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Wednesday, 19 December 2007

Little Robin



This cute little robin brings memories of my Papa.

Every year he would make a chocolate log for Christmas, and there would be a robin or two put on it for decoration.

Somehow, those little robins got lost after Papa died and we had to arrange to have things moved from Victoria to Western Australia - the box they were in disappeared.

Now we still have the log, but no robins. We have tried to find some new ones, but no one seems to have them.

Another memory that this brings is Christmas cards from our relatives in England. Nearly every year we receive at least one card from the UK and it often has a robin on it.

I have actually seen a robin - it was in our garden one morning, but it wasn't in snow. Such a cute little thing.

Friends/how true is this

Friday, 14 December 2007

"To My Fellow Frogs"


Once upon a time there was a bunch of tiny frogs.... who arranged a running competition. The goal was to reach the top of a very high tower.

A big crowd had gathered around the tower to see the race and cheer on the contestants.... The race began....

Honestly: No one in crowd really believed that the tiny frogs would reach the top of the tower. You heard statements such as:
"Oh, WAY too difficult!!"
"They will NEVER make it to the top."
or: "Not a chance that they will succeed. The tower is too high!"

The tiny frogs began collapsing. One by one.... Except for those, who in a fresh tempo, were climbing higher and higher.

The crowd continued to yell, "It is too difficult!!! No one will make it!"

More tiny frogs got tired and gave up.... But ONE continued higher and higher and higher.... This one wouldn't give up!

At the end everyone else had given up climbing the tower. Except for the one tiny frog who, after a big effort, was the only one who reached the top! THEN all of the other tiny frogs naturally wanted to know how this one frog managed to do it?

A contestant asked the tiny frog how he had found the strength to succeed and reach the goal? It turned out.... That the winner was DEAF!!!!

The wisdom of this story is: Never listen to other people's tendencies to be negative or pessimistic.... because they take your most wonderful dreams and wishes away from you -- the ones you have in your heart!

Always think of the power words have. Because everything you hear and read will affect your actions!

Therefore: ALWAYS be.... POSITIVE!

And above all: Be DEAF when people tell YOU that you cannot fulfill your dreams!
Always think: God and I can do this!

Thursday, 13 December 2007

Camels


A mother and baby camel are talking one day when the baby
camel asks, "Mom, why have I got these huge three-toed
feet?"

The mother replies, "Well, son, when we trek across the
desert, your toes will help you to stay on top of the soft
sand."

"OK," said the son. A few minutes later the son asks, "Mom,
why have I got these great long eyelashes?"

"They are there to keep the sand out of your eyes on the
trips through the desert."

"Thanks, Mom," replies the son. After a short while, the son
returns and asks, "Mom, why have I got these great big humps
on my back?"

The mother, now a little impatient with the boy, replies,
"They are there to help us store fat for our long treks
across the desert, so we can go without water for long
periods."

"That's great, Mom. So we have huge feet to stop us sinking,
and long eyelashes to keep the sand from our eyes, and these
humps to store water, but Mom..."

"Yes, son?"

"Why are we in the San Diego zoo?"

Received from Thomas Ellsworth (via GCF).

Wednesday, 12 December 2007

Charles Schultz Philosophy

Charles Schultz Philosophy?



The following is the philosophy of Charles Schultz, the creator of the "Peanuts" comic strip. You don't have to actually answer the questions. Just read straight through and you'll get the point.

1. Name the five wealthiest people in the world.
2. Name the last five Heisman trophy winners.
3. Name the last five winners of the Miss America.
4. Name ten people who have won the Nobel or Pulitzer Prize.
5. Name the last half dozen Academy Award winners from best actor and actress.
6. Name the last decade's worth of World Series winners.


How did you do?

The point is, none of us remembers the headliners of yesterday. These are no second-rate achievers. They are the best in their fields. But the applause dies. Awards tarnish. Acheivements are forgotten. Accolades and certificates are buried with their owners.


Here's another quiz. See how you do on this one:

1. List a few teachers who aided your journey through school.

2. Name three friends who have helped you through a difficult time.

3. Name five people who have taught you something worthwhile.

4. Thnk of a few people who have made you feel appreciated and special.

5. Think of five people you enjoy spending time with.


Easier?

The lesson:

The people who make a difference in your life are not the ones with the most credentials, the most money, or the most awards. They are the ones that care.



I was told to pass this on to those people who have made a difference in my life.

*THAT IS WHY I SENT IT TO YOU!

Tuesday, 11 December 2007

Tagged by Candy

Thanks to a good friend on Burns Abroad I've been tagged

1. What time is it? 10:44am
2. What is your full name? Beth Rebekah (not telling my surname)
3. What are you most afraid of? Everyone forgetting me
4. Place of birth? Korumburra, Victoria, Australia
5. Favourite food? chocolate, peanut m&ms
6. Your natural hair colour? brown (with red & blonde highlights)
7. Have you travelled? Yes, Around Australia (except NT & TAS)
8. Do you scrunch or fold toilet paper? scrunch
9. Love someone so much it made you cry? Yes
10. Been in a car accident? Yes. Several minor ones - one when I was driving; it wasn't my fault.
11. BMW or Mercedes Benz? not sure
12. Favourite day of the week? Saturday
13. Favourite Restaurant? don't really have one
14. Favourite Flower? Forget-me-not
15. Favourite sport to watch? Feild Hockey
16. Favourite Drink? Tea
17. Favourite ice cream? anything chocolate
18. Disney or Warner Brothers? Disney
19. Favourite fast food restaurant? haven't decided
20. What colour is your bedroom carpet? Pinkish
21. How many times you failed your driver’s test? None - passed 1st time (even though I nearly wiped out a motorbike twice)
22. From whom did you get your last e-mail? Cathy
23. Hobbies? Cross stitch, reading, watching movies
24. Bedtime? whenever I get there
25. Who of your readers will answer this questionnaire? Probably no-one (I don't think anyone really looks at my blog other than me)
26. Who is the person you are most curious to see their answers?
27. What means the most to you? God, Family
28. Favourite TV shows? JAG (too bad it's finished), NCIS (wish they'd stop showing repeats all the time), Foyle's War
29. Dating males or females? Never dated anyone - when I do it will be a male
30. Tall or short? I prefer to say vertically challenged
31. What is your favourite colour? In the past I would have said blue, now I'm not sure I really have one
32. How many pets do you have? Personally,None. We used to have a family cat, now my sister has a cat
33. Age? 25 (for another 2 months)
34. What would you like to accomplish/do before you die? Get married and have children; be more involved in mission work.

