Tuesday, November 28, 2006

touch down

My friend who I used to live with in London touched down in Sydney this morning on her way back to NZ. She is only in town for two days but I am really looking forward to hanging out with her. Woo Hoot!

Monday, November 27, 2006

st nicholas

Ruth has written a great post on what she tells her kids about Santa and so has Rodeo. Check out the comments too, there were a lot of great things said.

christmas crackers

Why O Why do you always get pieces of plastic in crackers that are good for nothing? This picture is of a few plastic items I recently got in a cracker. A plastic airplane (that doesn't fly), a plastic car (with wheels that don't go round), a plastic fish (that doesn't swim), a plastic angel (that doesn't sing), a plastic thimble (that barely fits on your finger) and finally a plastic ring (that once again barely fits). So what's the story? It just amazes me that you can get so many rubbish items in crackers, I don't think I could think of something so boring, un-creative and good for nothing to put in a cracker, that's if my job was the 'Put-as-many-pieces-of-plastic-rubbish-in-crackers- as-you-possibly-can' manager. But that being said, everyone loves to pull a cracker, it's the wondering who will win the end with all the surprises in, it's the bang it makes make you pull each end, it's the hat (that not everyone wears) the jokes (that are often very lame) and the wondering "I wonder what plastic piece of rubbish I shall get in this cracker?"

Even though I have been a little harsh towards the humble Christmas cracker, I will often be the first at the Christmas dinner table to pick up my cracker and pull it with the person next to me. It's fun, the anticipation kills me (slight exaggeration) and it's just part of what we do on Christmas day.

What are some of the best and worst things you have got in your crackers?

Friday, November 24, 2006

England Cricketers

SP has been spending a couple of days each week working in Brisbane the last few weeks, this week he flew up yesterday and gets back today. Due to obvious reasons, accommodation was a little hard to find and they couldn't book him into the place he normally stays so he had to stay in a 5 star hotel - oh well....

Anyhoo, last night when he got in the lift to go up to his room, he got in the lift with 3 England cricketers (can't remember their names but I know it wasn't Flintoff) looking very tired and worn out. SP said to them "Long day?" LOL..

Then as he went down to go to get something to eat and saw Phil Tufnell at the bar (where else would he be ;)

So that was his brush with fame in Brisbane...

Go England......

Thursday, November 23, 2006


tis the season to be jolly......

....tra la la la la la la la la...

is that the right amount of la's??

Anyhoo, I am very excited as I get to go home to England for Christmas in three weeks, I have been away for three Christmas' so I am very much looking forward to spending a Christmas at home with my family. What I love about Christmas' in England with my family are:

- Cold Christmas' are the best...
- Getting to hang out with my family on Christmas day.
- Turkey
- My Aunt's potent brandy sauce on Christmas pudding.
- Watching 'Only Fools and Horses' repeats on TV.
- Watching the Queen's Christmas speech - naaaaaaaa not really ;)
- Exchanging presents with my family - I love giving surprises and getting surprises.
- Opening up a present on Christmas Eve = tradition in our family.
- I am excited that Scott gets to spend a traditional Christmas with my family.
- I love that it is so cold you can see your own breath.
- Hopefully getting to go to church on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day with some of my family.
- I am so looking forward to talking with my little sisters about the REAL meaning of Christmas.
- Sitting down after a big lunch and just chilling out.
- My family coming around every hour or so trying to feed you more food, even after lunch.

So what family traditions do you have in your family or what are the things you love about Christmas in your country?

Friday, November 17, 2006

is this the new mr mcq?

finding emo

David has a thought provoking post on Evangelising EMO's, yeah you heard me... Not Nemo* - though that might come as a surprise to those of you who know how much of a Nemo fan I am....

I think he could be on to something, pop by and let him know your thoughts.

*warning the Nemo picture might cause some distress - at least it did for me

Thursday, November 16, 2006

the Lord's portion is his people

I read this yesterday and really wanted to share it :)

How are they his? By his own sovereign choice. He chose them, and set his love upon them. This he did altogether apart from any goodness in them at the time, or any goodness which he foresaw in them. He had mercy on whom he would have mercy, and ordained a chosen company unto eternal life; thus, therefore, are they his by his unconstrained election.

