Friday, January 30, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

Definitely read this book!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Christmas 2014

Some belated Christmas piccies.

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

It was all too much for my bro.

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

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The Year of 40ths

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

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

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

Monday, January 26, 2015

Get On Your Soapbox #28

Two consecutive rants....whoa!

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

Tall Poppy Syndrome.

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

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

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

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

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Get On Your Soapbox #27

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Toddler Taming

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

It doesn't take much.

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

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

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

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

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

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

He became shy while we sang 'Happy Birthday'.

Rory's friend Jethro helping him open his presents.

Monday, January 19, 2015


Today, my little boy turns two.

Two years of being a mum.

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

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

2014: The Year of Jeffrey Archer and John Grisham

A family friend lent me a stack of Jeffrey Archer and John Grisham books a few years ago, and last year I finally got around to reading and returning them.  Slack, I know.

These are the ones I read in 2014.  I highly recommend them if you are looking for new authors to try for some summer reading.  I've heard a few people criticise John Grisham, saying all of his books are the same.  Well, they're not.  They might all be about the US legal system, but they're quite different and intriguing.  I really liked Jeffrey Archer's collections of short stories.  While some of the plot twists left me going, "Huh?  I don't get it," others are ingenious.




Nobody ruin the ending for me, please.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Rory's Robot Bookcase

I can now cross off one of the DIY projects on my to-do list...

This is an old bookcase my parents had in their garage.

I bought some robot-themed scrapbooking paper from Spotlight, applied a lot of glue, then several coats of clear varnish.

Ta da!

Rory's many books are no longer covering our coffee table.

Friday, January 09, 2015

Friday Funny

It's been a tough week - temperatures of 40C, a night-waking toddler, and the anniversary of my Nan's death.

I need a Friday Funny. This is another good one that was emailed to me:


I was visiting my daughter last week when I asked if I could borrow a newspaper.

"This is the 21st century," she said. "We don't waste money on newspapers. Here, use my iPad."

I can tell you this. That fly never knew what hit him.

Thursday, January 08, 2015

Quote of the Day

Four years ago today, I woke to the awful news that my Nan had passed away.

Grief gets easier to deal with, but I will always miss her.

When someone you love dies, you never quite get over it.  You just slowly learn how to go on without them.  But always keeping them tucked safely in your heart.
- Unknown

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Joshua's 2nd Birthday

One thing I love about being a mum is watching Rory interact with other children.  Sometimes he's outgoing and right in the thick of the action.  Other times, he's shy and is content to sit on my lap and eat biscuits.

We went to a 2nd birthday party for his little friend Joshua on the 14th December, and I had a great time catching up with other mums who I used to meet up with through a PND support programme.  The sad thing is that our babies are growing up so fast.

The birthday boy

Rory loved the tent and tunnel


Enjoying the water and sand table with his friend Shelly

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

5 Hopes For 2015

This year is sounding much like 2012...the year of 'keep on keepin' on'.  I WILL finish what I started....God willing.

1.  Finish editing my book, write a synopsis and cover letter and send to literary agents.  NO MORE PROCRASTINATING, SARAH, YOU'VE COME TOO FAR!

2.  Make God and His Word a priority.  I need regular quiet times, plus I need to get into a Bible study of some sort.  The ladies' fellowship at church has turned into a social group and no-one seems keen to do any Bible study, which I find a real shame.  I'm praying about who to approach to read the Bible with.

3.  Get fit and lose 4kg.  Water aerobics is on on Saturday mornings at our local pool and, now harvest is finished, Duncan can look after Rory so I can go.  I'll get back into Zumba as soon as it starts again, and keep playing tennis.  I want to do some yoga/Pilates type stretches at home to help my back.  Maybe a healthier lifestyle will help with my fatigue.  One thing I NEED to do is stop rewarding myself with bad food.  It's too easy to think, I've had a tough day with Rory, I need some icecream/biscuits *fill in the blank*.  I don't want to, but I need to stop buying Mocha Chills.  Those things are EVIL.  No more than one a week for me!