Tuesday, 4 December 2007

Received in the Mail

The other day I received a book in the mail that I had ordered. In it was a letter which completely cracked me up - laughing that is. So that you can enjoy the fun, here's what it says (most of it):

To whom it may concern,

Your book has been gently taken from our book shelves with sterilized contamination-free gloves and placed onto a satin pillow.

A team of 50 employees inspected your book and looked it over to make sure it was in the best possible condition before mailing.

Our packing specialists lit a candle and a hush fell over the crowd as he put your book into the finest gold-lined box that money can buy.

We all had a wonderful celebration afterwards and the whole party marched down the street to the post office where the entire town of Greenbrier waved 'Bon Voyage!' to your package, on its way to you, in our private jet on this day.

I hope you had a wonderful time shopping at my store! We sure did! Your picture is on our wall as 'Customer of the Year'. We're all exhausted but can't wait for you to come back to 'My Book Store'

How would I know all this is true - the letter had to have been put in the parcel before it was sealed.

Anyway, it gave me a good laugh, as well as the others in my family that I shared it with.

Friday, 30 November 2007

Of Making Books


The verse quoted in this comic has been said a lot in my house lately.
Nearly everyone in my house has been studying or assisting others in their studies.
One sister has been completing her thesis for her honours project at Uni; the other has been studying for Year 11 exams. I had a CPA exam, and Dad, being a teacher, was setting exams and then correcting them.
Now we are all quite weary, and can't wait for the year to be over and have time off work/study over Christmas.

Friday, 23 November 2007

WHY GOD ALLOWS PAIN...


This is one of the best explanations of why God allows pain and suffering that I have seen...

A man went to a barbershop to have his hair cut and his beard trimmed. As the barber began to work, they began to have a good conversation. They talked about so many things and various subjects.
When they eventually touched on the subject of God, the barber said: "I don't believe that God exists."

"Why do you say that?" asked the customer. "Well, you just have to go out in the street to realize that God doesn't exist. Tell me, if God exists, would there be so many sick people? Would there be abandoned children?

If God existed, there would be neither suffering nor pain. I can't imagine a loving God who would allow all of these things." The customer thought for a moment, but didn't respond because he didn't want to start an argument. The barber finished his job and the customer left the shop.

Just after he left the barbershop, he saw a man in the street with long, stringy, dirty hair and an untrimmed beard. He looked dirty and unkempt.

The customer turned back and entered the barber shop again and he said to the barber: "You know what? Barbers do not exist."
"How can you say that?" asked the surprised barber.
"I am here, and I am a barber. And I just worked on you!"
"No!" the customer exclaimed. "Barbers don't exist because if they did, there would be no people with dirty long hair and untrimmed beards, like that man outside."

"Ah, but barbers DO exist! That's what happens when people do not come to me."
"Exactly!" affirmed the customer. "That's the point! God, too, DOES exist! That's what happens when people do not go to Him and don't look to Him for help. That's why there's so much pain and suffering in the world."

BE BLESSED & BE A BLESSING TO OTHERS !!!!!!!

Thursday, 22 November 2007

Smile from God

I recieved this picture in an email.
It's amazing!!

Monday, 19 November 2007

Weekend highlights!!

  • Catching up with some of my CU (Christian Union) friends from my Deakin Uni days on Friday night at the Geelong and Western Region AFES Dinner
  • Meeting Ken Duncan at his Melbourne Gallery on Saturday (he signed one of his books for me)
  • Doing some of my Christmas shopping and exploring a little more of the Melbourne CBD
  • Hearing Chuck Swindoll speak at Belgrave Heights Convention Centre on Sunday afternoon, and meeting him afterwards

Friday, 16 November 2007

Victoria Rose

Our former receptionist at work came in today for a visit, bringing with her her beautiful daughter named Victoria Rose!

I wish I had a photo. She's so CUTE!

Born on the 13th (or was it the 8th) of August.

Such a beautiful name too!!

Thursday, 8 November 2007

Your Thoughts


OK, so I received this picture in an email today. The subject was 'Women as explained by engineers'. This wasn't the only image, but the best of them.

So this was definately done by a male! However I'm not so sure that it's accurate.
In my dealings with guys I've found they definately have more than one button/dial, whatever you want to call it. They say we, women, are complicated, but I know they are also complicated.

My question is what do you think about this picture? What was your first thought when you saw it?



Monday, 5 November 2007

Anchor in the Sky

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I saw this anchor made from some kind of wire (I suppose) strung up between some buildings when I was in Melbourne with a friend recently. I thought it was really interesting.
I'm not sure why the anchor - but then in the area there is all sorts of strange 'art'.

I suppose you could call it a sky hook :)

New Day

It's a new day yet unblemished by what's gone before,
A chance to begin and start over once more.

-Helen Steiner Rice


This makes me think of a quote from the Anne of Green Gables movie

"Tomorrow is always fresh, with no mistakes in it."

Wednesday, 31 October 2007

Tiny hands and tousled heads
Kneel in prayer by little beds
And place their confidence and love
With childlike faith in God above.
Oh Jesus, help us to attain
That simple, childlike faith again.

-Helen Steiner Rice

Some Basic Truths


GREAT TRUTHS THAT LITTLE CHILDREN HAVE LEARNED:

1) No matter how hard you try, you can't baptize cats.
2) When your Mom is mad at your Dad, don't let her brush your hair.
3) If your sister hits you, don't hit her back. They always catch the second person.
4) Never ask your 3-year old brother to hold a tomato.
5) You can't trust dogs to watch your food.
6) Don't sneeze when someone is cutting your hair.
7) Never hold a Dust-Buster and a cat at the same time.
8) You can't hide a piece of broccoli in a glass of milk.
9) Don't wear polka-dot underwear under white shorts.
10) The best place to be when you're sad is Grandpa's lap.


