Friday, August 31, 2007
It was the 31st August 1997 when her death sparked an outpouring of grief throughout the world.
* Photo is from The Age newspaper.
I wasn't a huge Diana groupie or anything but I was shocked and saddened because she was young, she was famous and people like her didn't die....not like that....did they?
One of the questions radio hosts were asking this morning was "Where were you the day Diana died?" So I thought I'd take a trip down memory lane.
I remember that Sunday in 1997 well. I was 14 and I was watching TV when suddenly a newsflash went across the screen announcing that Diana and her partner Dodi al Fayed had been in a car accident in Paris. Details were sketchy at that stage but it seemed that Dodi had been killed but Diana had been rushed to hospital in a critical condition. I yelled to my mum to come quick and she was shocked but we had this strong belief that Diana would make it, that she'd be okay.
A little while later, another newsflash went across the screen that Diana had also died. We froze. We didn't cry but we were just so sad, especially for William and Harry. I also remember feeling sorry for Dodi and his family. With all the fuss over Diana, it seemed like no-one even cared about him.
In the months following her death, I noticed a shift in the way Diana was portrayed in the media. Just a year earlier, she was commonly referred to as 'Di' in gossip mags and there were headlines such as 'Di's sexy romp with new man' and stuff like that. After her death, she was always known as 'Diana' and was much more revered.
I wonder why Prince Harry in particular has gone off the rails so much in recent years, if it has to with the enormous grief of losing his mum?
It's hard to believe Princess Diana died ten years ago today. It's hard to even believe that's it's been ten years since 1997. In some ways it still feels like last year. But then it also feels so long ago.
It wasn't the only time Australia was in mourning either. 1997 was also the year of the Thredbo disaster when a landslide caused the collapse of two ski lodges and 18 Australians lost their lives. Then, a few days later, Stuart Diver was miraculously pulled out alive from under the rubble.
So much has changed over the years. In 1997, I was in Year 9 and was just starting to adjust to the big changes that happen in the transition from primary to high school. In Year 8, a lot of friends from primary school had started to get into smoking and drinking and I tried it at first but I just couldn't get into it. Then I was basically excluded and although they were still my friends, I started to make new friends.
1996 was difficult, 1997 was starting to get better. I have many great memories and great achievements. I won the tennis trophy for my age group at my local tennis club and although I only had to beat one person, I was the underdog and winning was a fantastic surprise. My netball team made the preliminary final which was a huge surprise before we went down to a team of much bigger girls.
I'd started growing out my fringe the year before and wore a hideous green headband to hold it back. Boy was I glad when it was long enough and I could finally take it off. But there was no getting rid of the braces for yet another year.
I got my ears pierced but wasn't game enough to get anything else done (not that I could afford it or was allowed). A couple of my friends got nose rings but they got infected so they had to take them out.
I remember making a video in my English class with a group of friends which was meant to be an ad for something. We invented a product called 'Party Pooper Paper' which was basically toilet paper which we decorated with textas. It was so much fun filming it in the girls loos.
I had crushes on several different guys and me and a friend of mine started inventing code names for them so no-one knew who we were talking about. Mine was 'Leaf' and hers was 'Rock'.
One of my friends stupidly stuck her bracelet up her arm and we had to soap up her arm to get it off. Then she went and did it again! Another friend was so embarrassed when she picked up her bag after lunch and a tampon had fallen out of it. She quickly dropped her bag again so the guys wouldn't see.
You couldn't go to the loo at school without being greeted with stench of cigarette smoke and deoderant (as if deoderant would really hide it haha). In Phys Ed lessons we were made to go the beach and swim which in freezing cold Albany is pure torture. If you wore trackies instead of jeans then you could prepare to be dacked.
I took Indonesian for a year and while I was good at learning words, I sucked when it came to stringing sentences together.
On the home front, we adopted my beautiful cats, Ellie and Marmalade who were five at the time (they're 15 and ancient now). I was devastated in June when my parents sold our house which we'd lived in since I was seven and bought another. We along with the cats and Lily the hen made the trek across to other side of town and I soon grew to love the new place even more than the old one.
