Friday, July 28, 2006

home is where the heart is


"Where ever I lay my hat, that's my home"

"Country road, take me home to the place I belong"

We are just about to move home (God willing), but where we live now isn't really our home, we rent it off someone else.

Australia is currently my home, but my entire upbringing was in England which I still call home too.

A house/unit is know as home, a country is also know as home, but is home where the heart is?

Every now and again, not very often but on occasion I think to myself "I am in Sydney, in Australia and I am married to a Australian". I know you all might be saying, Derrrrrrrr we all know that. I know that, but once and a while it hits me that I am so far away from England, from my family, from my England friends and from my 'home' of 26 years. Today as I had one of 'those' moments I thought to myself, well nowhere on this earth will ever truly be home.

I like our current unit and love the new place we are hoping to move in to, I love Australia and I miss England but I don't find fulfilment in any of these things, I can't take comfort in them. You have a home today but it could be gone tomorrow, you might live in England for 26 years and then move to another country.

We will never be content here on earth and we can never truly call this place home. Heaven is where we will finally be in our eternal home with our Lord and God. I always wonder what it will be like, what we will do and what is will look like. I know we get glimpses of this in the bible but I look forward to one day seeing, knowing and experiencing what it is like.

Let's all try to remember that this is just a little stop over, our homes here on earth are temporary, we have something so much more amazing to look forward to, this verse is a very exciting verse:

"Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going." John 14:1-4

God has prepared a place for us, a place where he promises we will be joint heirs with Christ. In his house he has many rooms which has prepared for each and everyone of us who believe in his son. Unbelievable isn't it.

When we are disheartened with the things in this world, let's remember it doesn't end here, we have something far more spectacular to come. Let's keep our heart where our true home will be, in heaven.

girl talk

Last night I had a great chat with Ruth. It was very helpful, enlightening and encouraging. Ruth suggested something I'd never thought about before. All married women should go have a chat with Ruth. Very very helpful. Thanks Ruth.

offer accepted

We put an offer in for the place we looked at yesterday morning that we really liked. It has been accepted - Hoorah! It isn't written in concrete yet as we have to exchange contracts, but it is heading in the right direction.

I feel really good about this and I am amazed at how God works, please continue to pray that if it is God's will the exchanging of contracts etc will work out OK.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

the english language is a funny thing

English Language Confused?? No wonder its hard to learn

This is worth a read
Can you read these right the first time?

1) The bandage was wound around the wound.
2) The farm was used to produce produce.
3) The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.
4) We must polish the Polish furniture.
5) He could lead if he would get the lead out.
6) The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert.
7) Since there is no time like the present , he thought it was time to
present the present.

8) A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum
9) When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.
10) I did not object to the object.
11) The insurance was invalid for the invalid.
12) There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.
13) They were too close to the door to close it.
14) The buck does funny things when the does are present.
15) A seamstress and a sewer fell down into a sewer line.
16) To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.
17) The wind was too strong to wind the sail.
18) Upon seeing the tear in the painting I shed a tear.
19) I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.
20) How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?

buying a unit

I just wanted to ask for prayer regarding a two bed unit we looked at this morning. We really did like it and compared to some of the places we have seen it is a really great little place. We have made an offer and so we now wait to hear, please pray that we might be patient, that we might trust God and his will for us and that the "emotional" attachment wouldn't take over.

We just want to find a nice place that we can have people come over to stay, have my overseas friends and family stay and be able to raise a little family in.

Prayers = Appreciated.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

little nix

mini me

the wonderful world of skype


Skype is really great and it's FREE. It means I can talk to my friends in England and in other parts of the world anytime, any place for no $$$'s.

It's a great way to keep in touch over the internet and it works really well. I have chatted to my family and friends in England, USA, Bosnia and Australia (OK not quite the same but still). It is a great way to keep in touch with friends and family far away..

If you are my friend and far away - download it and we can chat for free.