GREAT TRUTHS THAT ADULTS HAVE LEARNED:

1) Raising teenagers is like nailing jelly to a tree.
2) Wrinkles don't hurt.
3) Families are like fudge...mostly sweet, with a few nuts.
4) Today's mighty oak is just yesterday's nut that held its ground.
5) Laughing is good exercise. It's like jogging on the inside.
6) Middle age is when you choose your cereal for the fibre, not the toy.


GREAT TRUTHS ABOUT GROWING OLD

1) Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional.
2) Forget the health food. I need all the preservatives I can get.
3) When you fall down, you wonder what else you can do while you're down there.
4) You're getting old when you get the same sensation from a rocking chair that you once got from a roller coaster.
5) It's frustrating when you know all the answers but nobody bothers to ask you the questions.
6) Time may be a great healer, but it's a lousy beautician.
7) Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.


THE FOUR STAGES OF LIFE:

1) You believe in Santa Claus.
2) You don't believe in Santa Claus.
3) You are Santa Claus.
4) You look like Santa Claus.

Tuesday, 30 October 2007

The Aussie Drink Driver (True Story)


From the state where drink driving is considered a sport,
comes a true story from the Sunshine Coast, Queensland.
Recently a routine police patrol parked outside a local
neighborhood tavern. Late in the evening the officer
noticed a man leaving the bar so intoxicated that he could barely
walk.
The man stumbled around the car park for a few minutes,
with the officer quietly observing. After what seemed an
eternity and trying his keys on five vehicles, the man managed to
find his car, which he fell into. He was there for a few minutes as a
number of other patrons left the bar and drove off. Finally he started the
car, switched the wipers on and off (it was a fine dry night),
flicked the indicators on, then off, tooted the horn and then switched
on the lights.
He moved the vehicle forward a few cm, reversed a little and
then remained stationary for a few more minutes as some more
vehicles left.
At last he pulled out of the car park and started to drive
slowly down the road. The police officer, having patiently
waited all this time, now started up the patrol car, put on the
flashing lights, promptly pulled the man over and carried out a
breathalyzer test.
To his amazement the breathalyser indicated no evidence of
the man's intoxication.
The police officer said 'I'll have to ask you to accompany
me to the Police station - this breathalyser equipment must be
broken.'
'I doubt it,' said the man, 'tonight I'm the designated
decoy'.

Monday, 22 October 2007

Oh, Lord, don't let me stumble,
don't let me fall and quit -
Oh, Lord, please help me find my job
and help me shoulder it.

-Helen Steiner Rice

Friday, 19 October 2007

Waiting

Psalm 27:14 (NIV)
Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.

We have to wait for a lot of things in this life.
I read this verse while I was on a train recently and it popped up as the verse for the day here on my blogg.

It can be really funny how God can just keep reminding you of something in different ways. Sure I keep reading the verse, but the place, time and format for this verse has changed, even in just the 2 times I've read it recently.

I'm waiting for things now, but mostly I'm waiting for the Lord's leading in my life - what He wants me to do, where He wants me to be, what He wants me to become.

The most important thing about this verse isn't that we are to wait; it's that we are to wait for the Lord. That's why He said it twice, to try to get it to sink in to our heads and hearts.

Wait for Him today, and help others to learn to wait for Him too.

Pick One


Our family was attending a wedding, and I sat next to my
mom, who had my youngest sister on her lap. The groom was
standing at the front as the bridesmaids walked up the aisle
one by one.

Growing restless, my sister looked up at my mom and said,
"So why doesn't he just hurry up and pick one?"

-Carter Durrant

Thursday, 18 October 2007

Lighthouse

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Don't start your day by supposin'
that trouble is just ahead -
It's better to stop supposin'
and start with a prayer instead.

-Helen Steiner Rice

Thursday, 11 October 2007

7%


A holy man was having a conversation with the Lord one day and said,
'Lord, I would like to know what Heaven and Hell are like.'
The Lord led the holy man to two doors.

He opened one of the doors and the holy man looked in. In the middle of
the room was a large round table. In the middle of the table was a large pot of stew, which smelled delicious and made the holy man's mouth water.

The people sitting around the table were thin and sickly. They appeared to be famished. They were holding spoons with very long handles that were strapped to their arms and each found it possible to reach into the pot of stew and take a spoonful.

But because the handle was longer than their arms, they could not get the spoons back into their mouths.

The holy man shuddered at the sight of their misery and suffering.

The Lord said, 'You have seen Hell.'

They went to the next room and opened the door. It was exactly the same
as the first one. There was the large round table with the large pot of stew which made the holy man's mouth water. The people were equipped with the same long-handled spoons, but here the people were well nourished and plump, laughing and talking.

The holy man said, 'I don't understand.'

It is simple,' said the Lord. 'It requires but one skill. You see they have learned to feed each other, while the greedy think only of themselves.'

Remember that I will always share my spoon with you.

Monday, 1 October 2007

Rabbits!!

One afternoon, a woman goes to her refrigerator for a snack. Upon opening the refrigerator door, she is astonished to see a rabbit sitting inside.

"What are you doing in there?!", the woman exclaimed to the rabbit.

"Well, this is a westinghouse, isn't it?", replied the rabbit.

"Why yes," responded the woman, "but what are you doing?"

"Westing..."

Thursday, 27 September 2007

What a read!


A SOULFUL RELATIONSHIP
by Rev. Ronald McFadden

If you're not married yet, share this with a friend. If you are married, share it with your spouse, and reflect on it.

An African proverb states, "Before you get married, keep both eyes open, and after you marry, close one eye."

Before you get involved and make a commitment to someone, don't let lust,desperation, immaturity, ignorance, pressure from others or a low self-esteem, make you blind to warning signs.
Keep your eyes open, and don't fool yourself that you can change someone or that what you see as faults aren't really important.

Once you decide to commit to someone, over time his or her flaws, vulnerabilities, pet peeves, and differences will become more obvious.
If you love your mate and want the relationship to grow and evolve, you've got to learn to close one eye and not let every little thing bother you.
You and your mate have many different expectations, emotional needs, values, dreams, weaknesses, and strengths. You are two unique individual children of God who have decided to share a life together.