Hanging out with friends rather than parents was the cool thing to do. I went to the Albany Show without my parents and went with friends instead. I remember when I went to the beach with some friends and we saw another girl from school down there who asked if she could hang out with us. It turned out her ex-best friend was also down at the beach somewhere with her gang and was planning on beating this poor girl up. Some of my friends wanted to swim out to the pontoon but this girl didn't so I stayed with her on the beach and soon we were hiding from the gang of girls who were now intent on bashing both of us. We got away.
Hanson, Aqua, Savage Garden, silverchair, Marilyn Manson and the Backstreet Boys were all the rage. One of my friends was so obsessed with Hanson that every inch of her bedroom wall was covered with Hanson posters and by the following year she had all the CDs and a couple of t-shirts. I never got into the whole Hanson thing and my walls were covered in pictures of people that no-one else thought were good looking. I wasn't purposefully trying to be different, I just didn't think JTT, Devon Sawa and Leonardo DiCaprio were cute. Soon there was a big trade in posters and clippings happening and everyone hacked up their TV Hits and Dolly magazines and traded to get pics of the stars they liked. I finally got a CD player that year.
Yo-yos were all the biggest fad and I just couldn't understand it. I sold my yo-yo to my brother and put the money towards buying another fad - Doc Martens. After painstakingly saving my pocket money each week, my mum eventually helped me out and I got a navy pair which I still have today. They are a bit scuffed but I consider them a great buy all those years ago, despite the price.
Tuesday night was the best TV night around because there was Friends, Blue Heelers, The X Files and Melrose Place on in that order. I didn't watch the latter two but Friends and Blue Heelers made Tuesday night my favourite of the week. I soon got sick of Friends and it's never ending storylines of bed-hopping singles but I became Blue Heelers' number 1 fan and the budding Maggie-PJ romance had me glued to the screen.
A lot has changed in those ten years since Diana died. I've finished high school, left home, moved to Perth, finished uni, started working and got engaged. Most importantly I've become a follower of Jesus, something that if you'd told me back then I'd do, I would have laughed in your face.
That's my trip down memory lane. How about you? How do you remember 1997? Where were you the day Princess Diana died?
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
The intent of this series is not to provoke rants and cause divisions among Christians (there's enough of that already) but rather to have a mature adult discussion and learn something.
In the first and only previous post in this series, I asked questions about the gift of tongues and it's role in the church. If you would like to read and comment on this post, you can do so here. I'll keep checking this archive for new responses.
My next question is about gifts of healing.
I haven't heard this discussed much among Christians I know. I've had a look through the Bible to see what it says.
The first thing that jumped out at me from 1 Corinthians 12 is that it says gifts of healing not gift. Does that imply there is more than one gift of healing. I heard someone suggest that people who have a gift of healing are not necessarily able to heal every ailment, just some.
Jesus obviously was known for his healing of physical ailments but that was not his main mission. Throughout the Bible, there are accounts of the apostles having the ability of being able to heal the sick and lame in the name of Jesus.
I disagree with Christians who refuse to talk about gifts of healing and have the look on their faces as if it's evil or something. Gifts of healing are from the Spirit, from God for the building up of his church.
I can understand why some people are sceptical. I often battle with scepticism. It's not hard to doubt when current affairs shows are full of stories of dodgy faith healers ripping people off.
Ultimately healing is God's work after all and he may not choose to heal a person this side of heaven. I get angry when I hear of people saying to sick people that they are sick because they don't have enough faith to be healed.
I was very sceptical when I saw God on My Side at the cinema last year and there was a woman who was healing people through the television. She was saying "I can sense someone out there has warts. You are healed in the name of Jesus." I thought that seemed very dodgy and she was acting more like a medium but then someone said to me that people with gifts of healing can often sense and pray for sick people without actually seeing the person.
So what about gifts of healing today? How is it used? Does it just involve laying hands on someone and saying they are healed in the name of Jesus or does it include people who have medical gifts such as doctors and surgeons?
How does someone know if they have a gift of healing? And how do you know if someone is genuine? Whenever we are sick, is it worth going to a 'healing service' or just see a doctor or get a Christian friend to pray for you? I get confused when I hear Christians say 'I healed some people". What does that mean?
Friday, August 24, 2007
Before you go into panic mode thinking I've got some kind of eating disorder, I better set you straight.
I'm not starving myself physically...rather spiritually.