Monday, July 24, 2006

little sisters

my two beautiful sisters


I have two beauitful sisters who live in England, they are both so cute, a little bit cheeky and so different.

Sis number 1 is very shy, loves tae kwon do (she just got her third belt, whatever colour that is), trampolining and swimming, she is a tiny little thing and is my number one fan, she loves SP heaps even though she hasn't got to spend a lot of time with him. (I love this pic of SP and the girls)

Sis number 2 is very cheeky, will talk to just about anyone and has an amazing sense of being funny, even though she is only 4. She calls everyone darling, "are you alright my darling?" she says this to me all the time.

I love my sisters and miss them heaps, I am so looking forward to spending Christmas with them this year.

Friday, July 21, 2006

advenure club slide show

adventure club - I am the gate


WOWSERS!

How good was Adventure yesterday afternoon? I can actually answer my own question by saying "IT WAS TOTALLY AMAZING AND I LOVED IT", I maybe even loved it more than the kids, and they really loved it. I do think I am the biggest kid of all though, I was so excited.

We started off with a new song called "The Farmyard Shuffle" and then we did some line dancing - well done Dusk ;). We had REAL LIVE DUCKS! And then we had a totally cool skit by Farmer Bill (did I mention I loved cows) and Clarence the Cow about Jesus being the gate "I am the gate" that it is through Jesus we are saved and safe ;) It gave me goosebumps because I was so excited and the kids were totally into it. The gospel was presented clearly and the kids loved it. We then went and had our lesson based on that same passage in John 10, followed by making little woolie sheep.

It was so much fun and I am so excited, we had 32 kids there. Up until our mission in December 05 we regularly had about 9 kids - so to have 32 is amazing, all glory goes to our Lord and God who has brought all these new kids along. Continue to pray for Adventure Club and the little kiddies who come along, that their hearts might be softened and that Jesus might become their Lord and God and that God would continue to hold them as his children.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

wedding pics


I thought I would just put a link up to our wedding day pics before they expire from our photographers website. If you click "online weddings", then "Powell/Rouse" and then "choose category" you can pick which pics you would like to view.

Click here to see them ;)

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

adventure club


I am so excited about Adventure Club, it ws nice to have a little break but I am now looking forward to seeing all the little ones again. We start back tomorrow.

This term the theme is "On the Farm", all the team have done an amazing job. Kerryn and Jane are absolute legends and guess what?..... WE HAVE REAL LIVE DUCKS AND BABY CHICKENS. How totally cool is that. I am so excited.

Obviously what I am more excited about is the chance we have to share God's word with these little ones, what a joy and pleasure it is to be able to share what Christ our Savour has done for us.

Please pray that many more kids might come along this term, the promotion and advertising has been amazing (yet again by Kerryn) and so we are prayful that this term might see more kids coming down to the "Barn".. Work with me here - it is "Down on the Farm" you know.

God can do amazingly more than we could ever imagine and he has already done amazing things at Adventure Club this year, remember to thank him for that. Please pray for us leaders that we might be faithful at preparing each week and that God's word might be taught with clarity and excitement that would keep them listening. Pray for the little ones that their hearts might be open to hearing the message we bring them and also pray for the parents who come who might not have a relationship with God, pray they also might be open to hearing the message of our Lord and God.

Well, I need to go and practice my Hillbilly Ho Down. PLEASE PRAY.

tribulation and rapture

I was just reading on a friend of a friends blog about the rapture, they talk about the possibility of being saved during the tribulation, having a second chance if you like. This screams the "Left Behind" series to me. Now I don't know heaps about this but I know I have a bunch of clever people on this blog who would have some thoughts, so can you help me out?

