Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Another Hallelujah?

I can't not link to this. An American worship leader has done a 'christian' version of Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah.

And yes, it's bad.

I couldn't listen to it the whole way through. I felt too embarrassed.

fish-oil and weightloss blog trial

It seems there might be a link between fish-oil and weightloss.

My friend has found this to be true. She started taking daily fish-oil supplements a month ago and has lost weight without dieting or exercising.

I'm not normally into supplements but thought it might be fun to give this a go. Fish oil is also meant to help concentration and do other good stuff for our brains.

Would anyone like to join me? Simply go buy some fish-oil supplements, take them each day and report in when I do the next post about it.

Of course this is highly scientific. The rest of you are the control group. You can report back too.

So, are you in?

Peter Bolt on full-time theological study

"How could we possibly hope to get the best kind of ministers of the gospel that we can if we are not prepared to give them ‘time out’—to have the devastating grace of constant ever-present exposure to God's word?"


Read the whole thing here.

Micah's Graduation...

...from pre-prep in December.

a commentless blog...

... is like an echo-ey room.

to my reader readers...

I'm sorry for all the spelling mistakes. I write a post, immediately hit 'publish' then actually read it through. Reader people get everything in its unedited form. That last post was dreadful.

I'm not a reader person. I like to actually visit blogs. I like your pretty banners and colour schemes. And I like to make your stats look healthy!

bring back the sun visor!

Anyone else miss this fashion essential? Of course they're not recommended for bald men, but for the rest of us, what could be better? Keeps both the sun and our hair out of our faces. When indoors it can be conveniently stored around the neck. I say bring them back!

Monday, March 30, 2009

work work work

I'm making up now for not working much for the first 8 weeks of term. Suddenly there's loads of teaching work. What happened?

Sunday, March 29, 2009

'thorns in the flesh suck'

Said by my skype friend. How true.

A gutful

You can watch my sister on Insight here. She's the surgeon on for the first 7 minutes of part 1.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

The economy is getting back on track....

... or mine is anyway.

I worked Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and am now exhausted and maybe a little sick.

It was fun, but I'm not used to so much work after my very lazy start to the year.

I have another 6 days of work booked up before easter. I'm doing one classroom day, then a week as a music teacher.

Music teaching is full-on. If I don't pace myself I'll finish a music teaching day with very little voice left. There's no silent reading time in the music classroom. I can get the kids to do 'silent listening', though, to give my voice a break. How about a fill-in-the-blanks worksheet to accompany Benjamin Britten's Young Person's Guide To The Orchestra? Wonder if the kids would be up to that... I'm going to two different schools. It would probably pay to work up such a thing (I made one 10 years ago, and if I were organised would still have it...). I could probably use it with 9 classes over the week.

'I want' songs

According to my friend, all good musicals need an 'I want' song.

Here's one from the Little Mermaid.

And one from Les Mis.

And one from Joseph.

Can you think of some more 'I want' songs? Give us a link so we can all enjoy them.

What's your favourite 'I want' song?

things I like #1

doctor who

Thursday, March 26, 2009

don't try this at home

I just got a demo back of perhaps the worst lyric I've ever written. I mentioned it a few weeks ago. Just like to confirm that 4 and 5 syllable words are terrible.

I can't bring myself to quote entire lines, but here are a few choice words to give you the idea:


All of those words and more were packed into a chorus. How could that be good?

The verses are okay and the tune is great so we're not quite ready to dump the song yet. But if I listen to it again I will be.

I love teaching

I had two work calls today. Unfortunately I couldn't take both... Hopefully I won't get a big black mark next to my name for saying 'no'.

I'm teaching today's class again tomorrow. They're not the easiest group of year 2's I've come across but by the end of the day I kind-of liked them. They were impressed with my 'lovely lycra' game so I'm in their good books. I know a few of the parents which makes it interesting.

The class had a lot of trouble keeping their bottoms on their seats. I'm thinking of inventing a lockable seatbelt device that would be fitted to the kids chairs to limit movement during work time. The seat locks would be activated by the teacher only. She'd have a little controler on her key ring with a 'class-release/restrict' button and buttons to lock and unlock individual chairs. Super glue would be the alternative. I suggested that to the kids today but they weren't so keen.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Me? A PE teacher?