They are not only his by choice, but by purchase. He has bought and paid for them to the utmost farthing, hence about his title there can be no dispute. Not with corruptible things, as with silver and gold, but with the precious blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord’s portion has been fully redeemed. There is no mortgage on his estate; no suits can be raised by opposing claimants, the price was paid in open court, and the Church is the Lord’s freehold for ever. See the blood-mark upon all the chosen, invisible to human eye, but known to Christ, for “the Lord knoweth them that are his”; he forgetteth none of those whom he has redeemed from among men; he counts the sheep for whom he laid down his life, and remembers well the Church for which he gave himself.

They are also his by conquest. What a battle he had in us before we would be won! How long he laid siege to our hearts! How often he sent us terms of capitulation! but we barred our gates, and fenced our walls against him. Do we not remember that glorious hour when he carried our hearts by storm? When he placed his cross against the wall, and scaled our ramparts, planting on our strongholds the blood-red flag of his omnipotent mercy? Yes, we are, indeed, the conquered captives of his omnipotent love. Thus chosen, purchased, and subdued, the rights of our divine possessor are inalienable: we rejoice that we never can be our own; and we desire, day by day, to do his will, and to show forth his glory.

Charles Spurgeon (click on his name to go to morning and evening - it's awesome)

hi to kendra in bosnia

Last night I was on my computer checking my mail after bible study and I had Skype on when I saw my friend sign on, my friend who is living in Bosnia who I hardly ever see on Skype or get to chat too. We had a nice little chat and she told me she reads my blog - so I just wanted to say a big


She is going home to England around Christmas time too so I am going to get to see her - YIPEE!

4 weeks tomorrow

Well folks, it is very quickly getting to the time when I get to fly home for Christmas, four weeks tomorrow we fly to Korea, we spend the night in Sol and then arrive in London on Saturday 16th Dec - and I can't wait. I can hardly believe it is already Christmas time it so doesn't feel like it. I am looking forward to getting that 'Christmas feeling' back, two Christmas' in Oz an then the Christmas before that in Colorado (cold but not England!). Today is actually abnormally cold for this time of year so for the first time I felt a wee bit Christmasy when I purchased my 'Gingerbread latte' from Starbucks - yum!

My beautiful friend who I lived with in Wimbledon, London is moving back to NZ after living in London for years, this means she will be in Sydney for 2 days in just under two weeks, I am so excited to see her and hang out. I am taking a day off so we can have some 'quality' time catching up. Woo Hoot!

Adventure Club is on today - very exciting. I will be teaching my little ones about Daniel and the Lion's Den - can't wait.. Please pray that it goes well, that the kids would listen and retain what we teach them and that we as leaders might be faithful and clear in our presentation of the God's word.

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

are you a movie buff?

Your Movie Buff Quotient: 58%

You are well on your way to becoming a movie buff.
You've seen many of the great films, and you have even probably developed an expertise in a few genres.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

firefox 2.0 = better than ie

I have now entered the world of Firefox - how good is it?? Ummm - Very! I just downloaded Firefox and plan to download it on my home computer too. I think it is great!

U2 = totally rocked

Here is a pic from where we were sitting for the U2 concert last night. We had a totally awesome night, it was probably the best concert that we will ever get to see. I think I kept saying that throughout the night ;) But seriously it was a great concert, they were on stage for 2 1/2 hours, they sang a mixture of old and new - I rang my Mum so she could hear over the phone. She heard noise but couldn't really pick up what they were playing, so I helped her out by singing loudly down the phone. If Bono knew how good I was I would probably be in the band. Mr and Mrs Lairdy were great company, Mrs Lairdy and I rocked away, jumping manically up and down like a couple of rock chicks (so we thought) and Mr Lairdy and SP had a fab time - singing away!! And then Samr called and was in the area so managed to drive us home. So to round up, great band + great venue + great company + great 'vibe' + unexpected lift home by samr = TOTALLY AWESOME NIGHT!

