Archive for March, 2009

Stronger

March 31, 2009

I didn’t think my heart could break any more, you typed to me this morning.

And it is still breaking, as are ours.  I try not to cry.   But to pray.

You will emerge

stronger

pared

hewn

hurt

honed

but not harmed.

Stronger.


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Until the day

March 25, 2009

I’m feeling depleted emotionally, mentally,  spiritually.  I need to focus on what will uplift me and renew my resources.  So let me share three sources of nourishment for me today.

A dear internet friend has This is a day the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it Psalm 118:24 as her email signature.   I received a couple of encouraging emails from her but what especially blessed me was the challenge in that Scripture to choose to rejoice in whatever circumstances my life presents to me, and to give thanks for the myriad blessings of each new day.   And that reminds me of a song:

Sydney weather is glorious right now.  If anyone out there is planning a trip to Sydney, plan it for late March.  Sunny warm days and cool nights.  It’s perfect.  Want to see what our weather is doing?  There is a harbour cam here.  This cam is about 10kms further east than where we are (we live between the city and the Olympic site close to the harbour and about 15kms from the coast) but the weather is the same!

On Sunday night at my church, this song sung by Michael and Kirsty and  accompanied by harp and flute, was part of the communion meditation.  It was one of those services when the presence of God was so very powerful as to be almost palpable and I came away refreshed by streams of living water.  The song “Until the Day” is from the Compassion Art CD.  I think I will be buying the CD!

The suspect morality of Twilight

March 18, 2009

twilightMissN discovered Twilight in 2006 when we were in London. We were looking for books to read while we were away and she bought it, not knowing anything about it or imagining it was going to be the next Harry Potter.   No-one else had heard of it then.  She read all 4 of the series (quite a few times!) before she tired of them (or grew out of them).

Here is a speech she recently gave ( a one minute persuasive speech) to her English class:

Today there is an epidemic in which teen girls are taken over and cannot be saved. This is called the ‘Twilight’ anomaly. In all likelihood there are some of the afflicted among us. I am speaking with sympathy today to those people, as there is but one cure: to realise that Twilight is not the meaning of life.

Let us look at how Stephenie Meyer foists questionable morals on young impressionable girls. She debases love into physical attraction, describes marriage as a means of having one’s selfish desires satisfied, encourages sexism, and makes abusive relationships seem the norm.

Over the whole book of Twilight, Edward’s beauty is mentioned 165 times and yet Edward’s personality as a means of attraction is only mentioned four times. A questionable ideal to be displaying.

Bella, not content with Edward promising to be with her for a lifetime, insists on being changed into a vampire and gets married to him only to ensure that immortality is in store for her. Her persistence in the matter of eternal life could equate her to Voldemort.

Sexism and inequality in relationships are displayed as the standard in this piece of immoral literature. Bella is displayed as “weak” and constantly needing male protection. Edward is constantly controlling Bella, and will not let her see certain friends of hers. This gives the two protagonists an uneven, abusive relationship. In addition, Jacob forcibly kisses her, causing Bella to believe that she is in love with him. This is a depiction of a weak female mind, which is a male chauvinistic belief.

So, despite the terrible plot, plastic characters, and the fact that there are very few original concepts in the series, there are the damaging effects that it has on the teen society. To the diseased with this horrible ailment, I seriously recommend a healthy dose of good literature.

Like Jane Austen…

Should we be discouraging our girls from immersing themselves in Twilight?

Anyone want complete set of the Twilight series?

Vote for the Christian Blogger Awards

March 18, 2009

The finalists for the 1st Christian Bloggers Award  (to be awarded at the Christian Bloggers Luncheon at the Tulsa Workshop) are
here

Vote before 5:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Savings Time (USA that is…) on March 23rd and spread the word.

Methinks the awards should be broadcast live.  Ustream maybe, Brad?

If you have never read any Christian blogs, the blogs of the finalists are a great place to start.  I am very proud to call many of them (the finalists, not the blogs!) friends, and some of them dear friends, spiritual mentors and encouragers and inspiration for my blogging.

Why I use organic beauty products

March 13, 2009

Ladies, do you know how many toxic ingredients you are swallowing in lipstick each year?  Guys, how about the shaving cream and shower wash you use? Do you know you absorb the chemicals in them through your skin?

This article gives some of the reasons I try to only use organic body and beauty products and cosmetics.

For the same reasons I avoid processed food as much as possible. I try to buy food in as close a condition to how God made it.

We are inundated with pollutants and toxins from our environment. So I control what I can, and try to counteract the negative effects of a toxic environment with healthy immune-boosting food. We (well, it’s C project) have just started growing our own vegetables in our (minute) backyard. We enjoyed our first tomatoes last night, and have bene enjoying various lettuces for a few weeks now.

Can I go on record and prophesy that I bet that researchers find a link between the obesity epidemic in the developed worldand food additives (if it hasn’t already)?

Update: Cancer causing chemicals in kids bath products and baby shampoo.

March 8, 2009 and honey roasted spiced macadamias

March 13, 2009

8 March 2009 was the 35th anniversary of my first date with C.  We had met at school the previous year (1973) when he was in Matric (or Std 10 – the final year of school) and I was in Std 8 (third last year).  We caught the same bus home.  I had about 2kms to travel home (it was walking distance but we had to wear blazers and the bags were heavy) but he went into the city each day and met his mom at her work and then travelled home another 30 or so kms with his parents.  He hadn’t changed schools to one closer to home as he just had a year to go, and he had only arrived the year before from England.  We were both nerds.  I was an academic, shy nerd and he was a glasses-wearing Pommy nerd from the wrong side of town.

It was a very inauspicious first date.  We went to the drive in (the Hillfox) with a friend of his (C didn’t get a car till a couple of years later).  I have no idea what movie we saw!  We have been together ever since.  I have never dated another guy (which did not please my parents who wanted me to meet a lawyer or doctor at university).  He had one relationship prior to me, but she lived in Pretoria and as he was living in Elspark, a suburb of a satellite town south of Johannesburg, so distance, if nothing else, killed that.

Anyway, we grew up together.  He was 18 and I was 16 when we started dating, 22 and 20 when we got engaged, 23 and 21 when we married.  We will celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary on 30 June this year.   How far we have travelled together!

iris-dutch-blue1

I did want to get flowers on Sunday.  C always used to bring me dutch irises when we were dating.  But Miss Dolce cat likes to tip over vases.. and I didn’t get to go out till late so…  I made him these:

march209-035

Honey roasted spiced macadamias.  C loves honey macadamias but they are expensive!  I get 500g of natural macadamias at a local fruit shop for about A$6.50 and would guess the recipe costs me less than A$8 in total.

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I used this recipe.  I used macadamias instead of mixed nuts, dark brown sugar and a mixture of sweet and smoky paprika. The complexity of the spices balanced the sweetness and richness of the coating.  Be sure to cook the honey mixture till it is dark and almost toffee-like.  I made them before and only cooked the coating to fudge-stage.  This batch were much better. They were divine and were finished by Tuesday!  Enjoy!

Brighter days

March 10, 2009

This one is dedicated to my sister, Glynis.

For those of you who are praying for her, keep praying for her and her family.  Your prayers sustain her.