Today I was a classroom teacher for 3 hours, then a PE teacher for 1.5 hours. I had to teach 5-7 year olds how to swim. I was in the pool with them. Dragging them from side to side. They weren't very good, but no-one drowned. I'm exhausted.

Thankful that I've been helping out with Micah's school swimming. It meant that I kind of knew what to do and could give a semi-convincing performance.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


I just taught the stupidest, most pointless and boring RE lesson ever.

It kind of went like this:

"God is like a mother hen. He loves us and looks after us. Um... Do your worksheets now. You have to circle 10 chickens. Okay you've finished? Good. Now we'll... I don't know... Sing another song?"

For the last 2 years I've had the freedom to teach my year 2's 'the bible in 10 easy lessons' (which Nathan's mum and dad wrote). It does the BT thing - creation, fall, abraham, david, solomon, exile, baby Jesus, cross, resurrection, new creation. Works really well - the kids get sucked into the story. Last year, apparently, the school's RE program got audited and it came out that we weren't using an approved curriculum. This year I've been given some stuff written for prep aged kids who can't read or write. My kids are very literate. The material is hopelessly inappropriate, so I took the liberty of asking for some older stuff and doing my own thing in the meantime. Today it became apparent that no new stuff was coming and I really needed to use what I was given. So I did. I've left things hanging with Abraham. How is God going to fix up the problem of sin?

Don't worry about that. God is like a mother hen. Next week, God is like a king. After that, God is like a gardener.

There are no stories to tell. Just these single lines.

I need to get imaginative.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Andrew has left me alone...

... with a mouse in the house.

A funnel-web spider would freak me out less.

I'm feeling as scared as a gruffalo*.

Andrew says I'll be okay because it's a guard mouse and it will look after me.

* 'The Gruffalo said that no gruffalo should ever set foot in the deep dark wood. "Why not? Why not?" Because if you do, the Big Bad Mouse will be after you!'

I'm against child porn...

... but I think that Kevin Rudd's internet filter is a bad bad bad idea.

Nathan and Craig have useful stuff to say. They've convinced me. I've written a letter.

To the Hon. Wayne Swan,
Member for Lilley.

Dear Sir,

I am writing to express my concern over the government's planned internet filter.

While I applaud your desire to protect our children from sexual abuse, I am convinced that the current plan will do little to achieve this. Furthermore, I see our freedom of speech seriously compromised by such a filter. Can I be certain that the filter will be used only to block illegal material or could religious and political content also be restricted? Surely it is dangerous to give such power to a government!

As a long time Labor voter, I am amazed and disturbed at this initiative.

I would appreciate hearing your views on the subject.


Simone Richardson
Nundah, QLD.

A Gutful

My sister Nicole will be on SBS's insight tomorrow night. She does gastric surgery on morbidly obese people. The show is featuring a 16 year old boy who she has or will operate on. It may be controversial.

SBS, Tuesday 7.30pm. Have a look and tell me what you think.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Once upon a time

I'm having a go at writing a little musical for Micah's class (prep - 5 year olds). Thought it would be fun if they performed it with their Year 6 buddies.

I've got no idea what will happen in the story yet, but I'd like there to be a bad king who ends up being eaten by a dragon. I've written a fragment of a song celebrating his demise:

Oh no, Old Joe
Eaten by a dragon
What a thing to
Happen to a king

It's not so bad
Nobody is too sad
Next a burp [burp!] and
What is for dessert?

Apart from that I have an opening song called 'Once upon a time', and a closing song called (you guessed it!) 'happily every after'. Neither song actually says anything.

So what should happen in the story? I want it to be narrator-driven, so the kids have very few lines and just have to move around a little bit. I'm thinking 10 minutes should be plenty long enough. Any ideas?

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Train a child in the way he should go...

Nathan came with me to vote this morning. He is nine years old and politically aware.

Today he learnt about the minor parties - the greens, the daylight savings parties and family first. I'm pleased to say that he can articulate quite clearly why none of them are a good option for QLD.

