Thursday, June 29, 2017

5 Things I'd Say to My 18-Year-Old Self

Do you ever wish you could go back in time and talk to your younger self?  Tell them not to worry about some things.  Warn them about hardships to come.  Encourage them that, although the present may have its challenges, good things will come.

I follow Turia Pitt's Facebook page.  For those who don't know who she is, Turia suffered burns to more than 60% of her body from being caught in a bushfire while competing in an ultra-marathon in the Kimberly region of Western Australia in September 2011.  She is an incredibly inspiring person and I'm looking forward to reading her autobiography.  One post on her Facebook page particularly caught my eye.  It was a letter she had written to her 18-year-old self for the Business Chicks website.

That got me wondering....what would I say to my 18-year-old self if I had the chance to go back in time?

1.  Your life is about to change in the most dramatic way anyone's life ever can.  Many of your life plans will go out the window.  This is a good thing.  You will meet someone.  It won't be who you think.  It won't be the type of relationship you're hoping for.  Your friends already know him and have tried to introduce you to him.  I think you really do want to know him, even if you say you don't.  I'll give you a hint: His name begins with J....

2.  Don't stress so much about finding a man.  He's out there.  Just wait and make the most of your life until then.  No, it's not the one you're fixated on.  The right one is not quite ready yet...and neither are you.

3.  Your high school friends are keepers.  You'll meet other great friends, too.

4.  Don't give up writing that book.  Don't slack off.  You're single.  Now is the time to write, trust me.

5.  There will be a time in your life that will be incredibly dark.  You will need great strength to endure, but that strength won't come from yourself.  You will be ok.

What would you say to your 18-year-old self?

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Quote of the Day

Your wound, your weakness can become your strength.
- Turia Pitt 

Monday, June 26, 2017

The Shack

When I first finished it, I honestly don't know what to make of this book.

Like no other Christian fiction book I've ever read (although I haven't read many), it's interesting, but not the amazing work so many Christians rave about.  I've had friends say it's the first book they'd recommend to non-Christian friends wanting to find out more about Jesus, particularly if their objections to Christianity centre on the issue of why God allows suffering.  Personally, there are many other books on Christianity and suffering I'd recommend before this one.

The Shack tells the story of a man called Mack whose youngest daughter, Missy, is abducted and brutally murdered.  Mack has had some experience with church etc., but was largely doing his own thing, while being consumed with his grief, when he receives a note, supposedly from God.  The note told him to go to the shack in the middle of the wilderness where some of Missy's belongings had been found stained with blood and God would meet him there.

One of the things that I felt most uncomfortable about was how God the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit were portrayed.  God is represented as a jovial African-American woman called Papa, Jesus is a carpenter (which is the truest to Scripture out of the three), and the Holy Spirit is an Asian woman called Sarayu.  The issue I have with these representations of the Trinity is that not once in the Bible are they described in this way.  Why is God depicted as a woman?  Is it to make a particular point?  To be controversial?  It's easy to say that it's just fiction and it doesn't matter, and that The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe portrays God as Aslan the lion, so what's the difference?  But the difference is that Scripture does describe God as like a lion (and many other things).

I think the book does a reasonable job of portraying the close relationship between the three beings of the Trinity.  The three in one concept is not easy for any human mind to grasp, but it does display the distinctiveness, yet the unity of Father, Son and Spirit quite well.

While the book is sad, given the deep pain Mack is dealing with, I didn't find myself feeling overly emotional while reading it.  Some people have told me they were moved to tears.  Maybe I am just an unfeeling sort of person, or maybe it was because I was focused on analysing it for its biblical faithfulness and theology.

I think the main flaw of the book is that it focuses on Jesus coming to end our pain, rather than Him coming to save us from our sin.  We are not innocent victims of sin, we ALL are sinners in need of a Saviour.  Our suffering may not be the direct result of our own sin or someone else's, but the state of the world is a result of all of us having turned away from God to rule our own lives.  The book does address Mack's own need for a Saviour towards the end and his need to forgive the man who murdered his daughter, but it should have been a more central theme as that is the gospel - a God, who came to earth Himself to die and rise again to reconcile us to Himself.