Can you please also include some scripture verses so I can go look it up for myself too.

read and comment here

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

beading


I love to make things with beads: necklaces, earrings etc but I haven't done any for a long time. SO.. tonight Hannah is coming over to have dinner and we are going to bead away, I can't wait. SP is going out with a friend and so Han and I will hang at our place and have some girlie time.
We have had about three evenings at church where we have had girlie beading nights which includes a ten minute evangelistic talk. Women and girls love it and it is a great way to tell them about Jesus. We are planning another one soon, it is SO MUCH FUN!

Monday, July 17, 2006

a day to treasure


On Saturday SP and I went to "a day to treasure"
It was organised by Oz FamilyLife and it was a seminar on marriage, we went with a couple from church.
Sp and I went at a fairly raw time for us, where we are learning lots of things about ourselves and about how to relate, it was an amazing day and it was actually at the ICMS where Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban got married. Hey - if it's good enough for Nic and Keith, it's good enough for SP and I ;)
The location was amazing, the speakers were real and honest, the sessions were helpful though sometimes hard, the time alone was tough, reflective and encouraging and the action page (where we take home things we will try to implement) was realistic and "do able".

There were six seminars:

1. Why we grow apart.
2. How to grow together.
3. Resolving Conflict.
4. Keeping the spark alive.
5. Harmony in your home.
6. Leaving a legacy.

I am so thankful that we were able to go to this so early on in our marriage, it was a blessing. We need to read through some of the booklet again but I rally enjoyed it and think it was a day well spent on learning through how we can both be serving each other in our marriage.

I might try and write down more of the content when I have more time.

Start of a new week and new fitness regime


This morning I have decided that I need to start being more active again. eating less and eating more healthy food... Before I got married I was exercising heaps and not eating so much rubbish. NOW however, we haven't been very active at all and I have been baking.

Baking = Eating baked food = very bad for waste line.

Anyhoo, if you could all keep me accountable that would be appreciated. I am going to start drinking my 1.5 litres of water a day and stop eating so much junk. I love chocolate and cheese and could never give these up but I need to be eating them in moderation..

I was encouraged by Craig who is trying to rethink through what he eats. Our bodies are temples and we should be looking after them..

Let's get fit..

Friday, July 14, 2006

What does the weekend hold for you?


Tomorrow we are having EB and NB over for brekkie and then we are off to a day seminar on 'marriage', I am looking forward to it.

Saturday night we are going to a 21st "Nursery Rhyme" themed birthday party, SP, his Mum and I are going as "Three Blind" Mice"

Sunday we are having brunch with SP's family, hopefully chilling out for a bit before church and then to church for another look at Judges.

Plus didn't see 24 on Wednesday OR Thursday and they are both extra long episodes so if we have time I would like to watch some of that.

What have you got planned?

taken for granted


On the bus to work this morning I was thinking about the many things God has given me which I can take for granted, the things that we might not think about each morning or be thankful for.

Thankful for the very breath God has given me.
Thankful for the eyes which give me sight and allow me to see the many wonderful things God has created around me.
Thankful for the ears and hearing I have to hear the noises around me.
Thankful for my arms and legs, that I am able to walk to the bus and get to work with no difficulty and that I can hold on to the bar on the bus so I don't fall over if the bus man breaks too quickly.

There are many people in this world not as fortunate as I. I think it can be so easy to forget these simple yet important things that we can do everyday because we are able, lets be thankful for the bodies in which God has given us and let us use all these things to serve him.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Banana



I just had one and it was so yummy.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Honesty - Shock


I was amazed today when I went into a cafe to give them back extra change they had given my work colleague NM. She got back to the office to discover they had given her too much change, $4.00. So I said I would go and give it back. I went over and explained that my friend had just come in to buy Brownies (yum) and that she was given too much change.

They just looked at me and didn't really know what to say. Now I am not telling you so you can pat us on the back for doing the 'right' thing, I was just taken back by the reaction of the lady behind the counter. She didn't say thankyou she just looked as me as if I was the most craziest person she had ever met. So I said "Is that OK?" and she said "Yes".

