Showing posts from January, 2008

Primary school years

I've taken a while to reflect on the most significant influences on my spiritual development in the space between preschool and high school. Family example, family devotions, church, Sunday school teachers, Girls' Brigade, Christian camps at Mill Valley Ranch... there were so many influences that came to mind. However, one of the influences that truly stands out (after reflection) is perhaps one of the easiest to overlook. In my first three years of school, I was taught to read. In one dull moment in the summer holidays between grade two and grade three I picked up a book... "The Boy Next Door" by Enid Blyton. It was the first chapter book (minimal pictures) I had ever read... but I was rapidly drawn in to the exciting story. I read for hours. I was hooked. I then proceeded to devour every Enid Blyton book in our house (a mercifully plentiful supply). As school returned, I then proceeded to read every Enid Blyton book in the school library (a pitifully …

Africa Afire

I spent some weeks in Kenya back in 1992... I loved the warmth of the people, the hospitality, the wildlife and the countryside. It's an amazing place... which is currently on the brink of potential chaos. Over at Calacirian (see link to the side) Sonia has been writing about Africa, especially the new tragedy unfolding in Kenya. She writes what I feel about the situation... but she's a much, much better writer than I, so rather than attempting to "say" much about this, I'll provide the link to her most recent post: Importantly, this is about not only what is happening, but what we can do about it. Her other recent posts describe some of the background to what is going on. I encourage you to read these... and to act as you are able.

Flamin' Hot

It's going to be 41 degrees Celcius in Melbourne today... which roughly translates in Fahrenheit as utterly unbearable. I'm getting my car serviced today. After dropping off my car I will take a short walk in the sun to the nearby shopping centre / movies to enjoy an oasis of airconditioned comfort... a walk in which my children and I will probably achieve a well-developed state of dehydration.  There are many metaphors of God's judgment in scripture... outer darkness, being shut out of the banquet, being left behind, imprisonment, a garbage heap (Gehenna)... but the metaphor that sticks most in the mind (perhaps thanks in part to all those Looney Toons cartoons) is that of fire. At the risk of offending some readers, my opinion is that this is no more "literal" fire than the streets of heaven are paved in "literal" gold. Nonetheless, these images are to be taken seriously... God's justice will be accomplished, and those who have rejected…

Mad hair and no lipstick

At the Churches of Christ women's day in October I was MC for the day... and event organizer (hence the "go-to" person)... and led a closing devotion. I ran around madly all day... then stopped off for a toilet break after a round of thank yous and goodbyes. A terrible sight greeted me in the ladies' mirror. My hair had gone horribly mad, my lipstick was all gone, my mascara had flaked off (I had heard that most mascaras are based on industrial glues, and had opted for a chemical-free softer alternative. Only to discover why most mascaras use industrial adhesives). I had recently turned up to a pastoral care class minus lipstick, and was treated to a concerned enquiry about whether I was feeling ill... yes, the mirror confirmed I can look washed out without a bit of cosmetic assistance. Fancy "MC-ing" and "mini-preaching" while looking so ghastly!!!! I did smile wryly at myself however... I'm clearly a failure as a stereotypical femi…