Neither of you are perfect, but are you perfect for each other?
Do you bring out the best in each other?
Do you compliment and compromise with each other, or do you compete, compare, and control?
What do you bring to the relationship?
Do you bring past relationships, past hurt, past mistrust, past pain?
You can't take someone to the altar to alter him or her.
You can't make someone love you or make someone stay.

If you develop self-esteem, spiritual discernment, and "a life", you won't find yourself making someone else responsible for your happiness or responsible for your pain.

Manipulation, control, jealousy, neediness, and selfishness are not the ingredients of a thriving, healthy, loving and lasting relationship!
Seeking status, sex, wealth, and security are the wrong reasons to be in a relationship.
What keeps a relationship strong?
Communication, intimacy, trust, a sense of humor, sharing household tasks, some getaway time without business or children and daily exchanges (a meal, shared activity, a hug, a call, a touch, a note).
Leave a nice message on the voicemail or send a nice email.

Sharing common goals and interests. Growth is important. Grow together, not away from each other, giving each other space to grow without feeling insecure.
Allow your mate to have outside interest. You can't always be together.
Give each other a sense of belonging and assurances of commitment.
Don't try to control one another.
Learn each other's family situation. Respect his or her parents regardless.
Don't put pressure on each other for material goods. Remember for richer or for poorer.
If these qualities are missing, the relationship will erode as resentment, withdrawal, abuse, neglect, dishonesty, and pain replace the passion.

The difference between 'United' and 'Untied' is where you put the I.

Monday, 24 September 2007

Sandpipers

The Sandpiper by Robert Peterson

She was six years old when I first met her on the beach near where I live. I drive to this beach, a distance of three or four miles, whenever the world begins to close in on me. She was building a sand castle or something and looked up, her eyes as blue as the sea.
"Hello," she said. I answered with a nod, not really in the mood to bother with a small child.
"I'm building," she said.
"I see that. What is it?" I asked, not really caring.
"Oh, I don't know, I just like the feel of sand."
That sounds good, I thought, and slipped off my shoes. A sandpiper glided by.
"That's a joy," the child said.
"It's a what?"
"It's a joy. My mama says sandpipers come to bring us joy."
The bird went gliding down the beach. Good-bye joy, I muttered to myself, hello pain, and turned to walk on. I was depressed, my life seemed completely out of balance.
"What's your name?" She wouldn't give up.
"Robert," I answered. "I'm Robert Peterson."
"Mine's Wendy... I'm six."
"Hi, Wendy." She giggled. "You're funny," she said.
In spite of my gloom, I laughed too and walked on. Her musical giggle followed me.
"Come again, Mr. P," she called. "We'll have another happy day."
The next few days consisted of a group of unruly Boy Scouts, PTA meetings, and an ailing mother.
The sun was shining one morning as I took my hands out of the dishwater. I need a sandpiper, I said to myself,
gathering up my coat. The ever-changing balm of the seashore awaited me. The breeze was chilly but I strode along, trying to recapture the serenity I needed.
"Hello, Mr. P," she said. "Do you want to play?"
"What did you have in mind?" I asked, with a twinge of annoyance.
"I don't know. You say."
"How about charades?" I asked sarcastically.
The tinkling laughter burst forth again. "I don't know what that is."
"Then let's just walk."
Looking at her, I noticed the delicate fairness of her face.
"Where do you live?" I asked.
"Over there." She pointed toward a row of summer cottages.
Strange, I thought, in winter.
"Where do you go to school?"
"I don't go to school. Mommy says we're on vacation." She chattered little girl talk as we strolled up the beach,
but my mind was on other things. When I left for home, Wendy said it had been a happy day.
Feeling surprisingly better, I smiled at her and agreed.
Three weeks later, I rushed to my beach in a state of near panic. I was in no mood to even greet Wendy.
I thought I saw her mother on the porch and felt like demanding she keep her child at home.
"Look, if you don't mind," I said crossly when Wendy caught up with me, "I'd rather be alone today." She seemed unusually pale and out of breath.
"Why?" she asked.
I turned to her and shouted, "Because my mother died!" and thought, My God, why was I saying this to a little child?
"Oh," she said quietly, "then this is a bad day."
"Yes," I said, "and yesterday and the day before and -- oh, go away!"
"Did it hurt?" she inquired.
"Did what hurt?" I was exasperated with her, with myself.
"When she died?"
"Of course it hurt!" I snapped, misunderstanding, wrapped up in myself. I strode off.
A month or so after that, when I next went to the beach, she wasn't there. Feeling guilty, ashamed, and admitting to myself I missed her, I went up to the cottage after my walk and knocked at the door. A drawn looking young woman with honey-coloured hair opened the door.
"Hello," I said, "I'm Robert Peterson. I missed your little girl today and wondered where she was."
"Oh yes, Mr. Peterson, please come in. Wendy spoke of you so much. I'm afraid I allowed her to bother you. If she was a nuisance, please, accept my apologies."
"Not at all -- she's a delightful child." I said, suddenly realizing that I meant what I had just said.
"Wendy died last week, Mr. Peterson. She had leukaemia. Maybe she didn't tell you."
Struck dumb, I groped for a chair. I had to catch my breath.
"She loved this beach, so when she asked to come, we couldn't say no. She seemed so much better here and had a lot of what she called happy days.
But the last few weeks, she declined rapidly..." Her voice faltered, "She left something for you, if only I can find it. Could you wait a moment while I look?"
I nodded stupidly, my mind racing for something to say to this lovely young woman. She handed me a smeared envelope with "MR. P" printed in bold childish letters. Inside was a drawing in bright crayon hues -- a
yellow beach, a blue sea, and a brown bird. Underneath was carefully printed:
A SANDPIPER TO BRING YOU JOY.
Tears welled up in my eyes, and a heart that had almost forgotten to love opened wide. I took Wendy's mother in my arms.
"I'm so sorry, I'm so sorry, I'm so sorry," I uttered over and over, and we wept together. The precious little picture is framed now and hangs in my study.
Six words -- one for each year of her life -- that speak to me of harmony, courage, and undemanding love. A gift from a child with sea blue eyes and hair the color of sand -- who taught me the gift of love.