It's not enough to just say that The Shack is fiction and it is not intended to replace or sit alongside Scripture.  That may be true, but the writers of Christian fiction have a responsibility to ensure their theology is grounded in Scripture.  The Shack is enormously popular and now there is a movie version.  As I intend to write Christian fiction, I would hope that people would be wise and discerning in reading my stuff, not just swallow it blindly because it's what their itching ears want to hear.  I think The Shack shows the intimacy of the relationship with God we all crave and it is by no means evil.  It's not my book of choice.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

5 Men's Fashions I Don't Like

I've done the it's the blokes' turn.

1.  Man buns
There are no words.  I can't believe there is a new Ken with a man bun now.

Image from here
Image from here

2.  Biker/bushranger beards

 Sorry, Will.  The beard needs to go.

Image from here

3.  Tattoo sleeves

I like a man to actually have some visible skin.

Image from here

4.  Tight pants

I'm not a fan of the metrosexual look.

Image from here

5.  Ear plugs

Why would anyone want a gaping hole in their ear?

Image from here

Monday, June 19, 2017

Limping Through The Blogosphere

I've heard/read a number of bloggers, who are mums, say that they found it much easier to blog when they had babies and toddlers, rather than older, school-age children.  Their blogging patterns seemed to reflect that - long, thoughtful posts every day, or at least several times a week. Well, now I'm in that phase of life, I'm wondering in awe how they did it?  How can they churn out magnificent posts with small children crawling over them?  How they can concentrate amidst the fighting, screaming and whining?  Wouldn't blogging be easier when all of their children are in full-time school?  That phase of life seems tantalising to me at the moment.  At least six hours, five days a week would be oodles of time to write something marvellous.  And in peace and quiet, too!  That doesn't seem to be the case, however, for many of these mum bloggers.  Sadly, many of the blogs I once looked forward to reading with such anticipation are now no more, or sporadic at best.  The tumbleweeds are a blowin'.

I'm guessing that many of them have returned to work, or have filled their child-free time with other activities.  Coupled with busy evenings when the children return and there is little time for blogging.  What smidgen of time is left for social media is taken by Facebook.

In case you haven't noticed, my blog is dying a slow and painful death.  Not only am I running out of ideas for posts, I have precious little time to write them when I do have a bloggy brainwave.  Keeping the blog chugging along was fairly easy with one child, but I am much too drained with two.  I don't want to stop, but I'm struggling, and there are precious little readers left anyway.

Today is my blog's 11th birthday!  Usually, I'd give the blog a new birthday outfit, but this year it can stay in the same clothes.

In previous years, I'd announce this blog's birthday with pomp and blare, but it's a quiet celebration here this year.

I'm going to keep going.  I'd love to write more....and I day.


Friday, June 16, 2017

Friday Funny

1.  Two blondes walk into a'd think at least one of them would have seen it.

2.  Phone answering machine message: If you want to buy marijuana, press the hash key.

3.  A guy walks into a psychiatrist's office wearing only cling wrap for shorts.  The shrink says, "Well, I can clearly see you're nuts."

4.  My friend drowned in a bowl of muesli.  A strong currant pulled him in.

5.  A man goes to the doctor with a strawberry growing out of his head.  The doctor said, "I'll give you some cream to put on that."

6.  You know, somebody actually complimented me on my driving the other day.  They left a little note on the windscreen.  It said, 'Parking Fine'.  So, that was nice.

7.  A man walked into the doctor's.  He said, "I've hurt my arm in several places. 
The doctor said, "Well, don't go there anymore."

Monday, June 05, 2017

Just Another Day

I turned 34 last Tuesday, the 30th May.  It was a nice day, but an ordinary one.

Birthdays tend to lose their magic as you get older.

This year, my present is surgery to correct abdominal diastasis.  I'm booked in for that on the 14th July.  More on that later.

Seeding is still dragging on.

Bible study was cancelled, so I spent the day just with Flynn.  Rory was at kindy.  Flynn and I went for a walk with the dogs, we had lunch and a nap, then we picked Rory up from the bus.

Duncan managed to get home from work a bit earlier and we headed into town for takeaway.  Of course there was Viennetta, as per my annual tradition.  I think I'll change the tradition next year though, as it just didn't seem to taste as good as usual.  Time for something different.

Another year, another birthday.  Just an ordinary day.

One of my more spectacular birthdays.
My belated 30th birthday party in 2013.