Thursday, June 30, 2016

5 Thoughts on the Election

We are two sleeps from the circus that is the Australian federal election. Will we have yet another new Prime Minister in Saturday?

It's easy to become sceptical and disillusioned with politics. I'm not a 'political person' by any stretch of the imagination, but here are my late Thursday night ramblings:

1. There is no such thing as a 'Christian vote'. There are godly Christian politicians and voters with differing views on how to honour God in the political arena.
2. Don't waste your vote. Millions of people around the world would love an opportunity to vote. Be thankful we don't live in a one-party state, all citizens can vote, we vote privately in booths, and we don't have people with guns standing over us. You may think your vote doesn't matter, or that all politicians are donkeys, but if you do a donkey vote you're the biggest ass of all.
3. Research your vote. Check out where all of the parties stand on different issues. If you're a Christian, don't just vote for someone because they say they're a Christian without seeing how their policies line up with God's Word.
4. Gay marriage and abortion are important issues, but they are not the only issues that matter.
5. We cannot make Australia a 'Christian nation'. Only the gospel can save, not by electing Christian politicians. But Christians have a role in our democracy by speaking God's truth to a nation that has largely turned its back on Him and does what is right in its own eyes. Christians have as much right to voice opinions in politics as any other group.

Monday, June 20, 2016

A Decade of Blogging

My blog turned 10 yesterday.

A decade since my first post was launched into the blogosphere back on the 19th June 2006.

So much has happened. So much has changed. Some views I considered sacred have become less important. Other things I rarely cared about years ago have risen to the forefront. My blogging policy is never to delete old posts, even if I now consider them cringeworthy. I'd like to think I've learnt a lot and matured a bit. 

I'm thankful that I have this online record of the last 10 years of my life.

Stay tuned for new party clothes for the blog and a book giveaway very soon!

Friday, June 17, 2016

Friday Funnies

Oh the Shockers!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016


Christians are really prone to letting their boundaries be abused, and also be boundary-abusers. Often we hear the message that boundaries are un-Christian, that if we say 'no' we are being selfish, that loving and serving God and others means being at the mercy of whatever others would have you do for them.

I read this book quite some time ago and I love its practicality. Although the Bible verses the authors quote are sometimes taken a little out of context, they do a great job in creating fictional scenarios which most people could relate to. I know Christians who have scoffed at this book, labelling it as 'Christian cheese', but it's been enormously helpful for me.

Here are some of the boundaries the book explores:

  • Boundaries and your family
  • Boundaries and your friends
  • Boundaries and your spouse
  • Boundaries and your children
  • Boundaries and work
  • Boundaries and yourself
  • Boundaries and God
The chapter, Boundaries and God is not about you keeping God at an arms-length, by the way, but how God has boundaries Himself in how we can approach Him etc.

Boundaries help keep us from being slaves to people-pleasing, and instead focus on what God what have us do. Jesus had boundaries; He didn't do anything that wasn't central to His mission. He didn't heal every sick or lame person. He did His Father's will. And He retreated from the crowds.

This is the kind of book I need to read again and again.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Friendships Forged in the Trenches

I'm in two minds about whether friendships that start and bloom in the midst of shared suffering are a good thing, or not.

Take my experience in the Mother Baby Unit, for instance.

I bonded with most of the ladies in there quickly, and our shared experiences led us to become fast friends. They understood what I was going through more than many of my other friends and family could. That's not a slur on anyone....sometimes we just can't understand a particular trial someone is going through, unless we've been through it ourselves. While in the MBU, one of the ladies started a secret Facebook group so we could stay in touch after we were discharged.  As we were all gradually deemed well enough to return to the real world, we continued to share our struggles and sorrows via Facebook, and tried to spur each other on.

Recently, I was wondering about how one of the ladies was going, as I'd heard she'd been back to the MBU. She was also on my personal Facebook friends list, so I went to send her a private message, only to discover she was no longer on there. I assumed she must have chosen to deactivate her account. Then I wrote a message in our secret group, asking if anyone had heard from her as it appeared she was no longer on Facebook. A few of the other ladies replied, saying she hadn't deactivated her account, that they could still see her profile, but that she had removed herself from our group. I then realised what had happened....she had unfriended and blocked me.

I was in shock, I felt embarrassed that I was the only one she had blocked (I would understand if she'd blocked all of us, assuming that maybe she didn't want to be reminded of the MBU), I was worried that I'd said or done something inadvertently that had hurt her. The other ladies reassured me that it was highly unlikely I'd done anything wrong, that she must be just going through some stuff, and it was her way of dealing with it, and not to worry. I still couldn't stop wracking my brains for a bit, worrying about what I might have done. I have no other way of getting in touch with her, so I have to leave it in God's hands and move on.

That's the thing about friendships between two people with much as they can be comforting, there's also the potential for much hurt when one or both of you are going through hard times. People handle things differently, and I have no idea what goes through their heads that leads to the decisions they make, although I guess it makes perfect sense to them (or maybe not). When I'm really down, I make decisions to reduce the hurt (i.e. putting up walls to protect myself from certain people). Sometimes I just can't bear other people's burdens.

Friendships forged in the trenches.....are they a blessing?

Sometimes, yes. Sometimes, no.

Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Quote of the Day

Anyone can show up when you're happy. But the ones who stay by your side when your heart falls apart, they are your true friends.
- Unknown

Friday, June 03, 2016

Get On Your Soapbox #30

Is it just me, or is anyone else completely over 'parenting experts'?

Each time I check Facebook, my newsfeed is cluttered with articles about what NOT to do.  Apparently any form of discipline you use will screw your kid up mentally for the rest of their life.  No smacking, because they'll become violent.  No time-out, because they'll feel abandoned....

Now it's supposed to be all about 'positive parenting', that if you give your child enough cuddles and attention, their behaviour will improve.  Well, yes, I sort of agree.  But even when Rory and I have had a nice day together, there have still been moments where he's been a complete little toad.

What these 'parenting experts' fail to consider is sin.  Kids are sinful.  No amount of positive parenting will make them perfectly behaved because, like all of us, rotten behaviour comes from the heart.  The heart is something that only God can change.