NOTE: This is a true story sent out by Robert Peterson. It happened over 20 years ago and the incident changed his life forever.
It serves as a reminder to all of us that we need to take time to enjoy living and life and each other. The price of hating other human beings is loving oneself less.
Life is so complicated, the hustle and bustle of everyday traumas can make us lose focus about what is truly important or what is only a momentary setback or crisis.
This week, be sure to give your loved ones an extra hug, and by all means, take a moment... even if it is only ten seconds, to stop and smell the roses.
I wish for you, a sandpiper.

Thursday, 20 September 2007

A Promise from God

Joel 2:23 (NIV)
Be glad, O people of Zion, rejoice in the LORD your God, for he has given you the autumn rains in righteousness. He sends you abundant showers, both autumn and spring rains, as before.


If you've looked at my blog before you may have noticed at the bottom of the page is the verse of the day. I often wonder who's life the verse will touch as they see it, either on my blog or someone else's page. Today it was a verse that I found relevant for me.

If you live in Australia or have watched the news where you live you should be aware that Australia has been experiencing a drought, which has been ongoing for nearly 10 years. We are constantly reminded that there are water usage restrictions and that there may be other restrictions as well, due to the influence that a lack of water has on so many other areas of life.

This verse has served as a reminder to me that God hasn't forgotten that we need rain. He has seen what is happening to His world and has promised that He will send rain. He doesn't say when it will come, just that it will come and in the amounts that we need to continue on living on this world.

Ok, so right now it isn't autumn down here in Oz, but it is spring, and the verse says that both autumn AND spring rains will come.

Thank you, God, for this promise!!
Remember,
a kind and thoughtful deed
Or a hand outstretched
in a time of need
Is the rarest of gifts,
for it is a part
Not of the purse,
but a loving heart.

-Helen Steiner Rice

Monday, 17 September 2007

Changing Times

This weekend involved a lot of driving, sitting, and preparations.

What for you may ask?

My brother got married this weekend!!!
He's the first of us to get married.

It was a beautiful wedding. No crying, but some of us came pretty close (including my brother, although if you asked him I'm sure he would deny it).

Of course weddings mean changes in the family. I now have a sister-in-law!! And as much as I love Sarah, there will be some changes. Dave isn't totally ours anymore. He's still my brother, but more importantly for him, he is Sarah's husband. It will be interesting to see what will happen at Christmas time, and other normal family times.

No photos yet. I'm still using a film camera, and the films haven't been developed.

Wednesday, 12 September 2007

Monday, 10 September 2007

New Car?

Raising my sights


Raising My Sights
By Terri McPherson

My six-year-old granddaughter, Caitlynd, and I stopped at a Tim Horton's donut shop for a blueberry muffin. As we were going out the door, a young teenage boy was coming in.
This young man had no hair on the sides of his head and a tuft of blue spiked hair on top of it. One of his nostrils was pierced, and attached to the hoop that ran through the hole was a chain that draped across his face and attached to a ring he was wearing in his ear. He held a skateboard under one arm and a basketball under the other.
Caitlynd, who was walking ahead of me, stopped in her tracks when she saw the teen. I thought he'd scared the dickens out of her, and she'd frozen on the spot.
I was wrong.
My Grandangel backed up against the door and opened it as wide as it would go. Now I was face to face with the young man. I stepped aside and let him pass. His response was a gracious, "Thank you very much."
On our way to the car, I commended Caitlynd for her manners in holding open the door for the young man. She didn't seem to be troubled by his appearance, but I wanted to make sure. If a grandmotherly talk about freedom of self-_expression and allowing people their differences was in order, I wanted to be ready.
As it turned out, the person who needed the talk was me.
The only thing Caitlynd noticed about the teen was the fact that his arms were full. "He woulda had a hard time to open the door."
I saw the partially shaved head, the tuft of spiked hair, the piercings and the chain. She saw a person carrying something under each arm and heading toward a closed door.
In the future, I hope to get down on her level and raise my sights.

Reprinted by permission of Terri McPherson (c) 2000 from Chicken Soup for the Grandparent's Soul by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, Meladee McCarty and Hanoch McCarty.

Friday, 7 September 2007

A Pause Button

Do you ever feel like a pause button has been pushed on parts of your life?
Meanwhile the rest of it is racing along, and you wonder how all the parts are ever going to be connected again?
There's some sort of elastic holding you all together, but still allowing for the parts of you to draw away from each other.

You can't think of one thing in particular that caused the pause (or maybe you can), but it is there. You don't have control of it, and that's scary. You wonder if ever the parts do reconnect whether they will fit properly. It's kind of like a jigsaw puzzle with enough pieces missing that the picture doesn't quite make sense.

How long will the pause be in place?

Wednesday, 5 September 2007

Aussie backyard becoming a dying icon - Yahoo!7 News

Aussie backyard becoming a dying icon - Yahoo!7 News

Wednesday September 5, 10:36 AM

Aussie backyard becoming a dying icon

Australia's outdoor lifestyle is being threatened by the disappearance of an Aussie icon, according to new research.
Queensland's Griffith University professor Professor Tony Hall said the backyard was fast becoming a thing of the past with new estates brimming with sprawling low-set homes taking over from the traditional suburb.
The former UK town planner began his research two years ago after he moved to Australia and noticed homes and their backyards seemed to contradict the open-air lifestyle for which Australia was internationally renowned.
Using aerial photographs and home and lot measurements, Prof Hall said a "dramatic" change had taken place in the 1990s in all areas except Adelaide where homes now stretched out to lot boundaries, leaving little room for outdoor entertainment and play.
But while urban sprawl was happening in other countries, they were not losing their back yards the way Australian families were, he said.
"What people in the suburbs are doing is spending their money on what they perceive as floor area rather than lifestyle," he said.
He said people were building "cheap", square, single-story homes rather than more expensive two-story homes which would allow for maximum floor area and a back yard.
"Walls and the windows cost money, the second story costs money, but this gives you the cheapest way," he said.
"But it's not very nice living in terms of you don't get no view out and it's not a very nice environment compared to the older suburbs."
Prof Hall said his research had concluded the trend was being spurred by people building to increase resale value and longer working hours which meant people were rarely at home.
"The real problem I think though is what is happening to the Australian lifestyle - what's happening to this idea of the outdoor lifestyle, the barbie, the swimming pool?" he said.
The trend also would have damaging effects on the environment with the homes costing more to heat, cool and light.
The lack of trees also meant a lack of biodiversity, a poor microclimate with loss of shade in hot weather and increased runoff in wet weather, he said.
He said a return to the traditional backyard could only be achieved through planning regulations.
"Because if we don't then people won't be able to change in the future," he said.
"If they suddenly decide they really wanted barbies and swimming pools and things like this, and outdoor clothing drying, they wouldn't be able to because there isn't any room anymore."



