Archive for November, 2008

To my darling sister, Glynis

November 27, 2008

and her family.  We love you and are praying ceaselessly for you, as are many of my friends, near and far.

from Psalm 18

1 I love you, Lord;
you are my strength.
2 The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my savior;
my God is my rock, in whom I find protection.
He is my shield, the power that saves me,
and my place of safety.
3 I called on the Lord, who is worthy of praise,
and he saved me from my enemies.

4 The ropes of death entangled me;
floods of destruction swept over me.
5 The grave wrapped its ropes around me;
death laid a trap in my path.
6 But in my distress I cried out to the Lord;
yes, I prayed to my God for help.
He heard me from his sanctuary;
my cry to him reached his ears.


16 He reached down from heaven and rescued me;
he drew me out of deep waters.
17 He rescued me from my powerful enemies,
from those who hated me and were too strong for me.
18 They attacked me at a moment when I was in distress,
but the Lord supported me.
19 He led me to a place of safety;
he rescued me because he delights in me.
20 The Lord rewarded me for doing right;
he restored me because of my innocence.
21 For I have kept the ways of the Lord;
I have not turned from my God to follow evil.
22 I have followed all his regulations;
I have never abandoned his decrees.
23 I am blameless before God;
I have kept myself from sin.
24 The Lord rewarded me for doing right.
He has seen my innocence.

25 To the faithful you show yourself faithful;
to those with integrity you show integrity.
26 To the pure you show yourself pure,
but to the wicked you show yourself hostile.
27 You rescue the humble,
but you humiliate the proud.
28 You light a lamp for me.
The Lord, my God, lights up my darkness.
29 In your strength I can crush an army;
with my God I can scale any wall.

30 God’s way is perfect.
All the Lord’s promises prove true.
He is a shield for all who look to him for protection.
31 For who is God except the Lord?
Who but our God is a solid rock?
32 God arms me with strength,
and he makes my way perfect.
33 He makes me as surefooted as a deer,
enabling me to stand on mountain heights.
34 He trains my hands for battle;
he strengthens my arm to draw a bronze bow.
35 You have given me your shield of victory.
Your right hand supports me;
your help has made me great.
36 You have made a wide path for my feet
to keep them from slipping.


46 The Lord lives! Praise to my Rock!
May the God of my salvation be exalted!
47 He is the God who pays back those who harm me;
he subdues the nations under me
48 and rescues me from my enemies.
You hold me safe beyond the reach of my enemies;
you save me from violent opponents.
49 For this, O Lord, I will praise you among the nations;
I will sing praises to your name.
50 You give great victories to your king;
you show unfailing love to your anointed,
to David and all his descendants forever.

This was the song that became my prayer when I was searching for words yesterday:

You are being lifted up!

Knock Knock…

November 25, 2008

and we interrupt our regular programming to bring you a comedy break. We are auditioning a new writer:

Knock Knock

Who’s there?


Wendy who?

When de sun is in de east, den dis time to get up…

Yes, we didn’t think it very funny either but we laughed at his joke, as you do.

Wish we had kept a record of all the puns he invented all the way through our Europe trip. All we can remember is “Isn’t it ionic?” every time we saw a column, Greek or Roman.

We do love him! And laugh at his jokes. Cos we love him!

Chickens, rabbits and water buffalo for Christmas

November 24, 2008

No, that isn’t my Christmas day menu!

I posted some links a couple of weeks back of organisations with catalogues that provided us with the opportunity to purchase needful things for those who are most needy instead of us privileged ones giving each other more stuff we don’t need, and often don’t even want.   I was really pleased when Christian Blind Mission responded with a comment here.

Gospel for Asia has some really neat ideas – chickens and rabbits for A$12.50 a pair, and how about a water buffalo for a$540 or a well to provide clean water for A$1250, if we could afford to give that amount?  Blankets for A$6.60?  That’s two soy chai lattes I need to forfeit (or just one – I had a really expensive one in Chinatown yesterday! A$6.05…)  Or one magazine!  Kinda puts it in perspective, doesn’t it?  If you have family or friends who just don’t “get” the whole concept of buying them this kind of “virtual” gift and need something tangible to be assured that you love them, what about an Indian shoulder bag for $20?

Can I challenge you to watch this Christmas video and rethink your Christmas gift budget?

Skywatch Friday 19 – sunset over the Great Dividing range

November 22, 2008

Continuing the sunset theme for Skywatch Friday… (you can see more Skywatch photos here)


This photo was taken in 2003.  We were away for a weekend with friends, staying at Duckmaloi Farm near Oberon in NSW (about 2 1/2 hours from Sydney) at the heart of the Great Dividing range which separates the fertile coastal plain on the eastern coast with the much drier and mostly arid interior.  Duckmaloi Farm was lovely – the girls were particularly taken by the alpacas. (The boys enjoyed the tennis court!)


We had had a wonderful day at Jenolan Caves – took in a cave tour, did a bushwalk and picnic along the Jenolan creek (we saw a platypus in the pool just near the Grand Arch) and the kids had fun (including wet feet!).



