Monday, June 30, 2014

Where God Closes a Door...

He opens a window. So says Maria from The Sound of Music and she's right.

Now, some would say that to talk about God closing doors is overspiritualising things, that you need to get out there and  kick down those doors. But, sometimes, no matter how hard you might try, it's just not the right season.

Regular readers of this blog would remember two years ago I posted about how I longed to visit the elderly in nursing homes. It scares me thinking that there are so many old people preparing to die without making peace with God through Jesus. The arrival of Mr Rory put that on hold, and I realised that I might not get to do the nursing home visits until all our kids are in school.

Some people would say that I need to work harder at making the nursing home visits happen, that I should use my daycare day to do it, or take him with me. But, after praying about it, I feel it's not the right time.

Then, a few months ago, a ladies' fellowship group started up at my church. We meet every second Thursday morning to share Scripture and encourage one another. We are an eclectic group of all ages. The kids play with toys while we chat and enjoy morning tea. The best thing about this group? I've got to know some of the older ladies in the church better...and I've learnt something I'd never realised before...they feel lonely in a church that has majority kids and young families.

I always thought God wanted me to meet with elderly non-Christians. It turns out He has given me a wonderful opportunity to encourage and befriend those who have followed Christ for many years, to cheer them on in the race, to learn from them, and to show them they are indeed a valued part of the church.

Friday, June 27, 2014

5 More Annoying Things Christians Say

These were my first five.

These are the next lot...

1.  "God answered my prayer."
This is usually said in the context of God answering their prayer in the way they wanted Him to.  In reality, God ALWAYS answers our prayers, whether it is 'yes', 'no', or 'wait'.

2.  "I'm a born-again Christian," or, "I'm a Spirit-filled Christian."
Umm, aren't all Christians born again and Spirit-filled?  What other type of Christian could you be?

3.  "There is someone out there for everybody."
No, there isn't.  Sorry if it sounds harsh, but I think it's MORE harsh giving single people a false message that there is Mr/Mrs Right out there and that they just need to find them.  Some people will marry and some people won't, and both are OK.  Some older, married women, in particular, need to stop their obsession with matchmaking and getting everyone married off, and focus on encouraging younger adults to remain faithful to God, whatever their circumstances.

4.  "God has an awesome plan for your life."
Well, yes He does....the same plan He has for all Christians, that one day we will be with Him for eternity.  It annoys me when it's said kind of like an 'achieve your dreams' message, God has an awesome plan for you to become a famous singer...yeah! (and incessantly quoting Jeremiah 29:11 out of context).

5.  "We need to speak for Jesus."
Umm I get what they mean, but this is poorly phrased.  They make Jesus out to be a mute, or a ventriloquist's puppet, rather than the Lord of the Universe who is more than capable of speaking for Himself.

Any more you'd like to add?

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Quote of the Day

Sometimes you hate being a mum, but it doesn't mean you hate your kids.  They make your heart ache with love.  It's the unrelenting roles associated with the title of  'mum' that can wear you down.
- Jessica Rowe

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Bipedal Bubba

Rory took his first steps on Wednesday 28th May.  Now he's toddling pretty much 100% of the time and it's so cute to watch.  He's so proud of himself.

My new toddler also has the toddler attitude (which he had when he was still a quadruped).  He can be a very delightful fellow when he's in a good mood, but, oh boy, I'm finding toddler tantrums to be very draining. 

Mummy accidentally left the flash on when filming him and he looks kinda evil hehe.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Palliative Care For Chooks

I'm nursing my hen Clementine at the moment.  I was feeding the chooks yesterday when I noticed there were six girls instead of the usual seven.  Clementine was sitting in a nesting box, looking very forlorn.  She let me stoke her gently without protesting.  When I tried to get her to stand, she couldn't and collapsed again with her wings out.

After ignoring Duncan's insistence that I should let him 'knock her on the head', she spent last night in a comfortable box in the laundry.  She's still eating, but can't move much.  I'm not sure how much life she has left in her; I think she's kinda old.

If you were a chook, you'd want to be my'd be very well looked after.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

5 Blogging Trends in 8 Years of Blogging


It looks like I may (God willing) get to the magical decade after all.

Here are some of the trends I've observed in the blogosphere (well, among the blogs I read) over the past eight years.

1.  Commenting is on the decline.  Yet, the stats show that just as many people are reading.  I've heard people say they're 'time poor', that they don't have time to leave comments.  It's a bit like people saying they have time to read emails, but not reply.  Odd.

2.  Most people read via a reader.  Therefore, they probably don't click through to comment as much.

3.  Facebook is taking over.  This is probably because it's quicker and easier and you can use it on your smart phone (although there IS a Blogger app, too).  It takes less time to write a quick post about nothing, than it does to really think something through before you post it.  It's easier to upload photos on Facebook.  Nowadays it's almost like you need to link your blog to Facebook or have a Facebook fan page for your blog.

4.  Most blogs have a short lifespan.  The blogosphere is littered with abandoned blogs.  It's sad when a blog I loved reading is no more.  It's disappointing when the blogger announces they are going to start a new blog to replace their old one, but then that suffers the same fate.