I found this article very interesting, and basically I agree with it.

One thing I could add to Professor Hall's research is the growing number of people who live in areas with larger house blocks choosing to subdivide their property and build a unit or second house at the back. This is also reducing the size and number of backyards.

Tuesday, 4 September 2007

In case you are interested ...

For those who wonder about my cross stitch projects, today I created a new blog just for all the projects I'm doing.

It won't show everything I've done in the past, but I will try to include projects I'm about to start, am currently working on, and those on my wish list.

The first one I've posted is In Her Garden .

The new blog is still in the very early stages, but as I go I'll keep adding extra things.

Wednesday, 29 August 2007

I come to meet You, God,
and as I linger here,
I seem to feel You very near -
The sun just rising in the sky,
The waking birdlings as they fly,
The grass all wet with morning dew
Are telling me I just met You!

-Helen Steiner Rice

Monday, 27 August 2007

Reflections of Spring Print by Vail Oxley at Art.com



I always feel more alive when spring time comes around again.

I can be as tired as anything, but then the air feels a little warmer, the trees start budding and blossoming, and I suddenly have an extra "spring" to my step.

Life looks better; I get a little more creative. I guess you can say I have spring fever!!

It's like the song from 'State Fair' "It Might As Well Be Spring"

I'm as restless as a willow in a windstorm,

I'm as jumpy as puppet on a string

I'd say that I had spring fever, but I know it isn't spring

I am starry eyed and vaguely discontented, like a nightingale without a song to sing

O why should I have spring fever, when it isn't even spring.

I keep wishing I were someone else, walking down a strange new street

And hearing words that I've never heard from a man I've yet to meet

I'm as busy as spider spinning daydreams,

I'm as giddy as a baby on a swing

I haven't seen a crocus or a rosebud, or a robin on the wing

But I feel so gay in a melancholy way, that it might as well be spring

It might as well be spring.

British Airways...Well Done!


What small steps are taken to achieve freedom for us all.

This scene took place on a British Airways flight between Johannesburg, South Africa & London.


A white woman, about 50 years old, was seated next to a black man.

Very disturbed by this, she called the air hostess. 'You obviously do not see it then?' she asked. 'You placed me next to a black man.
I did not agree to sit next to someone from such a repugnant group. Give me an alternative seat.'
'Be calm please,' the hostess replied.
'Almost all the places on this flight are taken. I will go to see if another place is available.'

The hostess went away & then came back a few minutes later.
'Madam,just as I thought, there are no other available seats in Economy Class.
I spoke to the captain & he informed me that there is also no seat in Business Class. All the same, we still have one place in First Class.'

Before the woman could say anything, the hostess continued.
'It is not usual for our company to permit someone from Economy Class to sit in First Class. However, given the circumstances, the captain feels that it would be scandalous to make someone sit next to someone so disgusting.'

She turned to the black guy, & said, 'Therefore, Sir, if you would like to, please collect your hand luggage, a seat awaits you in First Class.'

At that moment, the other passengers, who'd been shocked by what they had just witnessed, stood up & applauded.

This is a true story. If you are against racism, please send this to all your friends; please do not delete it without sending it to at least 1 person.

WELL DONE, British Airways

Friday, 24 August 2007

Pansies & Mouse

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I found this very cute little mouse. I just would prefer to lose the sparkle. So I'm removing it from being permanently on my blog page, and relegating it to my posts. So here it will be on the page until I do enough posts to relegate it to my archives.

Thursday, 23 August 2007

Among the great and glorious gifts
Our Heavenly Father sends
Is the gift of understanding
That we find in loving friends.


- Helen Steiner Rice

Tuesday, 21 August 2007

Stop wishing for things you complain you have not
And start making the best of all that you've got.

- Helen Steiner Rice

Monday, 20 August 2007

Being Single in a World that Thinks You Should be Married

I was just browsing through my favorite Christian Book supplier's website and I thought I'd do a bit of a search on books for singles. The only problem is that the more I looked the more angry I became at the selection of books available.

The majority of the books available were about how to prepare your self for meeting the right man (or woman if you're a guy), dating, and what to do while you're waiting. One title that really bugged me was "What to Do Until Love Finds You".

This world is crazy. Don't they realise that there are some women who don't want to be married? (I'm not one of them) Or that there are single women who would like to be married when the time is right, but in the mean time want to live for God while they are single in the way that He wants them to?

Ok, so I did find some that looked ok, but all these other books just make you feel like you've completely missed what life is about.

Let me tell you now - you do NOT have to be married to be fulfilling God's plan for you. There may be something that you can only do BECAUSE you are single.

For anyone who is thinking about writing a book for singles - if you got married just after you finished school, unless you are writing for teens, don't bother because you have no idea what you are talking about. If you are now married but were single for a time, be very careful what you say. If you are still single, please write that book soon, because I want to read it!

4 Wives


Once upon a time there was a rich King who had four wives.

He loved the 4th wife the most and adorned her with rich robes and treated her to the finest of delicacies. He gave her nothing but the best.

He also loved the 3rd wife very much and was always showing her off to neighbouring kingdoms. However, he feared that one day she would leave him for another.

He also loved his 2nd wife. She was his confidant and was always kind, considerate and patient with him.

Whenever the King faced a problem, he could confide in her, and she would help him get through the difficult times.

The King's 1st wife was a very loyal partner and had made great contributions in maintaining his wealth and kingdom. However, he did not love the first wife. Although she loved him deeply, he hardly took notice of her!

One day, the King fell ill and he knew his time was short. He thought of his luxurious life and wondered, I now have four wives with me, but when I die, I'll be all alone."

