I have the following bird books for sale. Contact me @ email@example.com if you are interested:
I have the following bird books for sale. Contact me @ firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested:
A friend posted that her 6 year old had a tantrum over the Christmas present he thought he would be getting this year. In the first world we are focused on getting instead of giving, eating instead of fasting, consuming instead of simplifying our lives. How can be change that?
One of the things I have done over the last few years (since my daughter, then aged about 9, asked for a World Vision child sponsorship as her Christmas present) is to give goats, and fish farms, and cataract operations and mosquito nets as presents. Perhaps the cataract operations weren’t such a good idea. I gave them to my husband and he had his own cataract surgery (with complications!) the following year! It’s fun to try and choose an appropriate present. MissN was given mosquito nets (the mozzies always bite her!) My niece usually gets school supplies or sports equipment for third world kids.
Here are some places you can buy the kind of gifts that bless you, bless the recipient of the card and bless the recipient of the goods. You can’t beat that for giving!
Gospel for Asia – a weaving loom, a rickshaw, an outdoor toilet, a camel?
World Vision – soccer balls, a fish farm, a stable full of animals?
Compassion– toothbrushes, veggie seeds?
Tear Australia – tree seedlings, a smokeless stove?
Christian Blind Mission – glasses for children, a wheelchair?
There are a vast range of organisations which you can purchase from. There are some good ideas here. And here. Karma Currency enables the recipient to choose where their gift will be donated. And the wonderful Kiva organisation (just made my 20th loan!) have gift cards, which enable your gift recipients to loan to someone in the third world. And keep on loaning, once their loan has been repaid.
Let’s make giving the essence of Christmas this year. And giving to the least fortunate, those who haven’t been blessed to have been born into our affluent societies.
Peggy Powell is a Facebook friend I’ve only known a short time (less than a year) but is a darling lady with a Christlike heart. She is enduring pancreatic cancer with fortitude and grace. In the words of her daughter Rebecca
“Peggy has stage 4 pancreatic cancer with an average life expectancy of less than a year. She has written a bucket list and on the top of it is taking her whole family (kids and grandkids included) to Disneyland for a few days. To make memories for the grandchildren who won’t have their Nana around for long. With airfare, hotels, park tickets and food we have figured the grand total to be about… $10000. I know things are tight for everybody and I wouldn’t even ask if we had time to get money together another way. Thank you for anything you can do to help. Please help us make her dreams come true!”
Can you spare $10? $20? $50?
You can make Peggy’s Disneyland trip a reality by donating here.
Can I do it?
My home is pretty clean. Most of the rooms are organised but I do have lots of clutter and my sewing room/office is “dangerous” (to quote my daughter who wrote this piece it).
There is a room at the end of the hallway that no one speaks about. It hovers, just out of our vision. We know it’s there, but we dare not acknowledge it. If we do, who knows what will come out of the darkness? Inside is a room of strange cloth and twisting threads; inside is a room of creation of the darkest kind. No one knows what’s inside, no one but the owner. Even she is afraid. The creations took on a life of their own, you see, and now there is no controlling. She keeps professing the ability to go in and tame the demons, but the fact remains – no one has ever succeeded. No one has ever lived. (Nicky Cayless, Dec 2011)
My house IS “surface clean” but lots of areas need deep cleaning, especially as we will be putting it on the market in 2013. We are planning on downsizing to an apartment in the next year or thereabouts, so I need to get my house as showcase-clean, decluttered and ready to sell.
I saw Carol Selvarajah make this on SBS at least 15 years ago and wrote down the recipe. It’s MUCH nicer than guacamole, IMNSHO and a great way of getting a lot of healthy foodstuffs into your family. MissN knows that I will make it on request, ripe avocadoes being available. I usually have all the other ingredients. We are growing our own chillies and I look forward to using them.. maybe my next dip.
“Asian type” avocado dip
Whizz together in a food processor (a stick blender works well too)
1/2 granny smith apple, core removed
bunch coriander (cut off roots, use stems)
small brown or white onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, peeled
some ginger – about a half inch square piece or the equivalent (peel it with the back of a teaspoon)
some green chillies (one long green one, seeds removed is a good base to work from)
1/2 cup coconut milk powder
a dollop of tamarind paste (HP sauce is a good substitute)
This is wonderful! We like it with corn chips.