He would like to vote for a party that will put money into hospitals and schools and not build any more roads (around us, at least!)

now I've heard it all

Pink Floyd's 'Have a Cigar' has been turned into workout music. It's used as the triceps track on Body Pump #32.

Look it up on iTunes. Have a cigar (workout remix) by T.Sign.

It's pretty bad, but only because it should never have been done.

Friday, March 20, 2009

This is a cool brochure

twist 09

let your light shine

Yesterday I had the privilege (!) of sitting through a Year 4 RE class (I was the classroom teacher.) The RE teacher meant well, but her material was bad bad bad.

The topic of the lesson was 'let your light shine'.

Here's how it went:

10+ minutes talking about the history of lighting - fire sticks, candles, electric lights. The kids were about as interested as I was.

5 minutes talking about how our gifts - the things we're good at - are our light. Each child had to tell everyone what they are good at. Much bragging.

Explanation about how God wants us to 'let our light shine' by using our gifts to help others. Doctors 'let their light shine' by making other people better. If we're good at singing, we should sing to make others happy. Etc. That's what it means to 'let your light shine'.

Worksheets showing people who 'let their light shine'. Firemen etc.

Oh dear.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

my day

I start work at 11.30 today. Apart from the fact that I only get paid half as much, I love half days. I'll get in there, work with the kids for an hour and a half, send them off to lunch, work with them for an hour (including 20 minutes of silent reading!) then send them home. Easy peezy.

But what I'm excited about is my morning. The question is, how much can I squeeze into it? I'm thinking...
8.20 - set up pump gear at gym so I don't miss out
8.25 - swim
9.00 - cardio machine (might try a cross trainer and listen to something on my ipod)
9.30 - pump class
10.30 - shower, get ready for work, fruit and vege shopping.
11.15 - arrive at work exhausted for an 11.30 start

What are you doing today?

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


I'm reading a parenting book at the moment (a very good one) that's super keen on 'spanking'. Just wondering...


1. Do you smack your kids?
2. Would you continue to smack your kids if it became really odious culturally (like legally questionable)

I don't want a big debate. Just want to know what people are thinking.

My answers:
1. Yes
2. No

times and seasons

This is the first year that I've had all the kids at school. It has been a big change for me, possibly the biggest since Nathan was born in Jan 2000. Here are a few things I've noticed:
  • I miss having the kids around during the day
  • but I enjoy the freedom of having time to myself
  • I waste more time now that I have more time
  • Some things that were impossible, difficult or annoying last year aren't a problem this year - I have time to go to mum's morning teas, help out with school swimming, or drop around to see a friend without feeling like I am using up the few precious minutes I had to myself
  • I am more relaxed than I've been for a long time
  • I have more energy to be organised. I'm now sending school forms back on time. I feel I'm on top of things and am not such a scatterbrain.
  • I like having a dog. This is a big change. This time last year I never ever wanted a pet, but we got one for Joel for his birthday. Our dog is always at home and is pleased that I'm there too.
  • I have more time and energy for Andrew.
  • The school day is so short! By the time you've done 3 gym classes and caught up on the blogs, it's time to do pick up! (I'm joking about the gym classes. Some of them, anyway!)
  • I'm not working much this year and don't want to! But money is nice... I'm doing a few half days in the next couple of weeks which are not a big deal.
Anyone else have a newly emptied nest?

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Why have we stopped talking about evangelism?

Doesn't seem like evangelism's the thing to talk about anymore. 'Missional' is the hip word now.

Is there any difference between being 'missional' and being 'evangelistic'?

My hunch is that evangelism is a more a person to person thing, but missional is a how-you-do-church-to-facilitate-large-scale-evangelism thing. Am I right?

In this post below, Phil Nicholson comments
"I think the danger of the church planting buzz is that we all want to be involved and will claim that we are doing it but without actually doing more evangelism than at present."
What do you think?

Nathan's plant rant

Have a read.

For Sale

Apparently my blog is worth US $220. Anyone want to buy it?


I've just re-read all my blog posts from the last couple of weeks. They are overwhelmingly negative and critical. Probably because that's how I've been feeling.