Before I became a Christian, that would have been a win - to pay for two chocolate brownies and get more money back that what you gave them. They would have been paying us for the brownies, but now I just couldn't do it. I always have a little bit of me that goes I would love to not bother going and telling them they got it wrong but I just couldn't not now.

I am not saying that people who aren't Christians can't be honest people, I am sure there are lots of people who would go back and correct the mistake, but God has worked and is still working in my heart to change me to be more like his Son. How great is that?

10 things I am thankful for....

1. A Father in heaven who loves more me than I could ever imagine.
2. A husband who loves me no matter what, (even if I am not being very lovable).
3. My two beautiful sisters, who I miss.
4. My family back in England, who I also miss.
5. Wonderful friends who are always there, who are understanding, who I can laugh and cry with.
6. That every morning God causes the sun to rise and every evening he cause the sun to set.
7. Cows, I love them.
8. My bible study group - I love seeing and talking with them every week.
9. NM, my work colleague (she just went to get chocolate brownies)
10. Chocolate brownies.

What are you thankful to God for today?

Monday, July 10, 2006

My first slide show

Understanding Samson!


AB preached on Samson and Delilah last night, he did a great job and I loved his application.

I still am wondering what Samson is all about and what signifigance does he have? I see that there are applications to take from the story but in the history of Israel I just wonder what did he do?

Like with Elizabeth, Mary and Sarah God sent an Angel of the Lord to visit Samson's Mum who was sterile and childless and told her she was going to a son, a son who would be a Nazirite , set apart to God from birth, and he will begin the deliverance of Israel from the hands of the Philistines. He wasn't anything like John, Jesus or Issac? So why did God choose to do this with Samson who continued to ignore God and not live his way, he actually went out of his way to do all the things a Nazirite was not meant to do..

I just seem to be having a problem understanding this story of Samson. Even at the end of Samson's life, he asks God for strength one last time, and again this is to use the strength God has given him for revenge, not for the good of Israel but for revenge on the Philistines who gouged out his eyes.

Maybe I am just stupid but can you please help me understand??

I understand the applications Andrew spoke about last night but I still have trouble understanding the purpose of this story in the history of Israel and why God would go to the trouble he did of sending an Angel of God to Samson's mother knowing how Samson would live his life, in rejecting him...

PS Hope this makes some sense, haven't thought too much about what I am writing but just thought for once, I will say exactly what is in my head.... Plus I got up to watch the World Cup final ;)

Friday, July 07, 2006

I miss banana's


They are so expensive! Approx $12 per kilo!

When was the last time you had a banana?

One year since the London bombings


It's hard to believe that it is already a year since the London bomb attacks. I remember it like yesterday. I remember a few of my Aussie friends texting and calling to see if I was watching the TV. I remember trying to contact my friends and not being able to reach them because the phone lines were blocked. I remember feeling attacked. I remember wanting to be home to give all my family and friends a hug. I remember my Mum telling me for the first time she was glad I was in Sydney and not in London. I remember waiting anxiously to hear from my many friends to tell me they were OK. I remember being sad. I remember watching the news in disbelief. I remember frantically calling SP at bible study to tell him what had happened. I remember reading emails from my friends, telling me their story of what happenend to them on that awful morning. I remember being a little fearful about flying home two weeks later.

Let us remember in our prayers the families and friends who lost loved ones in this terrible tragedy. Let's remember that the victory over evil has already been won through Christ's death and resurrection. Let's remember that the people that do this kind of evil will one day stand before our holy God, they will give an account of what they did and that true justice will prevail. Amen!

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Diagnosing a sick prayer life

I read a great article by Tony Payne in this months 'The Briefing'. It was an amazing article and made me think about my sick prayer life and about the God in whom we trust.

I find it so easy to be 'too busy' to pray yet God takes great joy in hearing his children come to him in prayer. I think about my close friends, what happens if I don't talk to them for a few weeks, how would they feel, how would I feel if my friends didn't get in touch with me? I would be sad for sure! I think God must get sad when we don't talk to him too.
I often find myself with something else to do (more important), or I'm too tired OR there isn't enough time in the week. So what do I do?? Do I say - more time with God? or more time in front of the TV?