We were back at Duckmaloi preparing to barbecue for dinner (the place we stayed had an indoor shed to bbq INSIDE!) when the weather changed and the most amazing storm blew in.  The photo below captures a bit of the pink light that preceded the wind.  I love the quintessential gum trees.


It snowed that night about 50kms south of where were, and the girls went riding the next morning at Shooter’s Hill in ICY weather (Oberon is one of the coldest places in NSW).  I came home sick and spent the next few months with a very prolonged case of labyrinthitis, but it was a lovely weekend with friends and the memory of the fun remains, not the illness after.

One more sunset photo:


and I end once more with words that capture for me the hope, the light, the truth in the sunsets:
“now is temporary, eternity is forever, we are all just one heartbeat away from stepping into a room full of angels” scg

Skywatch Friday 18 – sunset at Breakfast Point

November 15, 2008

skywatch-friday I haven’t posted to Skywatch Friday in a while but last Sunday night’s sunset inspired me to rush outside with my camera. nov-08-014


These two were taken in the road outside our house. I went up to the oval (one street away) and took some more. The sky seemed to be boiling – a fiery cauldron that spilled magma.



And then it calmed and the fiery turbulence was replaced by an inky blue…

I could draw an analogy to my life and especially this last year (thinking of Malachi 3:3 here), but it would be just too obvious, so I will resist and let the sunset speak for itself.

My friend Steve lost his dad yesterday. This is from a tribute he wrote :

“Goodbye, dad. I love you and hope to meet you on the other side when my time comes. I saw a brilliant red sunset on the way home from work. It reminded me life will go on without you, and some day, without me. Eternity just ahead. Rejoice!  -scg”

Feeding the “dump” people and Christmas gifts

November 13, 2008

We forget how very blessed we are to have an abundance of good, healthy food to eat every day.  Please take a moment to read about the “dump” people in Honduras on Trey Morgan’s blog.

We are in the lead up to Christmas.  I am being inundated by snowmen on facebook.  The shops are tinselly.  Luckily the Christmas music hasn’t started – yet.  Can I challenge you to cut back on the excessive Christmas spending we do (do any of us actually NEED anything?) and give some presents that will make a real difference to people who have very little?

I was going to give gifts from the Christian Blind Mission International Gifts of Life Christmas catalogue this Christmas but the goats and chickens- what I was going to give-  have sold out already! Last year I gave C an adult’s cataract operation from CBM. That proved rather prophetic as he had cataract surgery this year, followed by more surgery for a detached retina.   So we know firsthand how precious that surgery, and eyesight, is.

Other catalogues are:
World Vision Smiles Catalogue (chickens for A$6, goats for A$39, piglets are A$47)
Gifts of Compassion – Global Food Crisis Gift catalogue
Tear Australia Useful Gifts (fish farming for A$5 would be a cool present for a kid!)


Let’s make a difference to those who need it, and not waste money on more stuff and clutter we don’t need.  We can give chickens or fishfarming for the price of 2 coffees!  What a blessing those gifts will make to the families who receive them.  And it will bless us in giving them too.

Matthew 25: 35 For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home.


November 8, 2008

Bettina, a FLYlady friend, awarded me this:


It comes with a questionnaire to answer and then you pass it on to four friends

1. Do you have the same friends since childhood?

No.  I keep in touch with a friend I was in high school with, but we weren’t friends in high school.  We met quite by chance 12 years later at a bus stop on another continent!  We had emigrated to Australia (from South Africa) and I vaguely recalled a friend I had seen before we left telling me that Sandra was also in Australia.  Amazing that I bumped into her not 4 weeks after we arrived!  Auatralia is a big place.  We chatted so much that I got on the wrong bus with her.

I met Janette in 1977 in our second year of uni (we were both doing English as a major and were both living in the same residence).  She too is now in Australia and has been here since 1993.  I sent her the advert for the position she now has (in those days I faxed it, I think!)

I met Avril in English class in 1977 too.  We lost touch after uni when she moved to Cape Town but she found us in the phone book when they moved to Sydney a year after we did.  We manage to see each other every year or so but it never seems like we have spent any time apart when we do catch up (even though her son is now taller than she is and MissN is taller than I am!)  It was special to be at her 50th birthday celebration a couple of weeks ago.

They are the friends I have who date back furthest.

2. What do you value most about your friends?

Their unconditional acceptance. That we can catch up whenever, even if busy-ness and neglect has meant we haven’t been in touch as often as we should have been.

3. Are your friends your sounding boards?

Indeed. I probably use my online friends more as sounding boards as it’s more “instant”.

4. What is your favorite activity to share with your friends?

Sharing a coffee, or a phone call.  Many of my friends live far away  – Canberra, Adelaide, Melbourne, Perth – and that’s not the ones I have met online like Bonnie who is from Katherine in the NT with whom I spent last Friday.  Bonnie and I catch up irl when she is in Sydney, sometimes just for a few hours when she is awaiting a plane to the USA.  But she has stayed here o/n and I can verify that she is not an axe murderer!

birdwatching with Bonnie at Bicentennial Park

birdwatching with Bonnie at Bicentennial Park


I will tag some of my USA online friends whom I have met through various Christian lists, blogs and chat