Monday, November 13, 2006

it's a beautiful day and visa = granted

Tonight is the night that SP and I go with Mr and Mrs Lairdy to watch U2 in concert, I have one of their CDs playing in the background at work, I have just picked up the tickets from ticketek so we are now officially ready to go. I am so excited - it is going to be awesome... Check out Sam and Soph's blog for photo's

In other news:

- I received my spouse visa today which means I am free to work anywhere I like and in two years I get my permanent residency, the visa I have received now gives me all the same benefits as being a permanent resident... So this is very great and exciting news - thanks so much to all those who prayed for us regarding this. God is good. Woo Hoot!

- Craigs gave me a copy of Tabletalk last night, a signed copy might I add, so I am looking forward to reading through some of Luther's nuggets and sharing them on my blog - thanks Craig ;)

- 'It's a beautiful day' - it really is, the sun is shining, church was awesome last night - we have a lot to be thankful for.

- Dominic scored a touchdown last night (if you watch Australian Idol - you know what I mean). He spoke on 1 Peter 4 and did an awesome job, it wasn't too long, it was powerful and encouraging (listen here) - we also got to partake of the Lord's supper together - what a privilege to know that Christ's body was broken and his blood shed for each one of us and as Dominic said, Christ's death is a sad thing, as an innocent man died but it is also an amazing and great thing because it means sin has been dealt with once and for all, we can now stand before God as white as snow because of what Christ has done for us.

Have a fantastic Monday ;)

Thursday, November 09, 2006

talk about bad loser

Psalm 34

I will extol the LORD at all times;
his praise will always be on my lips.
My soul will boast in the LORD;
let the afflicted hear and rejoice.
Glorify the LORD with me;
let us exalt his name together.
I sought the LORD, and he answered me;
he delivered me from all my fears.
Those who look to him are radiant;
their faces are never covered with shame.
This poor man called, and the LORD heard him;
he saved him out of all his troubles.
The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him,
and he delivers them.
Taste and see that the LORD is good;
blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.
Fear the LORD, you his saints,
for those who fear him lack nothing.
The lions may grow weak and hungry,
but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing.
Come, my children, listen to me;
I will teach you the fear of the LORD.
Whoever of you loves life
and desires to see many good days,
keep your tongue from evil
and your lips from speaking lies.
Turn from evil and do good;
seek peace and pursue it.
The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous
and his ears are attentive to their cry;
the face of the LORD is against those who do evil,
to cut off the memory of them from the earth.
The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them;
he delivers them from all their troubles.
The LORD is close to the brokenhearted
and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
A righteous man may have many troubles,
but the LORD delivers him from them all;
he protects all his bones,
not one of them will be broken.
Evil will slay the wicked;
the foes of the righteous will be condemned.
The LORD redeems his servants;
no one will be condemned who takes refuge in him.
Psalm 34

the end of all things is near

Last night at bible study we started back on our 1 Peter study, SP couldn’t be there as his flight didn’t get back in time so one of the other guys lead us through a study. It was really great to look at God’s word together, we first looked at Psalm 34 which really reflects what 1 Peter 3:8-22 has to say.

We were all really challenged by the part that comes just after:

“The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray.” 1 Peter 4:7

I was really challenged that “the end is near”, I mean do I really believe that? Yes I believe Jesus will return but do I believe it will be in my life time? I think I imagine it won’t be in my life time I think it will be in hundreds even thousands of years time, but what do I have to base that on – the bible? No, my gut feeling – Hmmm well that can’t be trusted. It is possible that Christ might return in my life time, he could come back tomorrow for all I know. With that in mind, do I live life like he will return tomorrow, if I did what would that look like. Would it look any different? Would is change how I talk to my husband, how I relate to my friends, how I respond and work with my work colleagues, how I treat my parents, the time I choose to spend with God in his word and in prayer, how much time I spend watching TV or what I do with my time full-stop?

I want to wake up each morning with that as a reality, Jesus could return any moment and am I ready, am I living my life, the things I do, say and think with the thought of Jesus coming to take me home tomorrow and if so what would I do differently?

woo hoot - U2 here we come!