If you're a Christian then you can probably identify with this as most believers seem to go through these patches. Patches where spending 1-1 time with God seems too...well...hard.
Life is busy and I've been allowing that busyness to choke my spiritual life. I still love going to church and hearing God's word preached. I still love going to bible study and digging into his word there. But that's because I have a group of people around me and that encourages me to do it. I'm struggling to find any motivation to do it on my own.
I loved being at Perth Women's Convention last Saturday because it was a whole day hearing from God.
It's one of those things that is so great when you're actually into it...it's getting started that's the problem. I know it's not only that I'm busy. I'm also lazy.
When I do have the time, I don't do it. In fact I'd rather watch TV because it's easier. I can just sit mindlessly in front of the telly and not have to think much but when I study the bible I really want to concentrate and take in what God is trying to say to me...and let the Holy Spirit work in me so that I can actually live it out.
Praying is also becoming a drag. I'm not one of those people who can pray for long periods of time. I get bored, I get distracted and then I want to do something else. I tend to do lots of little quick prayers throughout the day rather than one sizeable chunk. Is that bad?
I'll just get a few things straight. I'm not angry at God. I WANT to talk to him and read his Word. But when I try, it's hard. My mind starts to wander and I end up saying "God I don't know what to say to you. I really can't be bothered talking to you right now, I'm sorry." Sometimes I just don't feel like talking to anyone. I can't be bothered having a conversation and when I pray sometimes it just feels like it's me talking to God. It's not like talking to another person where they're responding to you straight away.
Slowly I feel like the weeds of life are choking me. It's kind of like comparing junk food with healthy food. I know I should be eating the healthy stuff because it has good long term benefits. But when it comes to the crunch I go for the junk because it's quicker and easier and I have to do less work. But you know what happens when you keep doing that for too long? You feel slimy and unhealthy and longing for some healthy stuff because let's face it - too much KFC (or TV) isn't good.
I've tried to put some plans into action regarding having a regular quiet time/devotional time, whatever you want to call it. I decided I'd rather meet with God in the morning when I'm less tired and arm myself with his truth when I go out into the world for the day. That is not saying that people who spend time with God at night or any other time are wrong, it's just my personal preference. So I decided I would get up at 6am and read the Bible and pray while eating breakfast. It didn't work. I persevered for a while but it just didn't work. For a start, I find it hard to get up in the morning, I end up sleeping in and running late for work. Plus my housemate gets up early as well and it's hard to concentrate when someone else is around. So i tried Plan 2 - reading the Bible in bed before I get up. This hasn't worked yet either because I either sleep in to start with or fall asleep again while trying to read and pray.
Now I've decided to be more disciplined in going to bed earlier so I can rise earlier (actually get up at 6am instead of just saying I will). A good theory. Now I've just got to put it into practice.
I don't feel like God has abandoned me. He hasn't gone anywhere. It's me that has moved away from him.
I'm not trying to have a quiet time so I can feel superior to other people who don't. I want to do it because I've got this great privilege of being able to talk to my Creator and I want to take advantage of that.
I don't think God is angry with me if i don't do it but I know the spiritual benefits it will bring. Besides I think it's pretty cool that the God of the universe actually WANTS to talk to his children.
I don't want to let guilt be the motivating factor.
I want to keep persevering but it's getting pretty disillusioning.
I know that I'm not the only Christian to have gone through this and won't be the last.
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
Monday, August 20, 2007
FINALLY we have a reception venue and therefore a date!
The big day will be Saturday 12th April 2008 and the venue we have chosen is north of the river (not saying any more than that in case we get gatecrashers).
It's a big room and we can decorate it ourselves and have our own caterers.
I'm very glad the reception venue quest is over. I think Duncan's more relieved than me. Just about every time we spoke, I'd tell him my latest plan of action, combing Perth's suburbs for the right place. And notice I said right place, not perfect place. It just had to meet the following criteria:
- Available on our desired date
- Reasonable cost
- Allows us to have our own caterers
- Seats 180-200 people comfortably
We looked at so many places it's not funny. Big expensive specialised reception/function centres were immediately ruled out purely on cost. A lot of other places we ruled out just by looking at their websites. And a lot of other places didn't have websites so we had to call them. Some weren't answering their phones so we left messages but our calls weren't returned (how rude). A lot of the yacht clubs, surf lifesaving clubs and golf clubs required you to become a member or were already booked. There was no way I was paying a membership fee to go yachting with random men....no thanks! ;)
We also found that a lot of the bowling clubs wouldn't let us have the venue all to ourselves. They were going to let the regular members into the club while the reception was on and they would have to keep coming into our area to use the toilets. Other places insisted that we could pack more people into the place even though it was obviously too small. Hmmm yeah our guests would love that...sitting on each other's knees and being packed in like sheep on a truck!