5.  Every business seems to have a blog.  Personally, I don't read business blogs, but I've been involved with two through work.

It seems like my blog is a child, getting older and celebrating a birthday every year.  In keeping with tradition, it has new party clothes to celebrate in.

Thanks everyone for reading over the years. :)

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The Good Samaritan Friend

Sometimes, when you're really sick, or injured, or just struggling in some way it's hard to hear people say, "Oh you need to put your feet up/do nothing/do the bare minimum/rest/relax/let it go...."

I know their intentions are good.  I know they mean well. 

But it's hard hearing it.

When I'm unwell, I KNOW I have limitations.  But sitting with my feet up while wearing vomit-smelling clothes with a hungry baby and pets, husband working long hours, dirty house, no clean washing, and near empty fridge, listening to someone say, "Take care of yourself," will not make me feel better.  Do my laundry, do my shopping, feed my baby and pets, watch my baby so I can have a shower, clean my house and THEN I may start to feel better instead of feeling like I'm drowning in my own bodily fluids and drowning in my own house!

I was chided by some people for carrying heavy buckets of water down to my animals while I was pregnant.  It was harvest so Duncan was working, it was summer, my animals were thirsty, and there was no-one else around.  Their opinion was that I should take care of myself and stuff the animals.  I couldn't do that.  Out here in the sticks you have to drive to town to shop and then cook if you want to eat - there is no takeaway or home-delivered grocery shopping.

Words without deeds aren't much use sometimes.

Now, I know that not everyone is capable of meeting their friends' every need.  The idea of taking care of other people's kids fill some people with dread (I was one of them before I had Rory, and even now I'm nervous about it).  Some people have physical limitations and can't help out with housework or shopping. Others desperately want to help out, but live a long way away.

But surely we can do SOMETHING other than just tell and expect our friends who are unwell, struggling and sinking fast in all their responsibilities to enjoy sitting around and doing nothing.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Bible Verse of the Day

Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food.  If one of you says to him, "Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it?
James 2:15-16

Friday, June 13, 2014

Friday Funny

Another one that was emailed to me.  It's especially appropriate now that winter is here.


I will seek you and find you.

I shall take you to bed and have my way with you.

I will make you ache, shake and sweat until you moan and groan.

I will make you beg.

I will exhaust you to the point that you will be relieved when I'm finished with you.

And when I am finished, you will be weak for days.

All my love,

The Flu

Now, get your mind out of the gutter and go get your flu shot!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Small Groups: It Only Takes One....

Group life is a delicate thing.  You achieve a good balance and everyone seems to be enjoying one another's company and encouraging each other.  Then the arrival of a new group member or the departure of an old one throws everything out of kilter.

I've been a part of Bible study groups (and other groups) of which my joy has quickly eroded after the arrival of a new person.  Sometimes there has been a terrible personality clash.  I remember being a part of one group where the arrival of a person with a sarcastic sense of humour, and the loss of several people with whom I got on very well quickly made the group pretty unbearable for me.  I hate sarcasm, and now the group consisted mainly of sarcastic people who seemed to make me the butt of the jokes.  I should have confronted them more and I didn't handle it very well.  In the end, I eventually left.  I have learned a lot from that experience.

This is a really difficult scenario of which I don't really have any answers.  All I wish to say is that it happens.  I've heard people say there are no such thing as 'personality clashes', and Christians should all just get along and be friends.  I think we need to strive to live at peace with one another (I think some sarcastic people have 'issues' in their lives and look for a punching bag).  But personality clashes DO exist.  We can live at peace, but we can't be best friends with everyone.  When I was at uni, the Christian group would hand out communication cards when setting up small groups for the year, and we were given the option of writing down on the card the name of anyone we didn't wish to be in a group with.  Only the staffworkers would know about this and would do their best to accommodate everyone.  I never wrote anyone's name down, but I can see that this is a great way to handle it.  Everyone deserves the chance to study the Bible without being ridiculed and torn down.  It would be awful if someone left a group because of this.

It's tricky because new people need to be welcomed into groups, and there is often no foreseeing what impact their arrival will have.  At the same time, the leader has a responsibility to see that the existing group members are being taken care of.

Have you ever struggled in or left a group because of someone else that joined, or had the group's 'vibe' change?

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Sick Week Again!

Perhaps I should just keep blogging non-stop because it seems every time I take a break, I get sick.

I had a wonderful of the best.  Then I got gastro the day after.

No trip to Perth for me.  No seeing my good friend and meeting her new baby son.  No saying goodbye to my brother at the airport.


Then Rory got a bad cough and is currently on his sixth lot of antibiotics since he was born.  It's not improving much and it's been a week.

But I have it very, very good.  I recovered from gastro much quicker than I usually do.  The fatigue I've been battling over the past few months has got a little better thanks to some chromium tablets I got from my naturopath.  I no longer feel like collapsing by 10am (although I had one bad day last Thursday), and I've got through the past week without needing to sleep when Rory does.