I managed to get SP and I tickets to the U2 concert this Monday night, we are so excited and I can hardly wait. SP just loves them. I have brought in our U2 cds to jam at work today. Bono Rocks!

Check out Sam and Soph's blog for some U2 action here and here

disclaimer: I am actually not sure if they still have tickets for Monday like it says in the image but it is a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Monday, November 06, 2006

the weekend

- Friday night we chilled out, I finished my second red painting which took a few attempts to get right.

- Saturday we woke up early as we were having our new lounge/dining room furniture delivered - woo hoot, how exciting. The dining table, chairs and coffee table came and SP put them altogether while I did the housework. SP then drilled holes to hang up our pictures, our little place is all coming together nicely and I love it... We then did our food shopping, got home enjoyed our new little place and had a few visitors. An Irish guy SP works with his wife and beautiful beautiful little daughter (she is 1 in December) came over for afternoon tea, I cooked blueberry muffins and then right after our good friends called in as they were in the area. I love these friends they are people we share our lives with who we can be real with and share our struggles and our joys with - we love them to bits and we are so thankful to God for bringing them into our loves...

- Saturday night take out pizza and beer night - YUM!

- Sunday we had friends over for brunch which was lovely, we hadn't caught up with these guys in a long time so it was nice to finally be able to hang out. It is so nice to have a bigger place to entertain and have friends over, I feel so blessed and can hardly believe that this little place is ours (well it technically belongs to the bank BUT we can paint and drill whenever we want ) I finished painting the picture for the kitchen, trying to keep in with the theme of the living area and then made a chicken, mushroom and potato pie - I really enjoyed cooking and not having to rush, it was yummo (even if I do say so myself ).

- Sunday night I met up with a friend before church and then we had a sermon on suffering 1 Peter 3:8-22, a challenge from Dominic to live in harmony with one another, to not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but instead to repay evil and insult with blessing, because to this we have been called. How easy it can be to want to respond to evil with evil and insult with insult but we are called to be different to turn from evil and do good, we are to keep our tongue from evil and our lips from deceitful speech. This passage even says that "even if we suffer for what is right, you are blessed" so even in times when we have done the just and right thing and still suffer God is still working for our good and though we might not see that immediately we can be sure that we will be blessed, that one day we will get to spend eternity in the presence of God, nothing can take that away. I pray that as Christ's we are able to "live in harmony with one another, be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing" 1 Peter 3:8-9

Hope you all had awesome weekends :)

it is finished!

I finished the two paintings to go in our living area and here they are.

Friday, November 03, 2006

drinking hot tea 101*

* by Nixter and Hannah

#1 - drinking tea is like breathing air.

#2 - drinking hot English tea is better than any other kind of flavoured tea.

#3 - hot tea must be taken with one sugar and milk.

#4 - or no sugar and milk.

#5 - with honey or lemon it cures sore throats.

#6 - it cures all evils.

#7 - to be taken with a chocolate biscuit.

#6 - many cups to be consumed during the day.

#7 - one to be taken before bed.

#8 - like air, you don't think about it, you just do it.

#9 - in summer is actually cools you down.

#10 - in winter it warms you up.

#11 - It's a girl's best friend.

#12 - you make friends over it.

#13 - it's a refined art; pinky to be pointed out, thank you very much.

# 14- tea from china cups make the tea THAT much better.

#15 - face it, the tea you drink at work is just not as good as tea from home, this is not a myth, it's just life. It happens to make you appreciate home time THAT much more.

#16 - not all English people drink tea out of a cup and saucer - Sorry!

#17 - tea contains more caffeine than coffee. It's just released at a slower rate....

#18 - saucers are only necessary when there is a biscuit in accompaniment.

#19 - If thou art cold, tea will warm thee, If thou art hot, tea will cool thee, If thou art sad, tea will cheer thee, If thou art cross, tea will calm thee.

#20 - At present there is no risk factor related to drinking tea and heart disease.