For those of you who interpret Genesis 1-11 in a concrete manner (ie you believe that it is a factual account and that the details should be intepreted without considering metaphor, myth, symbolism or that the literary genre of Genesis 1-11 might not be historic narrative in the post-Enlightenment modern sense of ‘history”)… a question:
Genesis 9:2 says
The fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth and upon every bird of the heavens, upon everything that creeps on the ground and all the fish of the sea. Into your hand they are delivered.
That is not literally true.
So how do you reconcile that with a belief that the rest of Genesis 1-11 is a historic factual narrative wherein the details are to be interpreted in a concrete manner?
If this verse employs hyperbole, why is the rest of Genesis 1-11 pure narrative discourse to be interpreted concretely?
I bought myself one of those ‘deals’ vouchers for a snorkelling lesson/guided snorkel early in the year. I LOVE snorkelling but just don’t make the effort to go unless we are on vacation, so thought this was a good way to get a snorkel in. (I can highly recommend Pro Dive Manly! ) After lots of procrastination (and some health issues), I finally booked myself in at the beginning of April before the weather got too cold. Sydney water stays warm till July at least but it’s nicer getting out into balmy air than chilly winds. And I did choose the last warm day for several months!
It was amazing! I loved it. It was just me and the guide in the “group” and we snorkelled for an hour in the marine reserve at Shelley Beach (right in Sydney – at Manly. How blessed are we Sydney-siders!). Shelly Beach is apparently unique amongst east coast beaches in actually facing west. Which makes it sheltered, calm and less windy and you can watch the sun set across the water.
The abundance of fish and sea life blew me away. I didn’t see any leafy sea dragons (have to go further out to see them.. maybe another trip?) But apparently one of the bronze whaler sharks that have become common in the bay since the marine reserve was established came within a metre of my face but I missed it. I was looking the other way! Which is probably good as I was a tad nervous about the resident sharks even though there haven’t been any incidents and there were SO many people in the water that I would not have been a logical target, even if one of them decided to turn mean.
I learned quite a few snorkelling tips and techniques as well as having one of those deeply pleasurable experiences that is almost spiritual in its intensity. Who would have thought Sydney is home to such incredible sea life!
The sun was setting over Manly as I lingered on the beach, not wanting to do the hour’s drive back home in rush hour traffic.
Here is Shelly beach in the late afternoon (my lesson was at 4pm).
See the waves beyond the rocks? That’s where you have the best chance of seeing the leafy sea dragons. We snorkelled to the left of this photo, following the coast towards Manly staying close to the shore.
And the view looking north towards the Northern beaches:
Click on photos to get a larger view. You can enjoy hundreds of other gorgeous sky photos here at Skywatch Friday.
You know the Chinese proverb: Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.
Well, Kiva has a great promotion at the moment – join up and qualify for a free $25 loan. You get to choose whom to loan to, and they foot the bill. Don’t miss this opportunity to bless and empower the life of someone less fortunate than yourself. Our family has made a couple of Kiva loans and it’s empowering to partner with someone in a small way ($25 is less than the cost of 2 movie tickets) but know that you are helping them escape poverty.
Everyone will live in peace and prosperity,
enjoying their own grapevines and fig trees,
for there will be nothing to fear. (Micah 4:4)
What a goal to work towards!
Sign up here. They only have
4000 1378 756 0 free loans so be quick!
Update: All the free loans are gone. Consider investing $25 in the future of a family in need. Once the loan is repaid, you can invest it again and again and bless other families. Continuous giving!
Update again: Looks like they just added another 4000 free loans!
We got back last week from a week at Maqai Beach Eco Resort on Qamea island (east of Taveuni) in Fiji. It was wonderful despite the cold showers (no hot water) and the open boat crossing between the islands in driving rain to get there (no lifejackets!!) No shoes worn for a week (‘cept reef shoes or fins in the water and I donned my hiking boots for the “jungle walk”), the food was what the amazing ladies in the kitchen cooked (and it was superb – organic vegies from the garden and fish caught that day), snorkelling, crab catching (to feed the baby turtle), lazing, reading, table tennis, bird watching, kava drinking, fun, new friends, hammocking and just being transfixed by the unbelievable beauty of the views… it was heaven. We were restored.
Click on photos to get a larger view. You can enjoy hundreds of other gorgeous sky photos here.