Anyway, sorry. I'll try to find something nice to talk about. If critical and nasty is more interesting than good, it's only because I have a poor imagination.

Here are some things I really like:

okay okay

Andrew has been trying to distance himself from my church planting whinges. He is more gracious than me and makes lots of good points. He also says some useful things about church revitalisation - which is the not-quite-so-hip game we've been playing for the last 6 years.

Monday, March 16, 2009


Joel and I went to the gallery of modern art this afternoon. Most of our time was spent on the indigenous art floor. Joel particularly likes 'devil pictures' with intricate patterning - like this Alick Tipoti.

I know almost nothing about art. The very little I do know has come from music textbooks. Thinking I should find out something. Any suggestions where to start?

wifely godliness

I listened to Sting without a word of complaint for 2 whole car trips today.

An hour of Sting. And I acted like it wasn't killing me.

Giving myself a big tick.

[Andrew, read this!]

word verification gone

It gets on my nerves on other people's blogs so I got rid of it on mine. Should I brace myself for a run of spam comments?

church-planting frustration

There's lots of church planting stuff around the blogs at the moment.

I'm all for church planting. There are people out their who need to hear the gospel, so let's start more churches. Great.

But I'm frustrated (you may have already picked that up...) with alot of the current church planting talk.

Here's why.

It all seems so glorified. A big conference in a big city in America with big super-star christians. Getting to hang with the big names. Associate yourself with them. Video them. Quote them. And make plans for how we can save the world like them. It's hard to be at a conference like that and not want and imagine yourself to be the next Mark Driscoll. (But would Mark Driscoll have ever attended such a conference? Actually, all the succesful church planters I know don't go to those kinds of conferences. They have their heads down!)

Christian ministry is not about glory. It rarely looks impressive. I'm sure the trainee church planters are being told (fairly constantly) that it's hard work, but I think the glitz of the big names undoes what is said. Your congregation is not going to sit and adoringly listen to you. Many will be Sunday-only Christians. Often they just won't show up. Sometimes your best people will be jump into big-time sin. Each day your little sins (which may actually turn out to be biggies) will nag at you and at those around you. You are not going to be nailing your message every week. Often you will be dull. Your church may never look big or exciting - it may look like the church in Corinth. Will you feel like a failure if it does?

I remember our principal telling us at college that most of us would not lead Philip Jensen type ministries. Most of us would just faithfully teach the bible week by week in average churches. That's just how it is and such ministry is valuable and good.

There are other reasons why I find the current church planting noise frustrating. But that's probably the main one.

Am I being petty and ungenerous? It's likely. Tell me to pull my head in.

UPDATE: Andrew just read this post and told me to pull my head in. He reminded me of some of the fantastic Australians with significant ministry experience who are over there... He's right, of course. Still interested in what you have to say.

Friday, March 13, 2009

off to church camp

No posts till Sunday or Monday.

Stay happy!


Thursday, March 12, 2009


Great to see Ben taking on the big issues. Keep up the good work!

A stupid christian song from 1912

I'd just like it to be clear that our generation does not have a monopoly on stupid congregational songs. This was top of the pops early last century.

In the Garden

I come to the garden alone
While the dew is still on the roses
And the voice I hear falling on my ear
The Son of God discloses.

And He walks with me, and He talks with me,
And He tells me I am His own;
And the joy we share as we tarry there,
None other has ever known.

He speaks, and the sound of His voice,
Is so sweet the birds hush their singing,
And the melody that He gave to me
Within my heart is ringing.

I’d stay in the garden with Him
Though the night around me be falling,
But He bids me go; through the voice of woe
His voice to me is calling.

C. Aus­tin Miles

I had second thoughts about that last post

so deleted it.

But Nathan's comment was very funny.

(Does it vanish from your reader when I delete it? Or is it still out there?)

assonance is beautiful

I'm no Tomlin fan, but this post on Chris Tomlin's lyrics annoyed me.

I'm good with this bit:

Well, enough’s enough. We are the most educated Christians in history, and yet our lyrics are considerably stupider than our much less educated Christian forebears–the people who sang lyrics by Fanny Crosby or Charles Wesley or Isaac Watts.