Thus, he asked the 4th wife , "I loved you the most, endowed you with the finest clothing and showered great care over you Now that I'm dying, will! You follow me and keep me company?"

"No way!", replied the 4th wife, and she walked away without another word.

Her answer cut like a sharp knife right into his heart.

The sad King then asked the 3rd wife, "I loved you all my life. Now that I'm dying, will you follow me and keep me company?"

"No!", replied the 3rd wife. "Life is too good! When you die, I'm going to remarry!"

His heart sank and turned cold.

He then asked the 2nd wife, "I have always turned to you for help and you've always been there for me. When I die, will you follow me and keep me company?"

"I'm sorry, I can't help you out this time!", replied the 2nd wife. "At the very most, I can only walk with you to your grave." Her answer struck him like a bolt of lightning, and the King was devastated.

Then a voice called out: "I'll go with you. I'll follow you no matter where you go."

The King looked up, and there was his first wife. She was very skinny as she suffered from malnutrition and neglect.

Greatly grieved, the King said, "I should have taken much better care of you when I had the chance!"

In truth, we all have the 4 wives in our lives:

Our 4th wife is our body. No matter how much time and effort we lavish in making it look good, it will leave us when we die.

Our 3rd wife is our possessions, status and wealth. When we die, it will all go to others.

Our 2nd wife is our family and friends. No matter how much they have been there for us, the furthest they can stay by us is up to the grave.

And our 1st wife is our Soul Often neglected in pursuit of wealth, power and pleasures of the world. However, our Soul is the only thing that will follow us wherever we go.

Cultivate, strengthen and cherish it now, for it is the only part of us that will follow us to the throne of God and continue with us throughout Eternity.

Thought for the day:
Remember, when the world pushes you to your knees, you're in the perfect position to pray.

Being happy doesn't mean everything's perfect.
It means you've decided to see beyond the imperfections.

Thursday, 16 August 2007

I wonder ...

I sometimes wonder whether people are even reading what I'm posting here.

Ok, so I know I got a couple of comments on one post, but that was because I had told a friend about my blog and she looked at it.

I guess I don't really care all that much if people aren't looking, because when I started this blog it was just for me anyway. A way to experiment with the technology available; to get things in print instead of internalising them (you can't exactly sit down and write in a journal whenever you think of something, and you can't always add pictures); something to fiddle around with when I got a little bored with what I was doing at the time.

I thought about using one of those visits counter things, but then I realised that mostly it would just be me looking at my own page (as I do after every time I post something or have made alterations, or just to look at it), so I decided not to go to the trouble of getting that feature.

So if you do look here, drop me a comment.

Wednesday, 15 August 2007

Stress

STRESS


I am not sure exactly how it works, but this is amazingly accurate. Read the full description before looking at the picture.

The picture below has 2 identical dolphins in it. It was used in a case study on stress levels at St. Mary's Hospital.
Look at both dolphins jumping out of the water. The dolphins are identical. A closely monitored, scientific study revealed that, in spite of the fact that the dolphins are identical ,a person under stress would find differences in the two dolphins. The more differences a person finds between the dolphins, the more stress that person is experiencing.

Look at the photograph and if you find more than one or two differences you may want to take a vacation.





Never take life seriously. Nobody gets out alive



Monday, 13 August 2007

Somebody Out There

I'm tired of being alone,
Missing someone I don't even know
Crazy but all I've been through
Was just another way of getting back to you

It's only a matter of time
Seperate lives will be two worlds that collide
Don't go asking me why
I believe what im feeling inside

Somebody out there's got my name on their heart
Somebody out there is watching the same star
I'm counting the hours now and it won't be long
Till I find that somebody out there
Who's the one
Who's the one

I hear the words you don't say
Like a favourite song that I never play
Are you all that you seem
Or are you just a picture taken from a dream

I know that I'm not making sense
But I like what I see and I wanna see more
Love is my only defence
I believe that is what I am here for

A thousand miles
A million smiles
How many more to go
I'm shouting out
Can't live without
The you I want to know

- Kate Alexa

This song has really been in my thoughts lately.
I haven't found that someone that I want to spend the rest of my life with yet.
I was talking with my Dad the other day and we both seem to think that the right man is not around here where I currently live.
I'm really praying that he will come soon, whoever he is.

Thursday, 9 August 2007

Thoughts on Little Women


Little Women, by Lousia May Alcott is one of my favourite stories, along with the sequels, Good Wives, Little Men and Jo's Boys.


While I love the books, I get rather disappointed by the movies (of which there are several). The movies aways combine Little Women and Good Wives, but never go on to the rest of the story in Little Men and Jo's Boys.


My biggest compliant, however, is with how the character of 'Beth' is portrayed in the films. She is always portrayed as a spineless, sappy person. That's not really how she is at all. In fact, I think she had more courage than all her sisters.

Simpler Times?


I found this picture on art.com and for some reason it captured my fancy.
Maybe it's just the thought of being free to fly!
And then I saw the date, and began to wonder if at that time was life much simpler?
No internet, so I wouldn't be doing this. Not that I necesarily want to go back in time (clothes are much more comfortable these days), but just the thought of life being more simple.

Wednesday, 8 August 2007

Life is a garden,
Good friends are the flowers
And times spent together,
Life's happiest hours.


-Helen Steiner Rice

Tuesday, 7 August 2007

If the seed of friendship
Is planted deep and true
And watched with understanding,
Friendship's flower will bloom for you.

-Helen Steiner Rice


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Monday, 30 July 2007

God, grant me
Courage and hope for every day,
Faith to guide me along my way,
Understanding and wisdom too,
And grace to accept what life gives me to do.

-Helen Steiner Rice

Friday, 27 July 2007

;)






No hill's too high
no mountain's too tall,
For with faith in the Lord,
you can conquer them all.

-Helen Steiner Rice

Thursday, 19 July 2007

Teach me to take time for praying
and to find time for listening to You
So each day is spent well and wisely
doing what You most want me to do.

-Helen Steiner Rice

Friday, 13 July 2007

Thank You, God, for the beauty
around me everywhere,
The gentle rain and glistening dew,
the sunshine and the air.
-Helen Steiner Rice

Thursday, 28 June 2007

Friends




Sometimes in life, you find a special friend;
Someone who changes your life just by being part of it.
Someone who makes you laugh until you can't stop;
Someone who makes you believe that there really is good in the world
Someone who convinces you that there really is an unlocked door
just waiting for you to open it.




