliant friend. As for hot...ask the men.
I couldn't exactly say no could I? You are a beautiful woman of God.
Like anyone was going to say anyone else was NOT hot, even if they weren't. Anyway, hot is a matter of opinion.

Hmmm... fussy Sedface yess!!!! not sure...maybe Italian food?
Chocolate!!!! or big boys (in joke - don't ask!) (hot dogs)
Non Asian!!!
Chocolate and Italian.
Mmmm chocolate ;)

Yep all right here.

When we were swimming down at the beach in our knickers :) hahaha Yes Chrisface, sooo much fun :D
CCC Review Night
I got lots. Probably one from theatre hehe :)
There are so many. Umm, One of my fondest memories of you is when I talked to you about my relationship with Christ and my poetry at MYC. You were so open, and happily shared your experiences. It was great.
Doing drama with you at school, was always good fun and loads of laughs.

Ummm... not sure... maybe singing weird songs to Emma :) hehe Poor Emma.
Not sure
You're too organised. Makes me feel inadequate haha
Worrying too much. But I suffer the same habit too!
Watching too much TV! C'mon everyone needs their daily fill of soap.

I know one thing you wouldn't bring! Sam the snail! hahah... nah would bring lots of food to feed Christina yesss!!!!
ipod - except I don't have one.
Water cos you always have it with you.
Chocolate or music
Probably water, but I'd like to bring all of these things.

Of course! From the day we first met!
No way!!!!!!!!! Shut up Mands ;)
Yes we are.

Yes, you do.
I'd be a bit concerned if somebody said no.

Yes....when everyone is getting on anyway.
Umm, not overly.
No you don't have your own family, but yes you can be very family oriented.
Yes, even though there can be struggles.
Answers 1 and 5 (Chris and Em) are the most accurate here.

Emma (who you live with)
Christina, Emma, Fizz, Rhiannon x Fizz and Rhianon are the same person. I think she meant Rianna.
I don't think you have just one, instead you have a bunch of close friends.
Answer 5. You are correct Em. Although Sarah's answer (no. 4) is also right.

A silver one :) Half marks for Chrisface
Holden Barina x
Bertha! x
Roberta the car. Sorry can't remember the make - model. Half marks for Sare.
Your 2004 Hyundai Accent called Roberta. Yep this is right!!!

Send the blank questionnaire to your friends. I know this stuff isn't everyone's cup of tea but it's a great way of fishing for compliments ;)