And please note that I didn’t say our lyrics are “simpler.” Simple can be good. Simple can be beautiful. I’m not arguing with simple.

But what Brother Tomlin seems happy to keep sending our way–and what the rest of us are happily receiving–isn’t simple, it’s just bad. Shame on him, shame on the worship leaders who aren’t finding anything else to set before us, and shame on us for not objecting.

I think that our congregational lyrics are more stupid than those of many other generations, but Prof. John Stackhouse (who wrote the post) seems to think that Tomlin's main crime is in his use of rhyme.
The man either doesn’t care about rhyming and settles for the merest assonance, or he lacks the skill or patience to actually craft rhymes. And rhyming is a pretty basic part of the pop genre in which he writes, not some exotic quality of songwriting I am unreasonably demanding of him.


And the last line offers this rhyme for “home”: “flows.” Say it with me, now: “Home, flows. Home, flows.” Nope, no rhyme there. Not by a mile.
Aaaargh! Mere assonance indeed! Assonance is type of rhyme. More subtle, delicate and suggestive than it's brother. One is not better than the other. They are used for different effects. Full rhymes feel like fierce magnets pulling lines together. There is a place for them. But some ideas shouldn't be forced together so strongly. Assonance creates a looser unity. Professor Stackhouse needs to go back to high school and learn about poetic devices.

I remember writing a poem in year 4 and being too embarrassed to show it to the teacher because the rhymes felt heavy and obvious. Tomlin would have us move on from year 4. Stackhouse would have us stay there.

It's okay to criticise someone's lyrics (I received a scathing critique of Never Alone last week) but let's save our harshest words for issues of content not artistry. Songs that are badly written will fall out of use after a decade or so. That's what has always happened. Most of our contemporary songs, however, are not stupid because of their artistry but because their theology is wrong, shallow or off balance. Let's think about that.

[HT: Mike Bird]

pump rage

At my gym, Thursday body pump class is always busy. It's best to arrive half an hour early, get all your gear (bar, clips, step and weights), then go play on a cardio machine till the class starts.

Today most of us arrived early and by the scheduled start time there were no weights left. There was much anger amongst the just-on-timers about how unfair it was that we early birds had hogged all the weights.

I admit that I use a lot of weights. Use, mind you, not hog. I don't just look at them. They are on my bar and I lift them.

One angry on-timer expressed her concern to me that it wasn't fair that I had so many weights when she didn't have enough to have a good workout. What should I have done? Given her some weights so that she could have a good workout? If I had worked it so that we each had the same number of weights, she would have had the weight she needed, but I would have had much less than I needed.

An ethical dilemma. Is fair distribution the same as equal distribution?

What would you have done?

I don't think that I was under any obligation to give her my stuff. The rule is first in best dressed.

But generosity suggests that I should. I'm not obliged to help, but am free to do so.

What would you have done?

As it turned out, I was saved making a decision by the fact that I had already arranged to share my weights with the girl next to me during certain tracks when I didn't need them all.

growing old

According to ABC local radio, 37 is when you stop being young. 43 is when you begin middle age. 37-42 is no-man's land. Neither young nor old.

It's Andrew's birthday today. Number 36. He is making the most of his last year of youth by running a marathon. I guess it's all downhill from here.

In the past I've never thought much about aging - or if I have its been a vague, mildly pleasant thought. Far enough away to romanticise.

But an honest friend told me the other day that she hates that she is getting old.

And I do too. Too keep on putting work in at the gym, but gradually having to lower your weights rather than raise them (See, it's the big stuff that worries me!) To find it harder to learn new things. To find your health is failing. Your mind compromised.

I hate that I can see my friends aging. Realising that they are slipping away and I won't be able to hold onto them. How awful that one day I'll lose them.

We really are 'but a breath'. We will pass away and the world will go on much the same without us.

Horrible, humbling, insulting stuff.

Inevitable though. Unless we die young or Jesus comes back right now.

I am looking forward to the new creation. Just a few short years till then.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


Joel had a reading test at school today. Apparently he did well and came out with the scores you would expect from a kid 8 months older than he is. His teacher was surprised. Perhaps he's ready to move on from reading support?

But perhaps not. Tonight he was back to his dyslexic old self.