Wednesday, 27 June 2007

Nothing Stays the Same

I was rather dramatically reminded of this when I recently visited the town of my birth.

Of the shops and businesses that I remember there were only about 4 in the same place as they were before. Most were gone, and others had moved. Road layouts had changed. The house where I lived for 12 years was nearly unrecognisable! All the large bushes and trees from the front were gone. The house had been painted a rather bright yellow, instead of the white or cream I remembered. The cyprus trees in the farm block nest door had all been removed, and where we once had a view of the hills to the front, there was a line of trees - none of which were there when we moved out 13 years ago.

Even the Baptist church we attended had changed. The big holly tree out the front was gone - not even the stup remained. It too, had been painted.

The only things that were the same was the public library, the train station, and a friend's house (although even their garden was a little different - tidier).

I think if I had been there, living through the changes it would not have been as much of a shock. But I saw all the changes in less than an hour. I knew it would have changed, but I didn't expect things to have changed as much as they had.

Whatever happened to the simple country life where things go relatively unchanged for generations?

It makes me think of a line in the hymn 'Abide With Me' by Henry F Lyte, which says "Change and decay in all around I see;O Thou who changest not, abide with me."

Monday, 18 June 2007

My Country

My Country
byDorothea Mackellar
(1885 - 1968)

The love of field and coppice,
Of green and shaded lanes.
Of ordered woods and gardens
Is running in your veins,
Strong love of grey-blue distance
Brown streams and soft dim skies
I know but cannot share it,
My love is otherwise.

I love a sunburnt country,
A land of sweeping plains,
Of ragged mountain ranges,
Of droughts and flooding rains.
I love her far horizons,
I love her jewel-sea,
Her beauty and her terror -
The wide brown land for me!

A stark white ring-barked forest
All tragic to the moon,
The sapphire-misted mountains,
The hot gold hush of noon.
Green tangle of the brushes,
Where lithe lianas coil,
And orchids deck the tree-tops
And ferns the warm dark soil.

Core of my heart, my country!
Her pitiless blue sky,
When sick at heart, around us,
We see the cattle die-
But then the grey clouds gather,
And we can bless again
The drumming of an army,
The steady, soaking rain.

Core of my heart, my country!
Land of the Rainbow Gold,
For flood and fire and famine,
She pays us back threefold-
Over the thirsty paddocks,
Watch, after many days,
The filmy veil of greenness
That thickens as we gaze.

An opal-hearted country,
A wilful, lavish land-
All you who have not loved her,
You will not understand-
Though earth holds many splendours,
Wherever I may die,
I know to what brown country
My homing thoughts will fly.
Dorothea Mackellar

Friday, 15 June 2007

Sometimes when a light goes out of our lives
and we are left in darkness
and we do not know which way to go,
we must put our hand into the hand of God
and ask Him to lead us.

-Helen Steiner Rice

Monday, 4 June 2007

Teach Me

Teach me to give of myself in whatever way I can,
Of whatever I have to give.
Teach me to value myself -
my time, my talents, my purose, my life,
my meaning in Your world.

-Helen Steiner Rice

Wednesday, 30 May 2007

THE POSTAL SERVICE NO ONE HEARS ABOUT


THE POSTAL SERVICE NO ONE HEARS ABOUT
Our 14 year old dog, Abbey, died last month. The day after
he died, my 4 year old daughter Meredith was crying and
talking about how much she missed Abbey. She asked if we
could write a letter to God so that when Abbey got to Heaven,
God would recognize her.
She dictated and I wrote:
Dear God,
Will you please take special care of our dog, Abbey? She
died yesterday and is in heaven. We miss her very much. We
are happy that you let us have her as our dog even though she
got sick. I hope that you will play with her.
She liked to play with balls and swim before she got sick.
I am sending some pictures of her so that when you see her
in heaven you will know she is our special dog. But I really do
miss her.
Love, Meredith Claire P.S. Mommy wrote the words after I
told them to her.
We put that in an envelope with two pictures of Abbey, and
addressed it to God in Heaven. We put our return address
on it. Then Meredith stuck some stamps on the front (because,
as she said, it may take lots of stamps to get a letter all the
way to Heaven) and that afternoon I let her drop it into the
letter box at the post office.
For a few days, she would ask if God had gotten the letter
yet. I told her that I thought He had.
Yesterday there was a package wrapped in gold paper on our
front porch. Curious, I went to look at it. It had a gold star
card on the front and said "To Meredith" in an unfamiliar hand.
Meredith took it in and opened it.
Inside was a book by Mr. Rogers, "When a Pet Dies". Taped
to the inside front cover was the letter we had written to God,
in its opened envelope (which was marked Return to Sender:
Insufficient address). On the opposite page, one of the
pictures of Abbey was taped under the words "For Meredith".
We turned to the back cover, and there was the other picture
of Abbey, and this handwritten note on pink paper:
***************************************************************************************************************************
Dear Meredith,
I know that you will be happy to know that Abbey arrived safely
and soundly in Heaven! Having the pictures you sent to me was
such a big help. I recognized Abbey right away. You know,
Meredith, she isn't sick anymore. Her spirit is here with me--
just like she stays in your heart--young and running and playing. Abbey loved being your dog, you know.
Since we don't need our bodies in heaven, I don't have any
pockets!-- so I can't keep your beautiful letter. I am sending
it to you with the pictures so that you will have this book to
keep and remember Abbey.
One of my angels is taking care of this for me. I hope the little
book helps. Thank you for the beautiful letter. Thank your
mother for sending it. What a wonderful mother you have! I
picked her especially for you.
I send my blessings every day and remember that I love you
very much.
By the way, I am in heaven but wherever there is love, I am
there also.
Love, God and the special angel who wrote this after God told
her the words.

As a parent and a pet lover, this is one of the kindest things
that I've ever experienced. I have no way to know who sent
it, but there is some very kind soul working in the dead letter
office. Just wanted to share this act of compassion.

Blessings of love, peace, health & happiness.

-Author Unknown