I know it is the sin living in me why I fail to pray, the article says "our sinfulness is a chronic disease that will never be cured this side of glory" BUT "because of the death and resurrection of Christ, the outcome is not terminal". Praise the Lord, despite our sinfulness and our putting God to one side, because of what he has done for us all is not lost, in fact all is gained by Christ's death and resurrection, through him we will one day receive glory and get to spend eternity with him in heaven.
Until then I am still faced with my failing prayer life... Prayer isn't just asking God for things or an opportunity to come to him when things are not going well. As I said before God wants us to come to him. So why don't we. Now I am not saying 'I never pray' but I certainly don't spend as much time in prayer as I should OR rather could. When I know what scriptures says about prayer and praying to God:

"What other nation is so great as to have their gods near them the way the LORD our God is near us whenever we pray to him?" Deuteronomy 4:7

"But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you" Matthew 5:44

"This, then, is how you should pray: " 'Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.' Matthew 6:9-13

"In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's will". Romans 8:26-27

"Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus". 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

"Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective". James 5:16

There are so many great verses on prayer and just looking them up now I see so many wonderful things about our God.

- He is near us when we pray.
- We ought to love AND pray for our enemies.
- He teaches us how to pray.
- He sends us the Spirit who intercedes for us.
- He wants us to pray continually.
- Praying to him is powerful and effectual.

I know there are many more passages on prayer, these are but a few.

Knowing all this about our God I have to ask myself why don't I pray more?? Is it because I don't believe God's Sovereignty? Do I underestimate my sin? Is it because I don't 'feel' like praying? or Don't I believe he can do the things I ask?

These are things swimming in my mind. One of the things that Tony Payne says in this article which I take great comfort from is this, "Faith is not a mysterious religious feeling or quality; it is trust, reliance and dependence on God. And the important thing about trust is not how strong the trust is or what it feels like, but whether the thing you're trusting in is trustworthy".

Our God is trustworthy, I long to run to him in prayer, not just when I am in need but every hour of every day. Remembering what God has done for us and thinking on his many amazing characteristics can lead us to do nothing but prayer, to give him thanks for all he has DONE for us.

Please pray that I might be a faithful women of God. There is so much to say on prayer, maybe I will write more another time.

What are you thankful for right now? What characteristic of God has so amazed you in the last week?

How many series of 24 can you watch at one time?


I am currently watching Series 1 and also the most recent series which is on Channel 7. The best thing about Series 1 is that I can watch as many episodes as I like in one sitting I am borrowing SamR's DVD - thanks Sam ;) I love the suspense, my heart just pumps when this show is on - not because I think Jack Bauer is hot but because it keeps me on the edge of my seat and is jam packed with action...

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Vegemite - Just like Marmite?


It's the funniest thing, but whenever you say to an Aussie.

"Vegemite, that's just like Marmite" They all have exactly the same reaction.

"No, it does not" I can guarantee you that this has been 100% true in my experience.

When I was in England last year my friends Aussie huisband asked me "Do you like Vegemite", I told his English wife "watch this", and replied to her Aussie husband "Vegemite, that's just like Marmite" right on cue - he screamed "NO IT'S NOT, it's nothing like it!"

You should try it, I do it now just for fun, as I know the response, BUT.. I always give someone else in the room the heads up so I can have someone to laugh with.

Zoo with a View!

My cousin should visit Sydney because.....