Here's a few examples.

I can't run = I can turn
there/where= here
this = his
left = felt (here there's some opposition when I ask him to try again. No, mummy, it really says felt. F-e-l-t.)
the = 'he' or 'a' or 'that' or nothing at all.

I've gotten quite fond of these Joel-isms. They've been with us for the last 2 years. But now I feel I should record them because, judging by his test today, they're on the way out.

I'm almost gender neutral!

Well, my blog is anyway! I put it through the gender analyser (thanks Ali and Ben).

We guess http://www.simone1975.blogspot.com is written by a woman (58%), however it's quite gender neutral.
Is that a good thing?

Perhaps I need more girly posts just to make it clearer that I am, in fact, female.

How does your blog rate?

Dr. Rocktrin 2

I've co-written 7 songs in the last few weeks for emu's next big-kids cd. Varying qualities, ranging upward from very bad.

I only need to come up with one more song. It needs to:
  • be simple so that it instantly works in any context
  • be loved by parents and kids
  • say something significant
  • be so good that it sells the cd
Basically it needs to be a hit. In Christ Alone for 11 year olds.

That's all I've got left to write.

Monday, March 9, 2009

body pump 69

I've done body pump 69 for the last few weeks. Here's what I think:

01. Better In Time - Jamie Knight
Warm up. Nothing special here.

02. Get This Party Started - Dan Winter
Squats. Four rounds - one short then 3 long. Then bottom halves before the singles may fatigue you a bit, but what the heck. Put your weights up anyway.

03. I Don’t Care - Fall Out Boy
Chest. They say to put your weights up because it's shorter than normal. It is - by about 15 seconds. Put your weights up, but expect to die. It's hard.

04. Castles In The Sky - Liz Kay
Back. Couldn't they find another song? This is the lunge track in some other release. It does make for an intuitive back track though. Not too hard, but there are alot of rows and not so many dead lifts.

05. Shut Up & Drive - Rihanna
Triceps. On bench extensions and presses, then stand up for overhead plate work. I like #68 better.

06. So What - Pink
Biceps. Love the song. I think Pink could have a career solely on her body pump royalties. Lots of fun and fairly short. Might as well put your weights up.

07. Stand Alone - Dyce
Lunges. Mix of lunges and 3/4 squats. I'm a little confused about what 3/4 squats are. One instructor says you only go 3/4 the way down, another says you go all the way down and then just come a quarter of the way up... I know which is easier. Dynamic lunges at the end. Because there are squats you need to put your weights up.

08. All I Ever Wanted - Basshunter
Shoulders. Push ups at the start and end. I think it might be hard but it doesn't stand out in my memory...

09. All Summer Long - Kid Rock
Abs. Lots of different things in this one. I like it. Leg extensions, side crunches, normal crunches, hovers.

10. Let Me Be Myself - 3 Doors Down
Cool down. Normal. Nice song.

Overall, it's a fairly easy release. You need to put your weights up to hurt, but chest will really hurt. Nice music. Highlights? chest, biceps, abs.

twist music ministry conference

I am looking forward to twist this year. There are two conferences: twist away, a live in conference at Port Hacking from the 12th to the 14th of June and a very schmick single day event on the 24th October featuring Keith Getty.

I'll be at both and am just starting to think about the live-in conference. Last year Twist was non-residential, but a few of us were accommodated together. It was fun staying up late gossiping with SB and PP. I think the weekend away format will work really well for workshop training. You can't flick between workshops, but have to commit to one strand for the entire weekend - instrumental, vocal, writing or sound.

I'm helping lead the songwriting strand. The idea is that we have heaps of time to learn the theory together, do writing exercises, work individually on our own songs and get personalised feedback. I have felt the lack of time frustration with previous Twists. I think it would be great if by the end of the weekend, everyone had a reasonably polished song to take back to try in their churches. Sound like fun? I think so.

If you are someone who likes to write (I'm speaking to you, blogger!), you should come along. Even if you're not a music person. There are many people out there who can write tunes, but not so many who can write decent lyrics.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

mixing metaphors

I've just bought Mixing Metaphors, the new Dailies cd. I love it. The Dailies are a husband/wife duo. The production is superb. Their voices are even better - they blend so beautifully. But it's the actual songs that hook me. There is not a lyrical cliche to be found anywhere (almost).

