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 Dockerland.com 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 ;)