4.  Pray and think about how to go about my role as the Ladies' Fellowship Deacon at church.  It feels like I do nothing in this role.  I'm not really sure what I'm supposed to be doing and I need wisdom.  I don't want to overburden the ladies with too many things to do, but I want to encourage them to read the Bible with each other.  I was thinking about having a trash and treasure stall at the local show in March to raise money for missions.

5.  Get my DIY projects at home done.  I want to paint the laundry (we have a scungy outside laundry), paint the window frame in the kitchen and stick Bible verses and encouraging quotes around it, upcycle a toy box for Rory, make myself a patchwork skirt....that's probably enough.

Monday, January 05, 2015

Quote of the Day

You could have a millions ideas, but they're all worthless if you don't get them done.
 - Lauren Amarante

Friday, January 02, 2015

2014 Hopes: How I Went

This is how I went:

1.  Get fit.  A friend of mine is the local Zumba instructor.  I've always swore I'd never do Zumba.  I'm the most unco-ordinated person on the planet, and anything that involves dancing, I look like I have too many legs all tripping over each other.  But I've decided to eat my words and give it a go.  There's no other high impact aerobic exercise available locally, and I like to exercise with others as it gives me the motivation to give it my all.  Netball is out of the question because there is no team at my level and it hurts my back.  So, there....I'm go to be Zumba-ing it up on Monday nights this year.  Duncan has promised to be home from work in time to look after Rory.
I started off well, going to Zumba most Mondays and really enjoying it.  Then the Zumba instructor (my friend Asha, whose husband works with Duncan) decided to not run it during winter because of low numbers.  At the start of May, Asha had a terrible horseriding accident, fracturing three vertebrae in her back.  It hasn't healed properly so Zumba is on hold for a while yet.  I did start going to ladies' tennis again more regularly (while Rory was at daycare) and now Sunday afternoon tennis has resumed as well.  But I'm far from fit.

2.  Read the Bible regularly.  Whether I can be a part of a Bible study or not, I need to really feast on God's Word.  I'm not interested in set plans, so I'm going to continue on with the devotional I'm doing, read a Psalm a day, and keep up with the verses and discussion we receive from our pastor via an iphone app.
Epic fail!  I'm so thankful for a God that loves me, regardless.  I will keep trying.

3.  Finish editing my book!  Surely this has got to be the year! 
So close, yet STILL no cigar.  I finished the second major edit, so that was goodNow I'm just doing a quick read through (and finding MORE mistakes, unfortunately).  Then I just have to write the synopsis and cover letter and it's off to the literary agent.

4.  Shop ethically.  Recently, I've been evaluating how my faith in Christ impacts my grocery and clothes shopping.  Expect a post on this very soon.
This was the post I did and I really did give this a go.  It's hard in a country town, where some 'ethical' brands are just not available, and you have to pick the best out of a bad lot.  Sometimes I got lazy and couldn't be bothered checking the app before making a purchase.  Sometimes I was too tempted by what was on special.  I'm aiming to keep on with this this year.

5.  Take Rory to playgroup.  I've been putting off trying the local playgroup because friends of mine told me they found it very cliquey.  Now I've decided that I should give it a go and make up my own mind about people instead of listening to hearsay.  A former workmate told me she is planning to go with her new baby so at least I'll know someone.  It's hard at the moment because it's on from 9:30-11:30 and that clashes with Rory's morning sleep.  When he drops to one sleep a day, then we'll go.
I just squeezed in with this one...we didn't get to playgroup until December due to playgroup being on Thursdays and the ladies' fellowship at church being every second Thursday.  It took me a long time to get the guts to go.  It IS a bit cliquey, but I'm persevering and SLOWLY getting to know more mums...when Rory's not wanting me to help him climb the fort, that is, and I can actually sit down and talk to people.  Sometimes I feel like a real idiot because I have nothing interesting to say - I suck at small talk.  We went to Storytime at our local library a fair bit, and also to 'Play in the Park' a few times, but building relationships when you're an adult is slow, hard work.

Stay tuned for my 2015 hopes next week.