These lines are from the song 'Now What' - a break-up song.

I don't know what happens next
but I would bet it starts with
My right foot down
And then my left
Again and again and again

True, huh?

I love the whole idea of 'A soverign nation sleeps beside me' (listen to an earlier version of the song here). It's a song about conflict within marriage - a rare thing to hear sung about.

Perhaps my favourite is 'The tide'.

The waves roll out and crash back in
And I am somehow comforted by
their indifference
Through all that I cannot abide
ever present
ever changing
ever steady
ever turning
is the tide


I may yet survive the tempest
but I won't outlive the tide
it will breathe when I lay breathless
it cares nothing for my pride
for I am but a vapor
drifting towards that other shore
like every generation
every pilgrim gone before.

You should by it. Really, you should. $16 well spent.

(just look it up on itunes. it's there.)

Friday, March 6, 2009

today I've been bored

So bored that I was visiting blogs that annoy me on purpose so that I would get annoyed.

Because its more fun to be annoyed than bored.

But bored I was.

Now I'm annoyed and bored. What a combo.

4 syllable words...


They are hard to sing, difficult to rhyme, they sound stupid and they make for a dumb, complicated and largely meaningless song.

Next time I have the grand idea of writing something featuring four syllable words, remind me that simple is beautiful.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

in case you were wondering...

...ripping off a Phil Collins meter is a dumb thing to do and makes for a stupid song.

Don't try it.

Haydn on SSA

Although same sex attraction is not something I struggle with, I've found Haydn's recent posts on the topic helpful. Our world is so messed up. We carry around sadnesses that won't be healed completely in this life. Press on.

safe sins

Jon from stuff christians like, writes on the common small group experience of confessing 'safe sins' rather than the biggies that are really plaguing us. Confessing so called 'safe sins', like not reading your bible enough, apparently shuts down the possibility of anyone else confessing the more unacceptable sins like pornography.

I have some sympathy for his post. It's not good if we can't trust eachother enough to confess the real sins that we are struggling with. Much worse if we can't trust God to forgive us and help us deal with black and ugly parts of our lives.

But I think that when we start ranking sins we run the risk of forgetting that all sin is bad. Black and ugly, disfigured and disgusting. Socially acceptable or not.

And when such a big deal is made of confession and authenticity and openness and the group experience, the danger is that we'll forget what it's actually all about - repentance, which means change.

I think that if we're not serious about actually changing, there's little point in doing the confession thing at all.

economic crisis hits us...

Not seriously. But last year I was run off my feet with teaching work. This year I'm getting hardly any - despite being available an extra day. It doesn't matter too much financially. We'll get by.

All supply teachers seem to be saying the same thing. Apparently it's because of two things. Firstly, teachers aren't wanting to retire. Those who finished up last year are doing supply work this year so as not to have to touch their super yet. Second, many qualified teachers who have been working in small businesses are looking to get back into schools because their businesses are no longer profitable.

Oh well. More time to do other things. And with interest rates so low, we need the money less.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

against all odds...

... I am imitating Phil Collins.

playing on an x-box...

... is still playing on an x-box even if you're in a library.

Parents, don't fool yourselves! The activity is not sanctified because of where it takes place.

Monday, March 2, 2009

why I blog

Wendy, my facebook friend, asks why people blog.

Bloggers are some of the most introspective people on earth and I think all of us frequently ask ourselves why we do it. Is it sin to want to put ourselves out there? Pride? Vanity? Of course it is to some extent, but there's other stuff going on too.

I think the main reason why I blog is because I'm an extrovert. I like having people around me, even when I'm by myself. I like knowing people and I like people knowing me. Blogging lets me do this. When I read your blog I feel some connection with you. Even if you strive to keep parts of yourself to yourself, if you write enough 'you' will seep out through your words and I will get to know you. I like that and I like that you know me. Not completely, of course, but if you've been reading for a while you'll have a fairly good feel for who I am. If we ever meet in real life, do come and say hello. Or why not leave me a comment right now?