Other places sounded reasonable until they mentioned that we could only have access to the place a couple of hours before the reception was due to start. How on earth we were meant to decorate and set up when we and all our guests would be getting ready for the wedding, I don't know. When I mentioned that we would need the room from Friday morning onwards to decorate, they slapped a big hourly fee on top of that. I was only talking to them on the phone but I could see the dollar signs flashing in their eyes.
The place we decided on comfortably seats 300 people, has a dance floor and even a stage. Dance floor was non negotiable ;) And we get it from Friday morning to the early hours of Sunday morning for a flat fee.
If you're getting married, then maybe you might learn from our experience. Finding a reception venue was not the easy process we thought it'd be. But I'm glad it's done :)
Friday, August 17, 2007
Thursday, August 16, 2007
Monday, August 13, 2007
Okay, maybe not literally give your pastor a hug....they may not be into hugs ;)
But this week I'd like to give a big enthusiastic thumbs up to pastors.
The more I think about them, the more I admire them for their love and service to God and his people. And when I say 'pastors', I also wish to include godly men and women in full-time or part-time ministries of all capacities, examples being chaplains and missionaries.
I have no doubt there are evil men and women out there, peddling the gospel for their own gain and to manipulate and control those they lead. This post is not about them - it's about the thousands of pastors who serve with integrity, whose lives are bearing the fruit of the Holy Spirit, those who keep being faithful to God and faithful to those they lead despite opposition.
You wouldn't be in it for the money, that's for certain. Only love and faith in the gospel of Jesus Christ would inspire them to give up lucrative careers to serve among the perennial whingers and complainers who often come with church ministry. I look at them and think 'Far out' - I'd be tempted to give up and I'm sure they are sometimes....but they keep going. They keep loving, keep being being patient, keep listening, keep holding out the word of truth to stubborn obstinate people while wrestling with their own weaknesses and finding time themselves to sit at God's feet and listen to him.
I've heard people say shocking things about some pastors. Sure, they make mistakes. But most of these guys are genuinely doing their best and trying to care for people to the best of their ability. It is virtually impossible to run a service or group in such a way that pleases everyone. How hard must it be to lead a group of people who all expect you to be their personal counseller. I was talking to Aimee's dad last night and he pastors a church in Botswana. He said as soon as he became a pastor, he became a counseller. Some people have genuine issues and need comfort and support. But surely pastors' patience must be stretched when people just want to complain that the pastor has not had them over for dinner as much as Billy or Bob.
No pastor is perfect just as no person is perfect. And they may not be perfect leaders but they need our support just as much as we need theirs. Think about how you can care for your pastor. Or just simply say 'thank you'. So many pastors 'burn out' and quit ministry as a result. It's a tough gig but a worthwhile one so give them the joy of seeing the fruit of their labour by showing them how the Lord has used their labour to impact your life.
- Tell them in person, email, SMS or a phone call (or write an anonymous note).
- Pray for them.
- Share scripture with them to encourage them to keep going.
Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labour in the Lord is not in vain. (1 Corinthians 15:58)
For more info on the Thumbs Up series, click here.
Friday, August 10, 2007
"The dog ate it, Miss."
Well one of Aimee's students can now claim that....almost. Last night, Aimee was sitting at the dining room table marking essays and was putting the marked ones in a neat pile on the floor next to her chair. I saw Ebony hanging around and the next thing I heard was Rip....rip....RIP....RIIIIPPP.
"Noooo," I rushed out of the bathroom and chased Ebony away. Aimee hadn't even realised what was going on as she had turned away for a minute to talk to her dad who is here from Botswana and is staying with us for a few days. I drew her attention to the topmost essay which Ebony had mangled. It was beyond repair as she'd ripped a big chunk right out of it. Luckily Aimee had already marked it and recorded the grade.