I would really appreciate if people would write down some reasons why my cousin's in Colorado should come and visit me in Sydney. I haven't seen them for 2 1/2 years and I used to go and visit them all the time when I lived in England, I miss them heaps. Thought it might be good to let them know what they would love about Sydney.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Disappointment

I am sure as you all know by now, England got knocked out of the World Cup this weekend. I stayed up until 4am to watch the game, which ended in a penatly shoot-out. I am disappointed as I am sure all my Aussie friends understand, BUT we should have scored and didn't, we should have held our nerve but didn't. I think we played a good game, even with 10 men in the second half, infact I think we actually played better with 10 men.
The two things I am more disappointed about are the refereeing in this tornament and the gamesmenship (or lack of). The show pony players/divers in some of the teams, particlarly Ronaldo who playe for Portugal, drives me insane. I think the referees have a hard job but at the same time at this level FIFA should have world class referees or (my new thought) a video referee, at least for penatly box fouls?? What do you think?
Clearly I am passionate about this sport and am disappointed England got knocked out BUT as I said I am more disappointed in the lack of great referees and the lack of gamesmenship.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Psalm 24 - David Jones

As I said, this past week I got to go to the MTS Preacher's Conference (and they call that work!). I only went for the first day but it was totally awesome.
I thought I would try and write up a few notes on some of the talks. By the way, you can order them from the
MTS office.

David Jones spoke to us from Psalm 24. He broke the Psalm into three parts:

The God who made us - vs 1&2
The God who meets us - vs 3-6
The God who saves us - vs 7-10

I was taken back by how clearly the gospel is presented in this Psalm.

The Psalm begins by acknowledging God as creator, it says

"The earth is the LORD's, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; for he founded it upon the seas and established it upon the waters". Pslam 1&2

That the LORD (Yahweh, the personal name of God) has claim and ownership of both us and the universe. We belong to Yahweh, the earth belongs to Yahweh. I just love the idea of belonging to our God, that he made us for himself and we belong to him. Now it is not just that we belong, it's more than that - it's a relationship!

"Who may ascend the hill of the LORD? Who may stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to an idol or swear by what is false. He will receive blessing from the LORD and vindication from God his Savior. Such is the generation of those who seek him, who seek your face, O God of Jacob". Psalm 24:3-6

Here we see the creator of the universe wanting to meet us, who he made. He has set a place where we can meet him. The hill of the LORD, his holy place. He invites us to come and to climb his holy hill to have fellowship with him. BUT after the invite, it goes on to say WHO can meet the LORD. In verse 4 it says that whoever has "clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to an idol or swear by what is false". Who of us can say we have all of these things? It's not just the appearance of having these things but it is also what is inside. The LORD requires both outside conformity and inward purity, he also requires our loyalty, that we should not lift up our souls to an idol.
Idolatry the heart is the sin behind all sins, David Jones said that to break commandments 2-10 you have to first of all break the first commandment. Idolatry is manufacturing God to be acceptable to us, bringing him down to our level.

Lift up your heads, O you gates; be lifted up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle. Lift up your heads, O you gates; lift them up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. Who is he, this King of glory? The LORD Almighty - he is the King of glory. Psalm 24:7-10

Here we see the King coming back from battle. The gates lift up their heads, who is this King of glory? Now in verses 3-6, we saw that God has set a place where we can meet him but we also saw that only those with clean hands and a pure heart can come to him. None of us have this Romans 3:10-18 says "There is noone righteous, not even one" In Psalm 24:7-10 we see a God who saves. For the King returning from victory, the gates swing open. Jesus who came to fight the battle for us, who left the splendours of heaven has given us access. By his blood we can come to him, we can enter the holy place, we have access. He became man, he had a hand to hand conflict with satan, he did have clean hands and a pure heart, he came to do the will of the Father, he was declared right. God himself came to fight for his people, FOR US! Because of Jesus' victory we can come to him, we need to swing into line behind him.

So what is our response to this, we need to examine our relationship with God, what is our relationship with him like?

It is positive? It is growing? Is it right? or is it ambivalent?

If we get this wrong, everything is wrong.

Remember that there was a triumphant precession, Jesus has won the battle, use the access he has given us, pray to our Lord and God, live the life, seize the opportunities he has given us to share this good news.