I also blog because I'm an expressive. I want to tell you what I'm feeling and thinking. What better forum is there for half-formed ideas than a blog? There's conversation of course, but one's husband can only tolerate so much... I like to write my ideas and I like to read yours. I like that blogdom lets us share our thoughts and ourselves bypassing issues of shyness and some other insecurities.

Maybe you blog for other reasons. What are they? And non-bloggers, why do you read blogs?

Before I finish, let me clear up a couple of things:

I don't blog for approval. Some blogs scream out 'please like me'. I don't think mine does. If my blog yells anything, it's 'please know me!'

I don't blog to minister to you. Maybe I should, but I don't. Sorry. Go read a book (or this blog).

theological college vs. church based ministry training

I just read this old post on Shane's blog about theological education.

Shane argues that Moore college's college-centric approach to theological education discourages maximum involvement in the local church.

I agree that this is the case. In all my years as a christian, I was never less involved in a local congregation than I was during our years at Moore. I went to church each Sunday (twice a Sunday before I had kids) and in the year I was studying, I also went to a student minister's meeting. I played the piano, did kids talks and helped a little with sunday school stuff. I was never in a church bible study group because college wives were encouraged to join a college small group. I talked to many people - especially visitors - but didn't make too many close friendships.

But while I may have been less involved in church than I had been before and have been since, I don't think it was a bad thing. Here's why:
  • I did throw myself into college relationships. I would never swap that decision.
  • By being involved the college women's program, I saw college wives (and faculty wives) model great bsg leading and pastoring.
  • I think that there will always be a pragmatic bent to everything that is taught in churches. At college the emphasis is on finding out what the bible actually says and really working that out before we consider how we might use it in our congregations. I would hate it if my pastor (my husband, as it happens!) had learnt his exegetical skills from church alone rather than from biblical scholars. I can see lots of very dodgy exegesis being passed off as profound bible work by high profile preachers. A good theological college will teach you how to treat the bible with respect.
  • Students and families training for ministry are planning to give the rest of their lives in service to the church. It is not too much to ask that they have a few years off high-intensity pastoral involvement while they train. If it takes them a couple of years to get back up to speed pastorally afterwards, so be it.
  • And anyway, my less than normal church involvement during our college years was probably as much as most people's church involvement generally is!

Sunday, March 1, 2009


The last few months have not been spectacular. Black flowers have been in bloom and my attempts to dig them out have been feeble. But I have been praying and God has chosen this time of all times to obviously answer my prayers. I have more evangelistic opportunities then I know what to do with, my bible study group is going really well, Joel's schooling is finally working, I'm writing half-way decent lyrics, I'm feeling not quite so useless pastorally, and now some haunting sins are starting to haunt less.

God blesses us when we don't deserve it. Perhaps he blesses us most when it's most clear that we don't deserve it.

something more seemed promised

Andrew has started a blog. He plans to write about what he's reading, his thoughts on ministry and stuff and his marathon training.

Have a look.

Now I have to work out if it's too cutsey to comment on your husband's blog. I think it might be.


I hate non-routine-ness. I'm realizing this more and more all the time.

My life works to a weekly plan. Gym visits, RE teaching, bible studies, work, writing time, trips to the park with friends, coffee shop visits, church... I do things exactly the same every week. And I like it that way. I don't miss anything. I don't forget anything.

I've realized, though, that I'm so hooked on my routine-ness that I get stressed at the thought of doing anything different. To visit a friend I don't normally visit is difficult because I feel (stupidly) that such a thing is not meant to happen - it's not on my internal calender. It makes me confused. I find it easier to get my head around visiting a friend at a particular time each week than visiting as a once off - somehow the weekly thing feels more under control than the random visit.

Tonight I'm going to church. It's all wrong. I don't go to church on Sunday night. On Sunday night I watch you-tube music clips with the kids and then clean the floor. But my gym friends called up and asked if they could come to church (unheard of!) so I've organised my babysitter and I'm going with them.

I am thankful that they want to go. I cleaned the floor this afternoon. It all should be fine.

Except the kids. They are as routine as me and are finding the change a little hard to cope with.