Aimee and her dad both actually thought it was very funny and Aimee doubted the student would be too upset as he didn't get a very good grade. Perhaps he'll even be glad it was destroyed?
I don't think Aimee will be leaving her essays on the floor again. Despite having a multitude of toys, Ebony does seem to have a fetish for paper and cardboard. A couple of weeks ago, I caught her trying to chew the box of a waffle maker that Duncan and I were going to be giving his cousin for a wedding present.
This time it'll be the teacher giving the old excuse to a student. Except this time, it's true!
Thursday, August 09, 2007
A sincere thank you to all who helped in any way, whether it by leaving advice in the comments section or by having a go at trying to fix it. Give yourselves a pat on the back :)
Are my technical problems over? Well, I hope so but I do like to experiment with my blog so I can't guarantee. You can stop shuddering at the thought ;) I've just about had a gutful of Blogger though. One more peep and I'm migrating to WordPress.
Now, let's get back to some more meaty posts at the Sedshed.
Tuesday, August 07, 2007
So I need someone to help me. Someone who's experienced in using Blogger and HTML and who might be able to help me bring my profile back up to where it should be and basically make my blog look as it did before. I'm just getting way too angry and frustrated.
If you'd like to help, then I please email me at seddyed at hotmail dot com. I'd be very grateful if you could and can even offer a reward. It's save me the frustration and disappointment of losing over a year's worth of posts and comments.
If you email me, I will email you my login details. Once you've finished, let me know and then I'll change my password.
Since I managed to copy the Thumbs Up logo onto my blog, everything's gone haywire. That post keeps coming up with error messages saying there is no matching div tag or something or other. Now whenever I try to create a new post, it's permanently stuck on 'Edit' mode instead of 'Compose' and everything's in HTML. I hate HTML! I can't change it back despite going to the Settings tab and trying to fix it. It keeps saying it's already in Compose mode but it's not.
Now some of my previous posts have no left margin and everything looks squashed. There's no double spacing between lines either.
Can anyone help?
This is me. Am I hot or what?
Have a go. Visit the Simpsonize Me website.
Monday, August 06, 2007
(P.S. I can't believe I managed to include the logo in this post. It's a miracle!)
Friday, August 03, 2007
Wednesday, August 01, 2007
Obviously I've never been married before and neither has Dunc so it often feels like we're stumbling along in the dark when it comes to planning our wedding. I'm very grateful that I was living with Emma when she was engaged so I got observe the process up close but that's nothing compared to doing it yourself. That's why we need YOU! If you're married (particularly if you've been married in the last few years) or even if you've been to a few weddings recently and really admired the reception venue, food, photographer, wedding dress, cake etc then I'd really like to hear your advice. Often word of mouth is a powerful influence when it comes to wedding planning.
When it comes to planning our wedding, I want to be super organised (well as organised as I can be). Since I don't handle stress very well, it'd be good to have as many of the things out of the way as soon as possible. I don't want to get to two months before the wedding and we still don't have a photographer.
Dunc and I have agreed that we want a simple wedding. We don't want to spend truckloads of money to make the day special. What will make it special is being surrounded by those we love. Dunc has a big extended family and mine is small so we're looking at a guest list of around 150-200 people. Painful attempts to cut loved ones off the list didn't work so we're looking at going el cheapo for the reception.
As you can tell by the title of the post, finding a reception venue is our top priority at the moment. That's because we're planning on getting married in Perth and April is a popular month so many venues are booked well in advance. Because of our large guest list, we need a venue that will hold at least 200 people. And we need it to be fairly cheap. None of this $100/head business. If we did that, then we'd be looking at paying $15,000-$20,000 just to feed people at the reception. We don't have that kind of money and neither do our parents who are graciously helping us out. I don't want to exclude a friend just because I can't afford to feed them. I'd rather go cheaper and have everyone.
So what we're hoping to do is hire a yacht club, surf lifesaving club or similar venue and have caterers. The wedding will be held in the afternoon and then have an afternoon tea/cocktail reception which will finish earlier than most receptions. Some potential caterers that have already been recommended to us are:
But we still don't have any recommendations for venues so if anyone has any suggestions for those and for additional catering companies, please leave a comment.
The sooner we get a reception venue, the sooner we can announce our wedding date to everyone!