#21 - An experienced picker can pluck about 40 pounds of tea leaves a day.

#22 - Tea protects you from those pesky free radicals.

#23 - Country Percentage of World Tea Consumption India 23% China 16% Russia/CIS 6% UK 6% Japan 5% Turkey 5% Pakistan 4% United States 4% Iran 3% Egypt 3% Poland 1% Australia 0.4% Rest of World 23.6% Total 100%.

#24 - drinking tea out of a mug is perfectly acceptable.

my new painting

to bleat or to roar

As I said yesterday our bible study has just finished a three week study on "Roaring Lambs" by Bob Briner, I wasn't sure what to expect but we have had some really great conversations and it has really challenged me to think about what it means to be a "Roaring Lamb" in my work, in my culture, in my community and in the world!

The book it about doing, about action, about making things happen and it sets a great precedent by acknowledging that "one of the most overriding and compelling principles of the Bible is the truth that in our own strength we can do nothing. Unless we have waited on the Lord in prayer and received His direction and blessing, what we do will be ineffective and futile."

I have been and still am thinking about the idea of being salt and what that would look like for me personally, I am not a gifted writer, I sometimes find it hard to be articulate what I think, so how am I to be salt? I wanted to think through the practical ways in which I can be salt in this community, in this culture, in this world. There are lots of things I feel passionately about in the news or on the TV but often I sit in my own little world grumbling about how wrong it is and how I don't agree with it but I do little much else with it other than 'blog about it'. So I have been challenged to consider how I might do be salt, maybe it is simply writing a letter to the SMH to give them my Christian perspective.

I think there are ways in which we can all be like salt, I know I need to think outside the box a little more to think through how I can share what I think and realizing it is just going to take a bit of time and effort. But like the book says, "the best way to stop the spread of evil is to replace it with something good", so it's not just about sitting and disagreeing, it's about taking action, about doing something about writing that letter to the SMH, calling up talk back radio, write a book or post a comment on a blog!

I will finish with one more quote from Roaring Lambs, "Salt is both a seasoning and a preservative. It seasons by adding taste and enhancing flavour. It preserves by cleansing and retarding spoilage. In both cases, the salt must be brought into contact with it's object for it's power to be realised. Sitting in the shaker, it does no good. It might as well be thrown out."

I encourage us all to think through how we might be salt in this world and how can we replace evil with good but last and more importantly is asking God to show us how we can use the gifts he has given each one of us to make him know and acknowledging that without him we can do nothing.

Am I going to be bleat like a lamb or am I going to roar??

Thursday, November 02, 2006

roaring lambs

Last night in bible study we finished our look at the first three chapters of 'Roaring Lambs', I have really enjoyed looking at this book over the last three weeks and I have found it very challenging in many ways, BUT I have to go to Adventure Club now so I will write more on the things that I have been challenged by tomorrow. Please pray as we look at another King this week - King Jehoiakim, pray the the little ones would continue to absorb and listen contently to God's word and we as leaders might faithfully teach and loving care for these beautiful kids :)

freak out

Tired of getting stuck in slow moving traffic?

Want to have your own lane on the Motorway?

Simply, tie these balloons to your car. Belt it down the M60 (or any other road you wish to drive fast on) and watch other car drivers freak out and simply get out of your way!

When you get stopped by the police, tell them you thought they were real.

*click on picture to see a bigger image

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

mai'i iced straws

This morning at the station I got handed out a freebee - I LOVE FREEBEES. Today's freebee was a Mai'a Iced Coffee Straw, these are special straws that turn milk into iced coffee. Before I opened it I thought it wouldn't be very good at all BUT it really did work and it was pretty scrummy too. I am always amazed at the little creations people come up with - I mean I would have never of thought of that..

atishoo atishoo we all fall down

I love to sneeze, there is something lovely about the feeling of a sneeze, I love it.. Up until recently I use to hold my sneezes in and I would make a really funny noise but lately Scott told me to 'let it out' because holding them in kills brain cells, I need to keep on to as many of those brain cells as I can ;)

So now I let them out and it feels good!!

Do you hold sneezes in or let them out?